Thesis Information for Mentors

Information for Mentors of Justice and Peace Studies (JUPS) Thesis Projects

If​ ​you​ ​are​ ​reading​ ​this​ ​memo,​ ​then​ ​you​ ​likely​ ​have​ ​been​ ​approached​ ​by​ ​a​ ​JUPS​ ​senior​ ​for​ ​your advisement​ ​as​ ​a​ ​faculty​ ​mentor​ ​for​ ​their​ ​thesis​ ​project.​ ​The​ ​JUPS​ ​program​ ​has​ ​prepared​ ​this memo​ ​in​ ​the​ ​hope​ ​of​ ​clarifying​ ​for​ ​all​ ​constituents​ ​the​ ​role​ ​of​ ​a​ ​thesis​ ​mentor​ ​in​ ​order​ ​to​ ​provide some​ ​uniformity​ ​to​ ​the​ ​experience​ ​of​ ​students​ ​in​ ​the​ ​program.​ ​The​ ​JUPS​ ​program​ ​asks​ ​you​ ​to accept​ ​the​ ​thesis​ ​mentor​ ​role​ ​only​ ​if​ ​you​ ​are​ ​familiar​ ​and​ ​comfortable​ ​with​ ​the​ ​proposed​ ​topic and​ ​also​ ​have​ ​the​ ​time​ ​to​ ​mentor.

Course​ ​Requirements
Students​ ​majoring​ ​in​ ​Justice​ ​and​ ​Peace​ ​Studies​ ​at​ ​Georgetown​ ​University​ ​have​ ​the​ ​option​ ​to complete​ ​a​ ​thesis​ ​by​ ​registering​ ​for​ ​an​ ​independent​ ​study​ ​(JUPS​ ​302)​ ​of​ ​1​ ​to​ ​3​ ​credits​ ​in​ ​the Spring​ ​of​ ​their​ ​senior​ ​year.​ ​Over​ ​the​ ​course​ ​of​ ​the​ ​spring​ ​semester,​ ​JUPS​ ​seniors​ ​will​ ​be arranging​ ​to​ ​meet​ ​with​ ​their​ ​faculty​ ​mentors​ ​(for​ ​each​ ​credit​ ​16​ ​hours​ ​of​ ​contact​ ​time​ ​are recommended)​ ​to​ ​discuss​ ​their​ ​work​ ​and​ ​progress​ ​with​ ​the​ ​goal​ ​of​ ​completing​ ​the​ ​thesis​ ​by​ ​the end​ ​of​ ​April.

First​ ​Initial​ ​Meeting​ ​with​ ​Mentor
You​ ​should​ ​expect​ ​that​ ​the​ ​student​ ​has​ ​come​ ​prepared​ ​with​ ​a​ ​list​ ​of​ ​relevant​ ​courses​ ​taken​ ​in preparation​ ​for​ ​the​ ​project,​ ​a​ ​thesis​ ​project​ ​overview,​ ​a​ ​working​ ​bibliography,​ ​and​ ​confidence that​ ​you​ ​can​ ​be​ ​helpful​ ​to​ ​their​ ​efforts.​ ​In​ ​general,​ ​the​ ​mentor’s​ ​initial​ ​task​ ​is​ ​to​ ​provide information​ ​regarding​ ​research​ ​sources​ ​–​ ​particularly​ ​current​ ​books,​ ​articles,​ ​and​ ​journals​ ​that​ ​are relevant​ ​to​ ​the​ ​project.​ ​While​ ​it​ ​isn’t​ ​necessary​ ​for​ ​you​ ​to​ ​be​ ​an​ ​expert​ ​in​ ​their​ ​specific​ ​topic,​ ​you feel​ ​comfortable​ ​guiding​ ​the​ ​inquiry​ ​and​ ​providing​ ​structure​ ​for​ ​the​ ​student’s​ ​efforts.​ ​The​ ​most effective​ ​mentors​ ​often​ ​are​ ​those​ ​who​ ​ask​ ​JUPS​ ​seniors​ ​questions​ ​that​ ​move​ ​their​ ​thinking​ ​and writing​ ​forward.

The​ ​final​ ​grade​ ​for​ ​Independent​ ​study​ ​JUPS​ ​302​ ​is​ ​awarded​ ​as​ ​with​ ​other​ ​classes​ ​and​ ​follows​ ​the same​ ​deadlines​ ​and​ ​guidelines.​ ​Upon​ ​thesis​ ​completion,​ ​the​ ​faculty​ ​mentor​ ​will​ ​assess​ ​the​ ​work and​ ​the​ ​final​ ​grade​ ​is​ ​provided.​ ​JUPS​ ​faculty​ ​are​ ​available​ ​to​ ​consult​ ​at​ ​any​ ​point​ ​in​ ​the​ ​process if​ ​clarifications​ ​are​ ​needed​ ​regarding​ ​assessment.

