Research Projects

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Characteristics of Research Projects

Types of Research Projects
There are three types of Research Projects: Master’s Thesis, Independent Final Report and Internship based Case Study. The Research Projects are "capstone" experiences and thus should draw on and integrate the knowledge students gained in all the courses they have completed.

Characteristics of Research Projects
The Research Projects have a number of features in common:
1. Research Projects have the same format with some minor changes depending on their contents and structure.
2. Research Projects should clearly identify and define the issue addressed through the research.
3. Research Projects use concepts and theories to understand, explain, analyze and interpret empirical findings.
4. Research Projects require presentation at the Work in Progress Seminar when registered for Management Seminar II.
5. Research Projects are submitted within the same deadline.
6. Research Projects are examined by 2 examiners (including the supervisor).
However, the three types of Research Projects are different from one another. Their requirements are different and they address different audiences and issues.

Examination Flow for the GSM Research Projects (PDF)

The Master’s Thesis
1. Should be created from wide-ranging and extensive survey of scholarly literature and analysis in accordance with the research topic, research question and hypothesis.
2. Should contribute to knowledge but may not address a practical business problem and provide feasible practical recommendations.
3. Should be 10,000 - 15,000 words in length.

The Independent Final Report
1. Must address real world issues, have practical value and provide feasible recommendations for solutions to these issues.
2. May include survey of reports that currently exist in relevant fields and may not be as comprehensive in their surveys of scholarly literature.
3. Should be 8,000 - 12,000 words in length.

The Internship based Case Study
1. Must be based on problems identi ed during an internship at a company or institution; the internship should be conducted according to the guidelines below.
2. Must address real world issues, have practical value and provide feasible recommendations for solutions to these issues.
3. May include surveys or case studies that currently exist in relevant fields and may not be as comprehensive in their surveys of scholarly literature.
4. Should be 8,000 - 12,000 words in length

Students are recommended to follow the guidelines provided in the document below when writing their Research Project.
Guidelines for the Format of the Research Projects (Word)


Internship-based Case Study

Students who have chosen the Internship-based Case Study option are required to complete an internship of at least 100 hours at a company or institution they choose. The internship program is designed to ensure that students assess the applicability of the concepts, theories they have learnt at the university, gather practical experiences and develop practical skills in dealing with actual situations. Depending on their interests, students may focus on any of the functional areas of management. Students who plan to avail the opportunities of internship, must develop skills in action research methods and case writing.

Arranging the internship
Students shall locate the internship destination on their own and submit a plan of their activities to their supervisor. The supervisor shall review the student's plan to determine whether the location is appropriate as an intern destination. In general, APU will not provide support in arranging internships (internship destination, visa, permission from the company, etc).

Supervision
The APU supervisor will be the principal supervisor of the student. The student will submit a plan of the type of activities s/he plans to complete while in internship. Supervisors will assess the feasibility of the plan and advise the students accordingly. Students should also have a secondary supervisor. Students should choose one or more people from the internship host company to act as a supervisor during their internship and should ask that supervisor to submit a performance evaluation to their APU supervisor regarding the students's activities during the internship. The performance evaluation may be taken into account when grading seminars.

Length of the internship
Students should spend a total of 100 hours in the company or institution they intern at.
Students should inform the University of the internship destination, duration, etc. before they start their internship.

Required Documents
Using the designated form, students should inform the University of the internship destination, duration, etc. and should submit their plan for research activities while on internship approved by both the APU and company supervisors before they start their internship. After completing the internship, students should submit 2) "Internship Supervisor Report on the Intern's Performance", 3) "Internship Performance Rubrics" and 4) "Record of Internship Attendance". See the Internship-related Application Forms below for datails.

All students considering conducting an internship should also carefully read the information in the file linked below.

IMPORTANT: Points to Keep in Mind when Arranging Your Internship (PDF)
Internship-related Application Forms


Submission of Research Projects Summary

All students in their final must submit a notice approved by their supervisor for the type of Research Project they are writing. The notice should be submitted together with the Research Project Summary. The appropriate form may be found at the link below.

Submission Period: in the beginning of the final semester of enrollment
Spring Semester: the last working day on or before April 25
Fall Semester: the last working day on or before October 20
(2019FA: 16:30 Friday, 20 October 2019)
Submission Location: Academic Office

Research Project Summary Form


Research Project Submission Deadline

GSM students in their last semester must submit their Research Project according to the submission schedule below. Research Projects must be submitted in person to the Academic Office and all notification results must also be received in person.

Note 1: All Research Projects must be submitted by 16:30. Any papers submitted after this time will not be accepted.
Note 2: If the deadline falls on a weekend or a holiday or a day when the office is closed, the deadline will move to the immediately preceding working day.
Note 3: Research Projects must be submitted as instructed by the Academic Office. E-mailed / posted documents will not be accepted.

2019FA Schedule
Submission: 16:30 Friday, 29 November 2019
Notification of Results: Friday, 20 December 2019
Resubmission: 16:30 Wednesday, 15 January 2020
Notification of Final Results: Friday, 31 January 2020


Requirements for the Examination of Research Projects

Research Projects Examination Criteria

Research Projects are evaluated based on the criteria listed in the rubrics linked below. These criteria are also outlined in the "Procedures for Research Projects in the Graduate School of Management under the AY 2014 Curriculum" available in the similarly entitled section below.

