Research Essay/Internship Option

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Research Essay Option

Students generally elect to take the Course Option to complete their MSE degree. In some cases, with the approval of a research advisor, the Essay Option may be used to fulfill the MSE Robotics degree requirements. In the standard Course Option, ten (10) courses must be taken as articulated herein. For the Essay Option, eight (8) courses must be taken, not including any research courses, and research must be performed leading to a formal MSE Essay. Degree Track requirements  are the same for both the Course and Essay Options. Please see the advising manual for more details.

  • To qualify for the essay option, fill out and submit the MSE Robotics Essay Agreement Form at least two weeks before the beginning of your research. Note the form requires the signature of you, your essay advisor, and the Robotics Director of Education.
  • Register for Essay Research classes
    • The correct course is 620.801 Robotics Graduate Research, please register in the section with your research advisor (if you have questions about this, talk to Alison Morrow).
    • If you are on non-resident status, sign up for the Non-Resident Course instead: EN.910.600
    • If you have any questions about this requirement, confirm you are signed up for the correct course with Alison Morrow.
  • It is recommended that students meet with their essay advisors to develop a timeline for research and essay writing, and that portions of the essay be written as the research proceeds. For example, the introduction, background, and motivation for the research can and should often be written in the very early stages of the research. It is recommended that the student and advisor choose a second reader to review the essay.
  • Your essay must be submitted to your advisor for edits at least four weeks before the Robotics essay submission deadline

The final version of the master’s essay must be submitted, with the cover page signed by the student’s advisor, to the LCSR Administrative Office and EDT (Electronic Theses and Dissertation staff) by the essay completion date.

For Fall 2023, this date is December 6, 2023.

Research Internship Option

A student may choose to fulfill the Robotics MSE degree requirements with the Internship Option, which requires having secured an internship of at least three months and no more than six months, approval and oversight of a research advisor, and a submitted report at the conclusion of the internship. The internship is expected to be full-time; any exceptions to this full-time requirement must be requested in advance and approved by the Director of Education. In the standard Course Option, ten (10) courses must be taken. For the Internship Option, eight (8) courses must be taken, not including research, and research must be performed through an external internship, leading to an Internship Report. Alternatively, a journal publication or a conference paper could be submitted, describing the student’s original research conducted during the internship. This paper must have been accepted for publication or published in an archival, peer-reviewed technical journal or accepted for presentation at a peer-reviewed technical conference.   The student must be the primary author of the article. Degree Track requirements are the same for all degree options.

JHU Research Advisor Requirements: The research advisor should be a member of the Robotics faculty, as listed in the Robotics Advising Manual. In some unusual cases, exceptions can be made, in which case the research advisor must be a JHU professor holding an appointment in the Whiting School of Engineering. All research advisors for all Robotics MSE internships must be approved in advance by the Robotics MSE Graduate Director.

Students should start the Internship Option process early. Identifying an internship and an internship advisor, completing the Internship Mutual Work Agreement, and completing the Internship Agreement take time. You are required to submit the Internship Mutual Work Agreement and the sign Internship Agreement at least two (2) weeks before the start of the semester of the internship. It is recommended that you start identifying an internship advisor at least a month before the semester of the internship and begin the paperwork then.

To Qualify for the Internship option:

  • Robotics MSE students need to first identify and apply for an internship on their own, and if selected for an internship, then must identify a faculty internship advisor from within the Robotics faculty.
  • Submit Internship Mutual Work Agreement to the Academic Staff: fill out and submit an Internship Mutual Work Agreement form at least two weeks before the beginning of the internship, which must be signed by the student, the internship supervisor, the research advisor, and the Robotics MSE Graduate Director. You are not admitted into the internship option until you have submitted the Internship Mutual Work Agreement form, and that form has been approved by the program. The Internship Mutual Work Agreement form can be found here.
  • Submit the Internship Agreement to Academic Staff – a legal document to protect the faculty overseeing the internship must also be completed. This document must be signed once every three years, so please check with the Academic Staff to make sure it is necessary before starting the signature process.
    • Here is the JHU Approved Agreement that must be fully signed before the Internship Option can be approved. Download here: OGC Approved Internship Agreement.9.10.21
    • If the company offering the internship requires negotiations, then please send Alison Morrow the following (your internship supervisor and research advisor should be able to assist in this process):
      • The full legal name of the company
      • The name of official authorized to sign for the company
      • A contact email for the official
      • The Internship Agreement form with the highlighted areas filled out
    • If negotiations are not necessary, send the company signed agreement to Alison Morrow for the JHU signature. Please include the name and email address of the official authorized to sign for the company. Please also rename the file to be the Company Name_date signed.
    • The fully executed document must be included with the Internship Mutual Work Agreement form. The Internship Option will not be approved without both documents.

Additional Information:

  • Students in the internship option are required to have a joint meeting (or teleconference) with their research advisors and internship supervisors (together) at least on a monthly basis.
  • Students will be required to apply for and register for the appropriate internship research course (EN.620.802 Robotics MSE Graduate Internship Research, please check with Alison Morrow if you cannot find your advisor’s section) and/or non-resident status/course.
  • All international students need to work with Office of International Services (OIS) for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) approval and will need to additionally register for EN.500.851. Credits for this course will not count towards the degree.  Additional details about CPT can be found on the Office of International Services (OIS) website: Please note that failure to comply with the CPT rules as laid out by OIS can result in loss of your F-1 status.
  • Your research report (or article) must be submitted to your advisor for edits at least 4 weeks before the graduation submission deadline. The research report (or article) must be submitted within 4 weeks of the completion of the internship.

The final version of the internship report (or journal article) must be submitted, with the cover page signed by the student’s research advisor and internship supervisor, to the Robotics Academic staff by the completion date. See Alison Morrow for deadline information. In cases where the report must be confidential, then both the internship supervisor and the research advisor must read and approve the full report, and a non-confidential summary must be approved and submitted to the Robotics Academic Staff by the essay deadline for graduation.

For Fall 2023, the date of submission is December 6, 2023.