Completion Guidance

Spring Semester, Year 1
  • We have prepared a series of three kick-start sessions to introduce resources and prepare you for the upcoming MP processes.
  • The kick-start sessions will be held in early February, early March, and early April, respectively. The MP Course Instructor ( Professor Coraline Goron ) will email you the specific dates and location(s) at the beginning of the semester.
  • Students have three months  (February to April) to identify their Advisors.
  • The MP Advisor can be an iMEP facutly, a DKU facutly, or a Duke University professor. Students who want to work with an MP advisor outside Duke Kunshan University or Duke University must have a co-advisor who is an iMEP faculty member. A co-advisor serves as the student’s primary contact to the iMEP for any academic issues that is related to MP and ensure continuing progress.
  • You can bring your unique idea and look for an interested professor(self-generated); you can also participate in ongoing research projects or faculty-client generated projects (faculty-generated).
  • When developing your MP idea(s), please be kindly advised that your project must fit in the scope of “environmental policy.”
  • As a principle, you should work in groups, unless the Advisor agrees to supervise an individual project.
  • The MP Instructor will help you develop strategies to find and contact potential clients and advisors in relation to your interest.
  • MP Advisor Application

After you have identified a potential Advisor and a potential topic, you need to submit a MP Application Form that includes a mini-proposal to describe your project. The MP Application Form needs to be signed by the student(s) and submitted by April 1. You can find the mini-proposal template here.

  • Secure a commitment from your MP Advisor

By the end of April students are expected to meet with their MP Advisor and mutually sign an MP agreement. If the MP is a client-based project, an acceptance letter or email from the client should be also  provided with the MP agreement.

Exceptionally, the MP Advisor can be changed at a later date upon motivated request from the student, but no later than the beginning of Fall semester, year 2.

  • Protocol Review

In addition, if you plan to conduct research on human subjects and your results will be made public in any way, then you may need Institutional Review Board (IRB) to review and approve your protocol. If your research protocol requires IRB approval, and that you intend to conduct research in the summer, we strongly encourage you to submit the request form in April because the protocol review process can be time consuming. More information on IRB can be found here.

Currently, DKU does not have an animal facility or ongoing animal research projects. That said, if you do plan to conduct research that involves handling animal subjects, then you may need the Duke Kunshan University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to review and approve the protocol. In this case, we encourage you to have a thorough discussion with your Advisor and also reach out to Professor Chia-Chien Chen (, the IACUC Chair in advance.

  • Some MPs may require extra expenses to result in the best possible product, such as travel expenses to attend conferences or conduct field research. We strongly encourage you to work closely with your Advisor and Client (if applicable), who might support some of the incurred costs.
  • In addition, the Guo Tingting Scholarship iMEP Master Project Award provides limited funding to further support your MP research.
  • Most students choose to conduct field research or do an internship (including research internship with a faculty) during the summer.
  • Should you decided to do a client-based project, we encourage you to do an internship with your client during the summer, though not mandatory. If you do start an internship, you would need to sign an internship agreement with your employer before you start, and submit an internship report at the beginning of the second Fall semester. For more inforation, please see internship policies and procedures here
Fall Semester, Year 2
  • Our program offers two MP courses to help you conduct research and prepare your manuscript. The MP course instructors (Professor Coraline Goron at DKU and Professor Jackson Ewing at Duke University) are great sources in addition to your MP Advisor.
  • The MP1 course is designed to offer guidance and resources to students for conceiving of, designing, and completing the initial steps of their MPs.
  • Students are expected to attend classes,to hand in every assignment by the deadline, and to develop their project by sharing in their expertise, knowledge, and critically constructive feedback with your peers in the class. For more information, please see MP courses.
  • Students are expected to continute working closely with your MP Advisor throughout the semester. It is strongly suggested that students meet with your MP Advisor at least every two weeks to discuss your research progress, and continue working on your project following the plan of goals, deadlines and meetings you worked out with your advisor.
  • Work plan

Early during the fall semester of year 2, after securing approval from the MP Advisor, you need to submit your final work plan describing the shape of their project to the iMEP Program Coordinator at DKU. After that date, it is no longer possible to change supervisor and students should refrain from introducing major changes to their MP topic. You can find more information about the submission of your work plan here.

  • Mid-term Report

By Week 11, you need to submit to the program coordinator a Mid-term Report or preliminary draft of your MP, with a minimum of 3,000 words. Due to the wide variety of projects, the specific contents of the report are tailored to each project and are agreed upon with the MP Advisor. If the project involves a client, the report must present the strategy adopted to satisfy the client’s needs. If the project involves empirical research, the report must describe the method used to collect and analyze it. You can find more information about the submission of your Mid-term Report here.

  • Mid-term Report committee presentation

You are also required to present your Mid-term Report to a Mid-term Report review committee, composed of the MP Advisor(s), the MPI and MPII course instructors. An external reviewer may be invited by the MP Advisor. It takes place early December. Only projects that pass the review committee can validate the MPI course.

Spring Semester, Year 2
  • Most students will spend the spring semester of their second year at Duke University in Durham, attending the MP II course in person
  • Students who remain at DKU during the spring semester of their second year will attend the MP II course remotely.
  • While at Duke University, students will maintain long-distance communication with their Advisor, as well as their client for client-based projects.
  • Students will produce an 8,500-11,500-word long (12 pt, Times New Roman, 1.5 spaced) policy memo or research paper. Students should indicate the word count on the cover page (see template in annex).
  • The first MP draft is submitted to the iMEP Coordinator at Duke through the draft submission page on 17 March 2023.
  • A revised draft is submitted in the same manner on 7 April 2023.
  • iMEP students will record their MP presentation and submit the recording through the submission page by April 12. The recording will be shared with the MP Advisor(s), Professor Ewing, and the client (if applicable). Feedback from the MP Advisor(s) will be provided.
  • Students will participate in the Nicholas School Master's Project Symposium on April 13 & 14, along with MEM, MF, and DEL students. MP Symposium presentations will be 15 minutes with 5 minutes for Q&A by audience members.
  • Following the presentation, students will submit their final MP Paper on April 28 2023. The final copy must be submitted in electronic (PDF) through the Final MP Submission page.
  • Students must also submit an electronic MP Submission Form (Qualtrics form) by this date (A link will be provided by the submission date).
  • When the student submits their electronic MP Submission Form, the student’s MP advisor will receive a MP Advisor Approval Form (Qualtrics form) through email, which they must submit to record the official approval of the student’s MP.
  • For any questions on the MP submission process, please contact iMEP Program Coordinator at Duke.
  • Students who receive approval from their MP Advisor are eligible to submit their MP to the DukeSpace Library Archive, where there is a collection specifically for iMEP MPs.
  • More information on the requirements for submission to the DukeSpace Library Archive, and on submission processes, are found in Annex VI of this guidebook.