HomeEngaged Learning Resources Undergraduate Research Share: Section NavigationSkip section navigationIn this sectionDefinition What Makes it High-Impact Research-Informed Practices Embedded and Emerging Questions Key Scholarship Model Programs Related Blog Posts Featured Resources References Definition The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) defines undergraduate research as: “An inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.” Similarly, Kinkead (2003) notes that Undergraduate Research (UR) can include scientific inquiry, creative activity, and scholarship that produces original work. Defining Characteristics of UR: UR often occurs outside of class (Kinkead, 2003) and enhances classroom learning (Salsman et al., 2013). It typically occurs over a long period of time (Zimbardi & Myatt, 2012).UR involves a mentor who is usually a faculty member. Mentors can also be graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, or upper-level undergraduate peer mentors (Webber, Nelson Laird, & BrckaLorenz, 2013). The mentor guides the student in this experience, sometimes using an apprenticeship model (Laursen, Seymour, & Hunter, 2012) or as co-learners or explorers (Vandermaas-Peeler, Miller, & Peeples, 2015).Students are actively engaged in research rather than passively receiving research. Further, the answers to the research question or creative pathway are typically unknown to either student or mentor (Zimbardi & Myatt, 2012). The results or product are usually disseminated (Salsman et al., 2013). Back to Top What makes it a high-impact practice? UR is a high-impact practice because it involves deep learning and can benefit students across disciplines (Brewer, Dewhurst, & Doran, 2012; Craney et al., 2011; Kilgo, Ezell Sheets, & Pascarella, 2015; Kuh, 2008). Studies on student and faculty perceptions as well as student performance on skill tests show that UR benefits students in many ways. Undergraduate research increases academic skills, including: Research skills. These include science, math, logic, and problem-solving skills (Bauer & Bennett, 2003) and experimental skills like design, data collection, data analysis, understanding of limitations, and research ethics (John & Creighton, 2012; Russell, Hancock, & McCullough, 2007). Students also learn how to seek out and consume the relevant literature and learn the disciplinary language (Bauer & Bennett, 2003).Communication skills. Students improve their oral, written, and visual communication skills (Bauer & Bennett, 2003).Critical thinking. Students show gains in their critical thinking skills (Kilgo, Ezell Sheets, & Pascarella, 2015; Kuh et al., 2007; Laursen, Seymour, & Hunter, 2012). Undergraduate research positively affects professional growth and development, as it: Provides a stronger sense of professional identity, such as “feeling like a scientist” (Laursen, Seymour, & Hunter, 2012; Seymour, Hunter, Laursen, & Deantoni, 2004).Connects students to a community of practice, including the mentor, other faculty, and professionals outside of the university (John & Creighton, 2012; Seymour, Hunter, Laursen, & Deantoni, 2004).Encourages the ability to persist even if faced with setbacks (Hu, Kuh, & Gayles, 2007; Lopatto, 2007).Increases interest in graduate school and pursuing doctoral degrees (Bauer & Bennett, 2003; Russell, Hancock, & McCullough, 2007)Predicts graduate school success (Gilmore, Vieyra, Timmerman, Feldon, & Maher, 2015; Nnadozie, Ishiyama, & Chon, 2001).Helps with career and academic major clarification (Yaffe, Bender, & Sechrest, 2014; Seymour et al., 2004). Undergraduate research positively influences psychosocial development, since it: Increases confidence and self-efficacy and need for cognition (enjoying deep thinking, Kilgo, Sheets, & Pascarella, 2015)Increases intercultural competence (Giedt, Gokcek, & Ghosh, 2015; Kilgo et al., 2015). University research also increases affinity for the university as it: Increases student retention by making students feel more connected to their educational experience (Kinkead, 2003).Increases personal satisfaction with undergraduate experience in general (Bauer & Bennett, 2005). Back to Top Research-Informed Practices The institution should have a culture that is supportive of UR (Baker et al., 2015; Kuh, 1995). The Council on Undergraduate Research outlined what institutions can do to support high quality UR when they released a report titled: the Characteristics of Excellence in Undergraduate Research (COEUR, Hensel, 2012). At the level of the student and mentor, UR should: Involve mutual engagement in research by both faculty and studentsStudents are active participants who gain a sense of ownership over the project (John & Creighton, 2012; Shanahan et al., 2015).Students are involved in all aspects of the research process so that they have the ability to develop skills in multiple areas (Kuh & O’Donell, 2013).Students gain a sense of belonging to a community of practice by engaging with others in the discipline (John & Creighton, 2012; Seymour, Hunter, Laursen, & Deantoni, 