Thesis​ ​Style​ ​and​ ​Length
The​ ​JUPS​ ​thesis​ ​will​ ​generally​ ​be​ ​at​ ​least​ ​60​ ​pages​ ​(or​ ​the​ ​equivalent),​ ​although​ ​this​ ​length depends​ ​on​ ​the​ ​methodology,​ ​research​ ​questions,​ ​and​ ​format​ ​of​ ​the​ ​project​ ​–​ ​for​ ​instance,​ ​a student​ ​may​ ​pursue​ ​a​ ​project-based​ ​thesis,​ ​in​ ​which​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​work​ ​includes​ ​creating​ ​e.g.​ ​a curriculum,​ ​a​ ​business​ ​plan,​ ​an​ ​artistic​ ​creation,​ ​a​ ​multimedia​ ​artifact,​ ​etc.​ ​The​ ​precise​ ​length​ ​of the​ ​thesis​ ​and​ ​relevant​ ​content/format​ ​are​ ​discussed​ ​between​ ​the​ ​Mentor​ ​and​ ​student,​ ​and comprises​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​course​ ​agreement.

Role​ ​of​ ​Mentor
The​ ​role​ ​of​ ​the​ ​mentor​ ​varies​ ​from​ ​student​ ​to​ ​student,​ ​project​ ​to​ ​project.​ ​At​ ​the​ ​very​ ​least,​ ​the thesis​ ​mentor​ ​commits​ ​to​ ​meetings,​ ​progress​ ​check​ ​ins,​ ​providing​ ​guidance​ ​throughout​ ​the​ ​thesis writing​ ​process,​ ​allocating​ ​readings​ ​and​ ​resources,​ ​and​ ​providing​ ​feedback.​ ​Faculty​ ​mentors​ ​will read​ ​the​ ​first​ ​full​ ​draft​ ​of​ ​the​ ​thesis​ ​turned​ ​in​ ​by​ ​the​ ​student​ ​no​ ​later​ ​than​ ​mid-March​ ​and​ ​then submit​ ​feedback​ ​to​ ​the​ ​student​ ​no​ ​later​ ​than​ ​early​ ​April.​ ​The​ ​student​ ​revises​ ​and​ ​resubmits​ ​the thesis​ ​to​ ​the​ ​mentor,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​mentor​ ​submits​ ​the​ ​grade​ ​(as​ ​with​ ​other​ ​courses​ ​at​ ​GU).​ ​The mentor-student​ ​relationship​ ​can​ ​take​ ​various​ ​forms,​ ​is​ ​flexible,​ ​and​ ​will​ ​in​ ​most​ ​cases​ ​be​ ​more dynamic​ ​than​ ​simply​ ​reading​ ​and​ ​grading​ ​a​ ​final​ ​written​ ​thesis.​ ​In​ ​previous​ ​cases,​ ​for​ ​instance: the​ ​mentor​ ​and​ ​student​ ​created​ ​a​ ​chapter-by​ ​chapter​ ​feedback​ ​plan;​ ​the​ ​mentor​ ​and​ ​student​ ​met on​ ​a​ ​regular​ ​schedule​ ​to​ ​discuss​ ​drafts,​ ​concerns,​ ​and​ ​issues;​ ​the​ ​student’s​ ​thesis​ ​was complementary​ ​to​ ​the​ ​mentor’s​ ​research​ ​and​ ​thus​ ​advisement​ ​was​ ​delivered​ ​through​ ​other​ ​venues (project​ ​meetings,​ ​conferences,​ ​community​ ​events,​ ​etc.);​ ​or​ ​the​ ​student​ ​and​ ​mentor​ ​met​ ​on​ ​a “various​ ​dates”​ ​basis​ ​as​ ​determined​ ​by​ ​the​ ​student​ ​and​ ​mentor.​ ​It​ ​is​ ​the​ ​responsibility​ ​of​ ​the mentor​ ​and​ ​student​ ​to​ ​create​ ​and​ ​agree​ ​upon​ ​a​ ​plan​ ​that​ ​both​ ​parties​ ​can​ ​honor.​ ​Students​ ​are advised​ ​to​ ​prepare​ ​themselves​ ​to​ ​address​ ​and​ ​seek​ ​the​ ​mentor’s​ ​assistance​ ​in​ ​the​ ​following​ ​areas: (1) difficulties​ ​encountered​ ​in​ ​finding​ ​and​ ​incorporating​ ​relevant​ ​and​ ​useful​ ​sources;​ (2) ​focusing, clarifying,​ ​and​ ​augmenting​ ​the​ ​specific​ ​question​ ​and​ ​scope​ ​of​ ​the​ ​paper;​ ​(3) assessing​ ​the​ ​logic​ ​of arguments​ ​developed​ ​as​ ​pertaining​ ​to​ ​the​ ​research​ ​and​ ​data​ ​presented;​ ​(4) ​discussing​ ​possible counterarguments​ ​and​ ​developing​ ​ways​ ​to​ ​address​ ​and​ ​respond​ ​to​ ​them;​ ​(5)​ ​exploring​ ​potential venues​ ​for​ ​presentation,​ ​publication,​ ​or​ ​other​ ​forms​ ​of​ ​public​ ​articulation.

