The Junior Independent Research Seminar (JIRS) is a concentration-specific, two-credit class taken online during spring of junior year.
It includes students in the same concentration from across the junior year sites, so that a student working on issues of, for instance, political economy in Buenos Aires will be literally comparing notes with a student working in the same field in Berlin. Under the guidance of a GLS instructor in New York, students provide online feedback to each other.
JIRS helps GLS students prepare for the rigorous independent research they will conduct and present as seniors. Students use research and, when relevant, their own experiences at their junior year site to shape their topics and inform their work. In consultation with the instructor and in active communication with other students in the course, each student creates an annotated bibliography, an essay that might serve as a draft chapter of the thesis, and a prospectus outlining a potential thesis topic growing out of the essay. Students learn the methodology of writing in the disciplinary areas of their concentration. The precise readings that inform their research will be determined by each student in consultation with the instructor. Under the direction of the course’s instructor, students will provide online feedback to each other at least once a week.