Interactive Qualifying Project Advising

WPI provides a wide variety of resources for faculty to make the advising of IQPs easier and more satisfying. Including teaching and assessment tools for all aspects of the IQP, these resources have been created by contributors who have advised many projects on and off campus and are eager to share what they have learned in the process.

Recommended IQP Resources

If you have any comments or suggestions, or if you would like to contribute another IQP resource that you have created or have found helpful, please contact us at

Other Materials and Resources

Guiding Student Work

Weekly Meetings

Part of the skill set that students should acquire during the process of doing an IQP is the ability to run a meeting successfully. This includes setting agendas for the PQP and other meetings:

Framing the IQP

This section contains resources that can help students frame their projects. Students should determine how their work fits into a larger body of research on the topic and define their objectives and research questions.

Clarity about project objectives is important and can be facilitated through exercises for students that ask them to operationalize project objectives/research questions.

An interim project planning report is a useful tool for helping students organize and communicate their understanding of the project, its major elements, and next steps.

Giving Feedback to Students

This section contains resources that can help faculty give useful feedback to students at all stages of the IQP process, including proposal development, research, and report production. Resources are available that specifically address approaches to teams and students who are doing different quality of work (i.e., A, B, C quality).

Teamwork Tips &Tools

One useful kind of assignment is to have students evaluate themselves and their team members. Example evaluation exercises are available:

This approach challenges teams to develop their own formative and summative assessment strategies. By requiring students to discuss the assessments with each other before submitting them to the advisors, it attempts to transfer more responsibility for accountability and improvement to the team.

Research Methods

This section contains information on some of the research methods that students can use in their IQPs. General tips and ideas for writing research method chapters can also be found in Tips for Writing an IQP Proposal (PDF); Tips for Writing an IQP Proposal (DOC). Students should be encouraged to think about how their research methods (e.g., data gathering and data sources) are linked to research objectives and research questions with exercises too (e.g., project objectives exercise (PDF); project objectives exercise (DOC)).

To help students think about what data they need to gather and from where the data can be found, exercises are useful. For example, students can be asked to complete an information needs planning matrix (PDF); information needs planning matrix (DOC).

For Qualitative Research Methods see:
For Statistical Methods:
  • Many WPI students should have ready access to statistics courses and books
  • Students must address a variety of methodological issues in their research. An important issue is often Sampling and Error (PDF); Sampling and Error (DOC). Internal and external validity are also issues that students often need help addressing.
  • Specific questions can be directed to: Prof. Joseph Petruccelli ( in WPI's Mathematical Sciences Department or Prof. Jeanine Skorinko in the Social Sciences and Policy Studies Department.
Writing Guidelines and Aids

This section contains resources that provide information about the structure of IQP proposals and IQP reports and tips on formatting and writing proposals and reports.

For faculty, there are tips on:

 IQP proposal and IQP report.

 Literature Review

 Exercises for students:

Both IQP proposals and IQP reports can be formatted in a variety of ways and can use a variety of styles, for example:

Advisors have required students to use different citations styles, including APA Style, a commonly used editorial style for writing in the social and behavioral sciences, and MLA Style, another widely accepted standard for research papers.

Materials Specifically for Off-Campus IQPs

Off-Campus IQPs Content 63124