The​ ​JUPS​ ​faculty​ ​and​ ​Senior​ ​Seminar​ ​instructors​ ​are​ ​available​ ​to​ ​support​ ​JUPS​ ​302​ ​students​ ​in their​ ​thesis​ ​process,​ ​serving​ ​as​ ​a​ ​complement​ ​to​ ​the​ ​thesis​ ​mentor.​ ​Toward​ ​the​ ​end​ ​of​ ​the​ ​spring term​ ​there​ ​will​ ​be​ ​a​ ​concluding​ ​JUPS​ ​Senior​ ​Awards​ ​Ceremony​ ​(to​ ​which​ ​mentors​ ​are​ ​invited)​ ​to honor​ ​our​ ​graduates​ ​(dates​ ​TBA).​ ​​While​ ​we​ ​are​ ​not​ ​able​ ​to​ ​offer​ ​compensation​ ​to​ ​mentors​ ​at​ ​this time,​ ​we​ ​wish​ ​to​ ​express​ ​our​ ​profound​ ​gratitude​ ​for​ ​your​ ​support​ ​of​ ​our​ ​learning​ ​community.

How A JUPS THesis Is Different

In​ ​general,​ ​the​ ​Program​ ​on​ ​Justice​ ​and​ ​Peace​ ​gives​ ​a​ ​great​ ​deal​ ​of​ ​academic​ ​freedom​ ​(and responsibility)​ ​to​ ​the​ ​thesis​ ​mentors.​ ​Similarly,​ ​we​ ​give​ ​our​ ​seniors​ ​great​ ​freedom​ ​to​ ​shape​ ​their thesis​ ​projects.​ ​There​ ​is​ ​no​ ​set​ ​guideline​ ​for​ ​what​ ​a​ ​thesis​ ​looks​ ​like,​ ​except​ ​that​ ​it​ ​should​ ​be​ ​the equivalent​ ​of​ ​at​ ​least​ ​60​ ​pages.​ ​The​ ​theses​ ​come​ ​in​ ​a​ ​wide​ ​range​ ​of​ ​writing​ ​styles​ ​and​ ​formats, and​ ​the​ ​style/voice/format​ ​depends​ ​on​ ​the​ ​student’s​ ​particular​ ​topic​ ​and​ ​mode​ ​of​ ​inquiry.​ ​At​ ​the same​ ​time,​ ​we​ ​expect​ ​students​ ​to​ ​adhere​ ​to​ ​all​ ​academic​ ​standards​ ​and​ ​produce​ ​scholarship​ ​of​ ​the highest​ ​quality.​ ​

Some​ ​specific​ ​areas​ ​to​ ​consider​ ​in​ ​evaluating​ ​JUPS​ ​student​ ​work​ ​may​ ​include (additional​ ​information​ ​on​ ​evaluation​ ​guidelines​ ​will​ ​be​ ​provided​ ​at​ ​a​ ​later​ ​date):

· Grammar​ ​and​ ​structure​:​ ​Mentors​ ​often​ ​give​ ​feedback​ ​on​ ​grammar​ ​and​ ​structure,​ ​and expect​ ​students​ ​to​ ​take​ ​that​ ​into​ ​consideration​ ​for​ ​their​ ​final​ ​product.​ ​A​ ​mentor’s​ ​primary​ ​job, however,​ ​is​ ​not​ ​to​ ​be​ ​an​ ​editor.​ ​Seniors​ ​should​ ​get​ ​editing/grammar​ ​help​ ​elsewhere​ ​if​ ​the​ ​need exceeds​ ​the​ ​mentor’s​ ​capacity.​ ​A​ ​JUPS​ ​thesis​ ​should​ ​balance​ ​substance​ ​and​ ​style​ ​to​ ​comprise​ ​an effective​ ​final​ ​product.