Research Projects Evaluation Rubrics (PDF)

Interpretation of Turnitin Similarity Reports

We expect that all students follow strictly the standards against plagiarism of APU. An absolute maximum value of 20% is set for the similarity index of Turnitin similarity reports to give the students additional guidance in avoiding plagiarism. However, this maximum value is a necessary but not always a sufficient condition. It is still possible that your supervisor or the Research Projects Committee identifies unacceptable cases of plagiarism within your Research Project even if the similarity index is below 20%.

The details are as follows:

1) All Research Projects must be carefully checked for plagiarism and citation issues using Turnitin. Supervisors will also check the similarity reports and provide further guidance in case there are any issues.
2) The similarity index of Research Projects submitted to the Academic Office must not exceed 20%. Research Projects submitted to the Academic Office with a similarity index of above 20% will not be accepted and will be treated as a plagiarism attempt to be further investigated in detail.
3) Supervisors can demand changes to the Research Project even if the Turnitin similarity index is below 20%.

Important Notes
The 20% requirement is set to give students an idea about the GSM's interpretation of the similarity index. However, the fact that a similarity index is below 20% does not necessarily mean that the Research Project contains no plagiarized material. Students should strive to avoid any kind of plagiarism at all but a lower value does not necessarily mean that there is really no plagiarism either (false positives).

Questions about how to interpret the Turnitin reports or revise the Research Project to comply with the above decision should be discussed with the supervisor.

Research Project Examination

One (1) soft copy of the Research Project must be submitted to the Academic Office for examination. The soft copy must be submitted to "Turnitin" (www.turnitin.com).
The similarity percentage of the "Turnitin" originality report must not exceed 20%. Please carefully read the "Interpretation of Turnitin Similarity Reports" section above for details.
A designated title page must be attached to the Research Project upon submission. All required information on the title page must be typed. The form is available for download from the link below. Research Project without attached title page will not be accepted under any circumstance.

Research Project Title Page (for examination)

Important Notes:
1. Submission of hard copies of the Research Project is not required as the entire examination is conducted using the soft copy submitted to "Turnitin". Please make sure that the file includes all required sections.
2. Announcement of examination / re-examination results are made via manaba. Details are announced prior to the result notification.
3. Only one file can be uploaded to "Turnitin" at a time. You may resubmit as many times as you would like before the due date.
4. Make sure that you allow yourself sufficient time to upload your file to Turnitin so that you meet the above deadline. Turnitin will automatically reject file uploads from 16:30.
5. Please be aware that there are limits to the size of the files as well as the page numbers that can be uploaded to "Turnitin".

Examination Results

Possible results for this examination are: "Pass", "Revise and Resubmit" and "Fail". The examination results are announced on manaba and copies of the evaluation rubrics and evaluation reports from the examiners of the Research Project are also distributed.
Please carefully read the "Procedures for Research Projects in the Graduate School of Management under the AY 2014 Curriculum" available in the similarly entitled section below for details about the examination.

Research Project Revision

All students whose examination result was decided as "Revise and Resubmit" must revise their Research Project according to the examiners' recommendations and resubmit the new version for re-examination. The revised Research Projects should meet the same evaluation criteria.
The same policy for interpreting the Turnitin results applies and revised Research Projects submitted to the Academic Office with a similarity index of above 20% will not be accepted and will be treated as a plagiarism attempt to be further investigated in detail. Please carefully read "Interpretation of Turnitin Similarity Reports" section above for details about handling of Turnitin results.
Revised Research Projects will be forwarded to the original examiners for re-examination.
Revised Research Projects must include a clear summary of how examiners' comments have been addressed / have not been addressed and any other changes made.

Research Projects Re-Submission

One soft copy of the Research Project which was required to be revised must be resubmitted to the Academic Office for re-examination. The soft copy must be submitted to "Turnitin" (www.turnitin.com).

The designated title page for re-examination must be attached to the Research Project upon re-submission. All required information on the title page must be typed. Research Projects without attached title page will not be accepted under any circumstance.

Research Project Title Page (for re-examination)

Re-examination Results

Possible results for the re-examination are: "Pass" and "Fail". The re-examination results are announced on manaba and copies of the evaluation rubrics and evaluation reports from the examiners of the Research Project are also distributed.
Please carefully read the "Procedures for Research Projects in the Graduate School of Management under the AY 2014 Curriculum" available in the similarly entitled section below for details about the examination.


Procedures for Research Projects

For information on the process of Research Projects submission and evaluation, please refer to the "AY2014 Curriculum GSM Procedures for Research Projects" available at the following link.
AY2014 Curriculum GSM Procedures for Research Projects (revised June 2018) (English version) (PDF)
AY2014 Curriculum GSM Procedures for Research Projects (revised June 2018) (Japanese version) (PDF)


Archiving of the Research Projects

A final soft copy of all Research Projects that have received a passing grade must be submitted to the Academic Office for storage by the University. Copies of the Research Projects will be archived in the APU Library. Upon permission by the student, the final version of the Research Projects will be also uploaded onto the APU online repository R-Cube. The University does not bind Research Projects for students.

It is recommended that sample attached below is used as a front page of the finalized copy of the Research Project submitted for archiving in the APU Library.

Front Page Format (Word)

Last Update: October 2019


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