2004; Shanahan et al., 2015).Include a quality mentoring relationship that includes dedicated one-on-one time and clear expectations for students (Craney et al., 2011; Kilgo, Ezell Sheets, & Pascarella, 2015; Lopatto, 2007; Olin Shanahan et al., 2015; Taraban, & Logue, 2012).UR is a scaffolded experience where students are first taught key skills, moving toward autonomy in later parts of the endeavor (Bauer & Bennett, 2003; Gilmore et al., 2015; Laursen, Seymour, & Hunter, 2012; Shanahan et al., 2015).At the same time, faculty should also pay attention to psychosocial needs (Vandermaas-Peeler, Miller, & Peeples, 2015).Mentors can use ten salient practices to develop a high-quality mentoring pedagogy (Walkington et al., 2020; Walkington et al., 2018; Shanahan et al., 2015).Occur over a lengthy period of time, often over multiple semesters or a summer (Bauer & Bennett, 2003; Gilmore et al., 2015; Johnson et al., 2015; Salsman et al., 2013; Zimbardi & Myatt, 2012). The more time students spend on research, the more they benefit (Salsman et al., 2015; Taraban & Logue, 2012).Engage students in an authentic research question or creative endeavor. The answer to the research question or the creative path is unknown (Laursen, Seymour, & Hunter, 2012; Zimbardi & Myatt, 2012). This must be a “real research question” that is also accessible to students (John & Creighton, 2013; Laursen, Seymour, & Hunter, 2012). At the institutional level, UR should involve: A supportive campus mission and culture (e.g., Committed faculty and institution, broad disciplinary participation)Administrative support (e.g., Faculty reassigned time, UR program office, travel funding)Research infrastructure (e.g., Space, equipment, library resources)Professional development opportunities (e.g., Research leaves, mentorship training)Recognition (e.g., Promotion and tenure, faculty awards, salary reviews)External fundingDisseminationStudent-centered issues (e.g., Opportunities for early involvement, peer mentoring opportunities)Curriculum (e.g., Student course credit for research, course scheduling (e.g., double-prep), and managing faculty teaching loads)A summer research program (e.g., Student and faculty compensation, symposia)Program assessmentStrategic planning Back to Top Embedded and Emerging Questions for Research, Practice, and Theory Under-researched aspects Inter-disciplinary research. Different disciplines lead to different UR experiences (e.g., basic versus applied research questions), but mixed models can also occur within disciplines (Zimbardi & Myatt, 2014) or in interdisciplinary areas (Lopatto, 2010). Interdisciplinary research can promote integrative thinking and can move students and faculty away from disciplinary “silos” (Davis et al., 2015; Zimbardi & Myatt, 2014). How does UR look in interdisciplinary fields?Consortia. Crossing disciplinary boundaries is important, as is promoting collaborations across university campuses. How do UR collaboratives across campuses in the same university consortium work and can they expose students to new ideas and experiences (Gagliardi et al., 2015)?Promoting diversity. Interactions with faculty can aid student learning in under-represented groups and in some cases underrepresented students make more academic gains than controls (Lopatto, 2007; Lundberg & Schreiner, 2004). How can institutions encourage participation in UR from historically under-represented groups (Behar-Horenstein, Roberts, & Dix, 2010; Ishiyama, 2007; Kinkead, 2003; Nnadozie et al., 2001)?Supply/demand. Are universities meeting the UR demands of students (Laursen, Seymour, & Hunter, 2012)? CURE (Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience) may expose more students to UR but more research needs to be done on CUREs’ effectiveness and feasibility (Lopatto, 2010; Lopatto et al., 2014; Shanahan et al., 2015). How can UR be accomplished online and how does it affect learning outcomes (Shanahan et al., 2015)?Social sciences and humanities. There is a lot of research on STEM disciplines, but more UR research is needed in the social sciences and particularly the humanities (Craney et al., 2011; Davis et al., 2015; Ishiyama, 2002). Controversies Faculty support. Some faculty are compensated for UR and others are not (Baker et al., 2015), and some faculty are hesitant to take part in UR because of a lack of time (Johnson et al., 2015; Laursen, Seymour, & Hunter, 2012; Vandermaas-Peeler, Miller, & Peeples, 2015). How can we give faculty the time to engage in UR while also rewarding them for their efforts?Recognition. In some schools UR is valued more than others in the promotion and tenure process (Baker et al., 2015; Johnson et al., 2015; Laursen, Seymour, & Hunter, 2012). Many institutions struggle with ways to evaluate faculty work in UR (Evans, 2010). How can UR mentoring be evaluated and recognized?Teaching or scholarship. There is a tension between whether UR is scholarship for faculty or an educational experience for students (Laursen, Seymour, & Hunter, 2012). This relates to