The GENI thesis seminar brings together the knowledge and skills students have gained from their academic courses in the program as well as their applied research projects. Part-time students enroll over 4 semesters, while full-time students enroll over 2 semesters.
As part of the course, students draft a thesis proposal and take part in regular seminars, presenting their own texts and giving feedback to their peers. Throughout their enrollment in the course, each student must individually research and write their complete thesis, which is submitted the final assignment for the course. The thesis provides students with experience in collecting and analyzing their own material and presenting it in a coherent written and oral form.
In particular, the process of developing a topic and methodology includes the work done in IND-3012 (Research Methods and Indigenous Research Ethics) and as part of each student’s Applied Research Project (ARP). These courses must be completed before a student can submit their thesis for assessment. Students are encouraged to include data collected during their ARPs in their theses, but additional data collection should also be carried out, as necessary, through fieldwork, archival research, and secondary data and literature reviews.
Beyond seminar time, students are expected to consult regularly with their thesis supervisor(s) throughout the process of preparation, research and writing.
GENI students are expected to complete 35 ECTS worth of work on their thesis, the equivalent of over one full time semester. This work, however, can be spread out over several semesters of study, depending on the student’s course load and other responsibilities.
The GENI master’s thesis is an individually written research paper with an approximate page count of 40 - 45 pages or 12,000 - 14,000 words (excluding the bibliography).
The thesis is more scholarly in focus than the applied research project, and should include increased attention to methodology and theory where applicable.
Obligatory coursework includes a two-page thesis proposal, written or oral participation in seminars, and a draft chapter for peer review.
Depending on the character and topic of the thesis and the method of data collection, ethical issues related to research may need to be addressed. This pertains particularly to protecting the confidentiality and safety of respondents; subject consent; political issues; and researcher positioning. All students should consult with their supervisor(s) about the need to submit their research project to the Norwegian Centre for Research Data and/or USask’s Behavioural Research Ethics Board.
Because of the multidisciplinary nature of the program, there is no set style guide for citations, however students are expected to use the style of their choice consistently to ensure that credit is given for ideas as well as quotations. This should be agreed upon with the thesis supervisor(s) and specified in the supervision contract.
Students who have successfully completed the course should have achieved the following learning outcomes:
Knowledge: By the end of the course, students have acquired advanced knowledge of the methodological challenges of and multidisciplinary approaches to research of Northern and Indigenous governance and innovation.
Skills: By the end of the course, students are able to present a literature review regarding a specialized topic; find and analyze representative data; and present their own research in a coherent written and oral form. Students will also be capable of assessing academic texts presented by others and presenting critical comments, as well as addressing critical remarks by others on their own texts.
Competence: By the end of the course, students are able to develop relevant and realistic general research questions on Northern governance, entrepreneurship, resource governance and Indigenous topics in particular.
The course is taught online, through a combination of live seminars (through video conferencing) and an online Learning Management System (LMS) like Canvas.
Students will present and discuss their research progress orally during live seminars, or submit written progress reports and feedback through the LMS. The course instructor will provide instructional videos and documentation through the LMS, as well as live instruction during seminars.
Students will also submit a draft chapter for peer review, and receive feedback from their peers and the course instructor. Students submitting critiques of their peers’ work benefit from the exercise as well through sharpened writing skills and a better understanding of the overall structure and organization of a thesis.
Additionally, individual supervision is given in accordance with the contract signed between student and supervisor(s).
The learning outcomes can only be achieved through active student participation, and it is expected that the students are well prepared for each teaching unit and supervision session, in order to give constructive feedback. Students are expected to study independently in periods without seminars or lectures.
Obligatory course work
Proposal Each student is obligated to draft a two-page thesis proposal, outlining their intended thesis topic and their planned research methods, before they undertake substantial data collection. This proposal must meet with the written approval of the student’s supervisor(s).
Participation All students are required to actively participate in seminars each semester. During seminars when a draft chapter has been presented for review, each student is expected to provide substantial written and/or oral comments on the draft. Students are obligated to provide this feedback a minimum of 4 times before they submit their own thesis for assessment. During seminars when there is no draft chapter for review, all students are obligated to provide either a written or oral statement of their research progress.
Draft chapter All students are obliged to present a written chapter of their thesis for a thesis seminar. The seminar will give students the opportunity to practice commenting on an academic text written by a peer, and to gain experience answering questions about their own work.
Final assignment: Thesis
The GENI Master’s thesis is an individually written research paper with a page count of 40—45 pages or 12,000—14,000 words (excluding the bibliography).
The thesis must be submitted by 15 May.
After assessment of the written theses by reviewers, a brief oral defense will be scheduled.
The grading scale of A to F is applied, where F constitutes fail.
The course is open for re-sit examination the following semester.