· Framework​:​ ​The​ ​transdisciplinary​ ​field​ ​of​ ​Justice​ ​and​ ​Peace​ ​Studies​ ​is​ ​normative​ ​and thus​ ​value-laden.​ ​Some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​major​ ​values​ ​that​ ​undergird​ ​our​ ​teaching/research​ ​in​ ​the​ ​JUPS program​ ​are​ ​Nonviolence,​ ​Social​ ​Justice,​ ​Human​ ​Rights,​ ​Conflict​ ​Transformation,​ ​and Restorative​ ​Justice.​ ​Against​ ​this​ ​backdrop,​ ​the​ ​specific​ ​framework​ ​or​ ​“lens”​ ​that​ ​the​ ​student​ ​is using​ ​should​ ​be​ ​clear​ ​and​ ​consistent,​ ​and​ ​grounded​ ​with​ ​the​ ​larger​ ​JUPS​ ​field(s).​ ​It​ ​might​ ​appear to​ ​some​ ​readers​ ​unfamiliar​ ​with​ ​the​ ​field​ ​as​ ​being​ ​“subjective”​ ​or​ ​“biased”​ ​–​ ​but​ ​the​ ​JUPS framework​ ​is​ ​inherently​ ​values-oriented​ ​and​ ​is​ ​about​ ​respecting​ ​the​ ​potential​ ​and​ ​dignity​ ​of​ ​all people​ ​and​ ​cultures.

· Positionality​:​ ​thesis​ ​students​ ​need​ ​to​ ​be​ ​clear​ ​on​ ​their​ ​positionality​ ​–​ ​that​ ​is,​ ​both​ ​their methodologies​ ​and​ ​“who​ ​they​ ​are”​ ​as​ ​it​ ​impacts​ ​how​ ​and​ ​what​ ​they​ ​research,​ ​and​ ​why.​ ​Students are​ ​encouraged​ ​to​ ​blend​ ​personal​ ​voice​ ​with​ ​scholarly​ ​investigations​ ​of​ ​their​ ​topics.​ ​The​ ​location of​ ​the​ ​research​ ​with​ ​regard​ ​to​ ​the​ ​subject​ ​of​ ​inquiry​ ​is​ ​critical​ ​to​ ​evaluating​ ​the​ ​work, representing​ ​a​ ​dynamic​ ​that​ ​is​ ​reflexive,​ ​iterative,​ ​and​ ​process-oriented.

· Ethics​ ​and​ ​IRB​:​ ​In​ ​all​ ​cases,​ ​students​ ​will​ ​need​ ​to​ ​be​ ​cognizant​ ​of​ ​and​ ​conversant​ ​with research​ ​ethics​ ​appropriate​ ​to​ ​the​ ​field​ ​and​ ​their​ ​subject​ ​of​ ​inquiry.​ ​In​ ​addition​ ​to​ ​a​ ​“do​ ​no​ ​harm” ethos,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​also​ ​contemplated​ ​that​ ​students​ ​strive​ ​to​ ​“do​ ​some​ ​good”​ ​with​ ​their​ ​research​ ​projects. In​ ​some​ ​cases,​ ​IRB​ ​review​ ​and/or​ ​approval​ ​may​ ​be​ ​warranted​ ​(more​ ​information​ ​is​ ​available​ ​at:​).​ ​JUPS​ ​faculty​ ​are​ ​available​ ​to​ ​assist​ ​with​ ​this​ ​process​ ​at​ ​any point.

· Process​:​ ​JUPS​ ​students​ ​know​ ​that​ ​their​ ​process​ ​(meeting​ ​with​ ​mentor,​ ​responding​ ​to feedback,​ ​being​ ​in​ ​touch,​ ​taking​ ​responsibility,​ ​meeting​ ​deadlines,​ ​working​ ​with​ ​others)​ ​all affects​ ​the​ ​final​ ​product.​ ​In​ ​the​ ​JUPS​ ​program,​ ​we​ ​emphasize​ ​the​ ​notion​ ​of​ ​“peaceful​ ​ends through​ ​peaceful​ ​means”​ ​–​ ​and​ ​the​ ​same​ ​holds​ ​true​ ​for​ ​research:​ ​“peace​ ​research​ ​through peaceful​ ​methods.”

Again,​ ​on​ ​behalf​ ​of​ ​the​ ​entire​ ​JUPS​ ​program,​ ​we​ ​are​ ​incredibly​ ​grateful​ ​for​ ​your​ ​service​ ​as​ ​a thesis​ ​mentor!

Justice​ ​and​ ​Peace​ ​Studies (JUPS) Program Coordinators,

Randall​ ​Amster,​ ​​

Elham​ ​Atashi,​ ​​ 

Thesis Mentor Agreement 

independent thesis scan