selects and funds undergraduate research proposals aimed at addressing major issues confronting Dallas.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, proposals are reviewed by an interdisciplinary panel of faculty members, and representatives of a community foundation and the Mayor’s Office. Each year, new proposals are reviewed and funded.
You can view previous Big iDea student research proposals
that received grants, as well as their updates
and related documents, in the Big iDeas Student Research digital collection.
Examples of funded proposals from 2008 include:
“Establishing Microenterprise in the Vickery Meadow Community of Dallas.”
The proposal was to design and implement a micro-finance program within Vickery Meadow neighborhood, located near SMU and containing one of the highest density populations in Dallas (with high percentage of refugees). The team proposed methods to choose a pilot group of 20-30 Vickery Meadow residents; to provide mentoring in micro-economic enterprise; to assist in obtaining a micro-loan; and to continue to provide mentoring and monitoring.
“Breaking Linguistic Barriers”
On the premise that oral communication skills have educational impact, this proposal designed an after-school mock trial program at two DISD high schools.
“Childhood Obesity in Low-Income Dallas Neighborhoods”
The student team drew insights from an eight-week educational plan and a directed fitness program administered by the YMCA. The team then proposed to implement a similar program in a DISD elementary school with which SMU students have long had a tutoring relationship. The proposal included selecting a pilot group of 20 families that met criteria for the program. The project includes phases such as: testing participants on knowledge of healthy practices; constructing educational plans with participants; meeting with parents and students; and evaluating through assessment after designated periods of time.