the difficult balance between having students engage in authentic research questions developed in collaboration with faculty or having them design their own research question (Behar-Horenstein, Roberts, & Dix, 2010; Zimbardi & Myatt, 2014). Is one approach better than the other or do both work in different contexts or with different students?GPAs. There is a tension between choosing students with high GPAs versus students with lower GPAs (Taraban & Logue, 2012). Generally, surveys show that most students who engage in UR are those with higher grades (Webber, Laird, BrckaLorenz, 2013). Is the goal of UR to help honors students get into graduate school or to help less high-achieving students get the most out of their undergraduate degrees?Team Mentoring. In some disciplines there is a team approach to mentoring. Teams can allow undergraduates to talk with many people working on the research task and can promote a community of practice (John & Creighton, 2012; Shanahan et al., 2015). However, undergraduate students can also feel second-best to graduate students who often get the mentor’s attention (Lopatto, 2007; Webber, Laird, BrckaLorenz, 2013). How can undergraduates get the most out of their UR experiences in team environments?Direct versus indirect research measures. Much of the research has focused on self-reported attitudes and beliefs rather than more direct/behavioral measures (e.g., what specifically do good mentors actually do; what skills do students actually possess pre- and post- experience, Gilmore et al., 2015; Ishiyama, 2002). Finding a way to assess students across different research projects or different disciplines is difficult. Most researchers rely on a more indirect assessment of student learning, particularly when it comes to measuring psychosocial development (e.g., attitude toward research, maturity, Lopatto, 2007). Boundaries or Intersections Undergraduate research can move beyond the campus and enter more applied settings via community-based studies and study abroad. Another interesting intersection is with learning communities. Students live on campus with other students who are also engaging in UR, creating a community of practice on campus. Community-Based UR and Study Abroad UR:Moving away from campus can make the research “messier and less predictable” and can require a lot of pre-planning (Gustafson & Cureton, 2014, p. 59). Critical reflection and the ability to be flexible are key (Gustafson & Cureton, 2014; Houser, Cahill, & Lemmons, 2014).Community-based undergraduate research that clearly brings student learning off-campus can help students apply theory to the real world (Cooke & Thorme, 2011; Gustafson & Cureton, 2013). Students will often work with a community partner on a research project. Students will need to learn skills in maintaining that partnership over time (Cooke & Thorme, 2011).More students are engaging in UR while abroad than ever before (Giedt, Gokcek, & Ghosh, 2015). In some cases, the students study abroad on their own while the mentor remains on campus. The distance from the mentor can pose logistical challenges, and students also need to work to find time for their research (Gustafson & Cureton, 2013). In other models, students and faculty conduct research together while abroad. Here, students may come from the home institution of the faculty member or have been recruited at the national level as occurs in international Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs). While more research needs to be done on international UR, it appears that students benefit from these experiences in much the same way as they do at home (e.g., learning how to conduct scientific experiment). Some of the same challenges from on-campus UR still exist (e.g., wanting more time with mentor, Gustafson & Cureton, 2013; Houser, Cahill, & Lemmons, 2014). There are also unique benefits to international UR, like linguistic and cross-cultural competence (Giedt, Gokcek, & Ghosh, 2015).UR Learning Communities: On-campus opportunities for engaging more students in research can happen in learning communities. One university exposed first-year students to research through a learning community where each faculty member worked with one or two students (Kaul & Pratt, 2010). All students met regularly with faculty mentors, accomplished assigned research tasks, took part in a 1 credit hour course with peers, and provided a tangible outcome at the end of the semester (e.g., oral presentation). Students also attended faculty-led research presentations. UR Learning Communities provide students with a community of practice that encourages deep engagement and inquiry and often gets students involved in UR much earlier in their undergraduate careers. Back to Top Key Scholarship Bauer, Karen W., and Joan S. Bennett. 