Reference List Entry:

Kneale, Pauline, Andrew Edwards-Jones, Helen Walkington, and Jennifer Hill. 2016. "Evaluating undergraduate research conferences as vehicles for novice researcher development." International Journal for Researcher Development 7 (2): 159-177.

About this Journal Article:

This paper assesses the significance of participation in undergraduate research conferences on students’ attitudes and professional development, including the development of graduate attributes. The paper positions the undergraduate research conference as an authentic learning context using the theory of situated learning. The authors interviewed 90 undergraduate students at research conferences, and analyzed their responses using the Researcher Development Framework. Students reported that paper presentations, poster presentations, and the overall conference experience were particularly valuable to their skill development. Two of these skills were public engagement and communication, which the authors note are routinely sought after by employers. The authors also offered some suggestions to conference organizers in order to maximize skill development, including providing dedicated networking time within the program.