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Interim Reports

SFP requires students to submit two interim reports over the summer. The purpose of these reports is: 1) to help you focus on the goals of your project and your progress toward those goals; 2) to provide a basis for discussions with your mentor and co-mentor; 3) to help provide a framework for the final paper. We encourage you to use the reports as a tool to practice and strengthen your technical writing skills.

Guidelines for each report are below. Mentors may have other suggestions and ideas for material that should be incorporated into these reports.

Interim reports should be submitted to your SFP Online account. Your mentor will then receive a message that it is ready for their approval. The reports must be approved online by the mentor (not the co-mentor).

First Interim Report:

  • Write in some detail the motivation for your project. It should include background and an overview of the ongoing work in the research group. You should include references.
  • Discuss the problem you are working on and explain how it fits into the ongoing work. Explain your approach and outline the methods you have been using or expect to use.
  • Discuss the work you have done on your project. What progress have you made?
  • What are the challenges and problems you have met so far? What challenges and problems do you anticipate moving forward?

Second Interim Report:

  • Discuss the work you have completed over the past month. (Describe your experiments, progress on data analysis, etc.) Include exact technical specifications and quantities and source or method of preparation for work you have done thus far. You should present the methods in chronological order if possible.
  • Discuss the progress of your work so far. What observations have you made? Describe how your observations are (or are not) in line with what you expected.
  • Describe any problems you have encountered. What was the source of the problem, and how have you worked (or how are you working) on solving the problem(s)?
  • What are your research goals for the remainder of the project? Have these goals changed since you started working on your project?

Please note that you do not have to have *successful* outcomes in order to write these reports. It is okay to report what you have done, what are the results (good or not good), and how you plan to move forward.

If you have any questions, please contact the Student-Faculty Programs office.