2003. “Alumni perceptions used to assess undergraduate research experience.” The Journal of Higher Education 74: 210-230. https://doi.org/10.1353/jhe.2003.0011.More InformationAbout this Journal Article:Past studies have examined current students’ perceptions of UR. These authors asked University of Delaware alumni about their participation in a number of campus activities, including UR. They were asked to rate whether their skills were enhanced because of their undergraduate degree on 32 items (e.g., write effectively, use statistics or math formulas, carry out research, maintain openness to new ideas, etc.). Some participants had participated in the university’s formal UR program (URP alumni), some stated they had engaged in UR but were not in the formal program (self-reported UR), and some had not engaged in UR (non-research alumni). URP alumni reported the most benefits from engaging in UR when compared to the other two groups, particularly for those who had completed a senior thesis. Both research groups stated that they were better able to carry out research than the non-research alumni group, with the highest scores from the URP alumni. URP alumni also scored higher than non-research alumni on other skills like intellectual curiosity, acquiring information independently, acting as a leader, and speaking effectively. For all alumni who engaged in research, those who participated for longer expressed greater benefit from the experience. UR had clear benefits for students as measured by their attitudes and self-reported skills. Gilmore, Joanna, Michelle Vieyra, Briana Timmerman, David Feldon, and Michelle Maher. 2015. “The relationship between undergraduate research participation and subsequent research performance of early career STEM graduate students.” The Journal of Higher Education 86: 834-863.More InformationAbout this Journal Article:While many studies on the benefits of UR have used self-report measures, this study used research skill performance in graduate school as its main measure. All students were first year graduate students in a STEM program. They wrote research proposals at the beginning and end of their first year of graduate school. Some of these students had engaged in UR as undergraduates and some had not. Two trained raters independently evaluated the proposals using a pre-established rubric (composed of four subscales) and inter-rater reliability was high. On the pre-proposal, students with UR experience outperformed those without UR experience on 3 of the 4 subscales (Data Presentation, Results, Total Score). On the post-proposal, students with UR also outperformed the other group on all parts of the rubric except Introduction and Context. The authors underscored the importance of UR for successful graduate school performance. Hill, Jennifer, and Helen Walkington. 2016. “Developing Graduate Attributes through Participation in Undergraduate Research Conferences.” Journal of Geography in Higher Education 40 (2): 222-237. https://doi.org/10.1080/03098265.2016.1140128.More InformationAbout this Journal Article:This article examines students’ experiences at a national undergraduate research conference in an effort to understand the development of graduate attributes, which are the framework of skills, attitudes, values and knowledge that graduates ought to have developed by the end of their degrees. The research takes a largely qualitative approach, using semi-structured interviews to collect data. The authors explain that research on graduate attributes is relevant because there is a growing, international conversation about the purpose and characteristics of higher education, and that it is becoming ever more important for institutions to justify their social roles to students. This article focuses on a case study of 22 Geography, Earth and Environmental Science (GEES) graduates, and forms part of a larger study on interdisciplinary graduate attributes. Additionally, the authors split the attributes they analyzed into five categories: communication; research and inquiry skills; personal and intellectual autonomy; ethical, social, and professional understanding; and information literacy. Notably, the authors found that the conference provided a safe and supportive, while also challenging, context for students to develop these skills. This research highlights the importance of opportunities to develop such skills outside of formal disciplinary curricula. Hill, Jennifer, Helen Walkington, and Derek France. 2016. “Graduate attributes: implications for higher education practice and policy.” Journal of Geography in Higher Education 40 (2): 155-163. https://doi.org/10.1080/03098265.2016.1154932.More InformationAbout this Journal Article:This article offers an overview of existing higher education literature on and attitudes towards the development of graduate attributes, while introducing the papers which comprised a symposium on this research context. One issue the authors discuss is the extent of the connection between what academic staff set up for students in terms of skill development and how much students actually experience. The authors also note the importance of students accepting agency in the process of developing their own graduate attributes, rather than letting the system determine their identities. In their conclusion, the authors emphasize that regardless of inconsistencies in teaching and assessing graduate attributes, they play a valuable role in enhancing learning and connecting learning to work beyond students’ academic careers. Ketcham, Caroline J., Eric E. Hall, and Paul C. Miller. 