Science Student Example

My Senior Independent Study involves testing the pH and testosterone concentration in the saliva of stutterers and non-stutterers. It has been theorized that abnormal pH and testosterone levels may be an indication or possible cause of stuttering. [1]

Two separate samples from 23 stutterers and 23 non-stutterers were collected in the summer. Two samples from each individual were collected so that one could be tested here at The College of Wooster by me and one could be sent to Case Western Reserve University to be tested independently by Dr. Clive Hamlin. The concentration of testosterone in saliva is very low, thus the measurement must be done using a sensitive immunoassay. Samples tested separately at Case Western Reserve University and here at Wooster would allow for unbiased results using an independent laboratory. Independent measurements would lead to more conclusive results, especially considering the difficulty in making the measurement. [2]

These results would allow me to make a more accurate judgment as to whether there is a correlation between testosterone and stuttering. If funding is not available for my project, it would be impossible for me to find other funding in order to have a study that would allow the additional tests to be performed.

Proposed budget:

$552 for 46 saliva samples ($12 a specimen)[3]

The Department of Chemistry is funding the purchase of the materials and reagents (i.e. antibodies, standards, enzymes) necessary for me to carry out the independent measurements of testosterone. Stamps, envelopes, return envelopes, and all copies have been personally funded.


[1] Each proposal should have short, clear description of the Senior I.S. project. In this example we get a very good sense of what the project is about without a lot of descriptive text.

[2] Here we see a concise clear explanation as to what exactly the enhancement is. For science students, an enhancement can be to make the data generated more reliable or meaningful.

[3] Your budget should be as detailed as you can make it. Obtain accurate estimates and itemize what you are requesting. If your department is providing support, this should be listed. If you are already spending some of your own money, this should be listed as well.