2017. “Co-Mentoring Undergraduate Research: Student, Faculty and Institutional Perspectives.” Perspectives on Undergraduate Research and Mentoring 6 (1). http://blogs.elon.edu/purm/files/2017/10/final_Ketcham-Hall-Miller_main.pdf.More InformationAbout this Journal Article:This article outlines the benefits and challenges of co-mentoring for students, faculty mentors, and institutions. The authors themselves have several years of experience co-mentoring undergraduate research projects, and offer insights they have gained through those projects. The authors present the co-mentoring model they have developed and a practical guide to co-mentoring, incorporating salient practices of mentoring undergraduate research. In their conclusion, the authors note that a lot of work needs to happen to foster co-mentoring relationships, but if that happens, they can be extremely beneficial to all involved parties. Kinkead, Joyce. 2003. “Learning through inquiry: An overview of undergraduate research.” New Directions for Teaching and Learning 93: 5-17.More InformationAbout this Journal Article:Kinkead (2003) defined UR, explored its importance in the undergraduate experience, and identified key UR programs at various institutions. She noted that although the elite students (honors) are typically engaged in UR, at risk and underrepresented students also benefit from engaging in UR. Kinkead (2003) also discussed institutional UR issues like administration, funding, and resources. 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. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJRD-10-2015-0026.More InformationAbout 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. Lopatto, David. 2007. “Undergraduate research experiences support science career decisions and active learning.” CBE-Life Sciences Education 6: 297-306. https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.07-06-0039.More InformationAbout this Journal Article:Students engaging in summer research completed the SURE (Survey of Undergraduate Research Experiences) and an altered version again 9 months later to see if their perceptions changed over time. Students reported similar gains on both surveys on items like understanding of the research process and readiness for more demanding research. Some participants engaged in summer research programs away from their home institutions. These students reported higher scores on clarifying their career path, science writing skills, and self-confidence. These students were also more likely to finish their research project in the summer when compared to students who stayed at their own campus. Minority students reported similar gains (if not greater gains) than other students. Further, a comparison of summer survey and follow-up survey results showed that student perceptions were stable over time. The author concluded with a discussion of methodological issues in UR research. Lopatto, David. 2010. “Undergraduate research as a high-impact student experience.” Peer Review 12.More InformationAbout this Journal Article:Lopatto (2010) described the benefits of UR and that standardized measures of those benefits can be accomplished using online assessments like the SURE survey. He also discussed the importance of a research community that can include peer mentors. The author also focused on the importance of integrating UR into the curriculum during the academic year. One potential model is CURE. He concluded with a discussion of future directions that includes interdisciplinary research. Nicholson, Brittany A., Meagan Pollock, Caroline J. Ketcham, Heather M. Fitz Gibbon, Evan D. Bradley, and Michelle Bata. 2017. “Beyond the Mentor-Mentee Model: A Case for Multi-Mentoring in Undergraduate Research.” Perspectives on Undergraduate Research and Mentoring 6 (1). http://blogs.elon.edu/purm/files/2017/10/Nicholson_et_al_6.1.pdf.More InformationAbout this Journal Article:In this paper, the authors argue that multi-mentoring can be applied in a global, interdisciplinary context to undergraduate research, and make the case for moving beyond the traditional one-to-one model as the default for inquiry into undergraduate research practices. The paper includes descriptions of relevant multi-mentoring and co-mentoring models, and offers suggestions for implementing multi- and co-mentoring practices to advance the undergraduate experience. In their conclusion, the authors note that institutions will need to assist faculty mentors in overcoming some of the challenges that accompany starting out with multi-mentoring. Olin Shanahan, Jenny, Elizabeth Ackley-Holbrook, Eric Hall, Kearsley Stewart, and Helen Walkington. 2015. “Ten salient practices of undergraduate research mentors: A review of the literature.” Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning 23: 359-376. https://doi.org/10.1080/13611267.2015.1126162.More InformationAbout this Journal Article:The authors conducted a literature review that focused on UR mentors’ practices. They wanted to know what effective mentorship looks like, because mentorship is the basis for successful UR. They described ten salient mentoring practices: strategic pre-planning; clear and well-scaffolded expectations; teach technical skills, method, and techniques; balance rigorous expectations with emotional support; build community among team members; dedicate time to one-on-one mentoring; increase student ownership over time; support student professional development; create opportunities for peer-mentoring; and guide students through dissemination. Russell, Susan H., Mary P. Hancock, and James McCullough. 2007. “Benefits of undergraduate research experiences.” Science 316: 548-549.More InformationAbout this Journal Article:The authors’ paper focused on UR in the sciences and included surveys of 15,000 students and mentors. They found that UR students are demographically diverse, are mostly juniors and seniors, have higher GPAs, and are more likely to want to obtain a higher degree than non-researchers. The authors described several positive outcomes of engaging in UR, including increased confidence and a clarified interest in STEM. Seymour, Elaine, Anne B. Hunter, Sandra L. Laursen, and Tracee Deantoni. 2004. “Establishing the benefits of research experiences for undergraduates in the sciences: First findings from a three year study.” Science Education 88: 493-534. https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.10131.More InformationAbout this Journal Article:The authors studied the costs and benefits of engaging in UR. The student participants were engaged in a summer research program for rising seniors at one of four liberal arts institutions. Students were positive about their experiences. The largest reported gains were in confidence at working as a scientist. Students noted that their research and problem-solving skills were enhanced as was their disciplinary knowledge. Many students also discussed large improvement in their communication and lab skills. Students valued the time with their mentors as well as working with other colleagues. Several also gained clarity regarding their career pathway and felt better prepared for graduate school. The authors also discussed their plans for further research with these data. Shanahan, Jenny Olin, Helen Walkington, Elizabeth Ackley, Eric E. Hall, and Kearsley A. Stewart. 2017. “Award-Winning Mentors See Democratization as the Future of Undergraduate Research.” CUR Quarterly 37 (4): 4-11. https://doi.org/10.18833/curq/37/4/14.More InformationAbout this Journal Article:In this article, the authors set out to identify likely future trends for undergraduate research (UR) in the next five to ten years. This research is important for the field because it can help faculty and administrators consider how they plan to allocate resources to ensure equitable and high-quality UR mentoring in the future. The authors conducted a literature review and interviews with faculty who have won awards for their commitment to and expertise of UR. Their two main findings are as follows. First, UR will likely see greater democratization in terms of greater access to opportunities for students from historically-underserved groups, students from nontraditional populations, and students with average academic performance histories. And second, mentor-mentee relationships are expected to strengthen across national and international borders as online communication capacities continue to advance. Curricula redesigns that incorporate inquiry-based learning may also facilitate greater participation in UR. Taraban, Roman, and Erin Rogue. 2012. “Academic factors that affect undergraduate research experiences.” Journal of Educational Psychology 104: 499-514. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026851.More InformationAbout this Journal Article:These researchers used the Undergraduate Research Questionnaire (URQ) to assess the cognitive benefits of engaging in UR. The URQ’s subscales are Academic Mindset, Research Mindset, Research Methods, Faculty Support, and Peer Support. Biology and psychology students participated in the study. More research hours and lab course credits were related with higher enthusiasm for research. The frequency of faculty hours also mattered. More hours meeting with faculty was related to higher scores on Research Mindset and Research Methods. GPA also predicted scores on all five subscales, indicating that students with higher GPAs benefited more than those with lower GPAs. The authors conclude that we need to pay attention to student differences in UR. Walkington, Helen, Jennifer Hill, and Pauline E. Kneale. 2016. “Reciprocal elucidation: a student-led pedagogy in multidisciplinary undergraduate research conferences.” Higher Education Research and Development 36 (2): 416-429. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2016.1208155.More InformationAbout this Journal Article:This article investigates the benefits of attending a multidisciplinary research conference as an undergraduate researcher, focusing on student voices and self-perceptions of learning and skill development. The authors conducted 90 interviews with student conference participants over the course of three years, and found that the opportunity to present research in a setting outside of institutional or disciplinary contexts bolstered student researchers’ development of skills and confidence. The authors frame the undergraduate research conference as a threshold experience for self-authorship development, and thus such conferences are much more than just a space to present research findings. They also found that students who presented at conferences often reported a sense of unfinishedness, which challenges academics to consider ways to bring comparable experiences into the classroom, to provide space for students to develop knowledge through reciprocal dialogue. Back to Top Model Programs The National Science Foundation gave Recognition Awards for the Integration of Research and Education (RAIRE) to ten research-intensive universities: University of ArizonaUniversity of DelawareUniversity of MichiganUniversity of MissouriUniversity of OregonCarnegie Mellon UniversityDuke UniversityKansas State UniversityUniversity of California-Los AngelesThe State University of New York-Stony Brook The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has given grants to several universities to support their UR programs: Occidental CollegeClark Atlanta UniversitySpelman CollegeCollege of William and MaryAllegheny CollegeCentre CollegeCollege of WoosterScripps the Women’s College Claremont US News & World Report Ranks Colleges Based on Their Undergraduate Research Programs (2015): Amherst CollegeButler UniversityCalifornia Institute of TechnologyCarleton CollegeCarnegie Mellon UniversityColby CollegeCollege of New JerseyCollege of WoosterCreighton UniversityDartmouth CollegeDavidson CollegeDuke UniversityElon UniversityFurman UniversityHamilton CollegeHarvard UniversityHarvey Mudd CollegeHope CollegeJohns Hopkins UniversityMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyMercer UniversityMissouri University of Science and TechnologyOhio State University-ColumbusPomona CollegePrinceton UniversityRice UniversityRochester Institute of TechnologyRollins CollegeSewanee-University of the SouthSkidmore CollegeStanford UniversitySUNY-GeneseoTrinity UniversityTruman State UniversityUniversity of California-BerkeleyUniversity of California-Los AngelesUniversity of Maryland-College ParkUniversity of Michigan-Ann ArborUniversity of North Carolina-Chapel HillUniversity of RichmondUniversity of Texas-AustinUniversity of WashingtonUniversity of Wisconsin-La CrosseUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonVanderbilt UniversityVillanova UniversityWheaton CollegeWilliams CollegeYale University Back to Top Related Blog Posts Undergraduate Research: Ensuring a High-Impact and Resilient Experience for All November 12, 2020 by Helen Walkington, Elizabeth Ackley, Jenny Olin Shanahan, Kearsley Stewart, and Eric E. Hall In this retrospective, we review two seminal papers on undergraduate research (UR) written by David Lopatto (Lopatto 2003; 2010) and discuss the importance of these articles with regard to demonstrating the benefits of UR and the qualities that make it… Lessons Learned from Mentoring Undergraduate Research this Summer July 17, 2020 by Eric E. Hall, Elizabeth Bailey, Simon Higgins, Takudzwa Madzima, Svetlana Nepocatych, Matthew W. Wittstein, and Caroline J. Ketcham Salient Practices of Undergraduate Research Mentoring This past March, as universities were transitioning to distance learning, in addition to figuring out how to teach our classes remotely, many of us had to consider how to continue to support our undergraduate… Democratizing Undergraduate Research Mentoring June 30, 2020 by Eric E. Hall The last few months have been incredibly trying as we try to navigate life with COVID-19 and more recently the resurgence of #BlackLivesMatter and advocating for antiracism after a series of senseless attacks and loss of lives for many Black… View All Related Blog Posts Back to Top Featured Resources Mentoring Undergraduate Research during a Pandemic May 14, 2020 In response to shifts to online learning due to COVID-19 in spring 2020 and in anticipation of alternate models for higher education in fall 2020 and beyond, we have curated publications and online resources that can help inform programmatic and… Emerging Research and Lingering Questions about Scaling Access to Mentored Undergraduate Research January 21, 2016 Association of American Colleges and Universities 2016 Meeting | January 21, 2016 | 1:30-2:30 PM Presenters: Jessie L. Moore, Associate Director of the Center for Engaged Learning, Elon University Jenny Shanahan, Director of Undergraduate Research, Bridgewater State University Laura Behling,… Back to Top References Baker, V. L., Pifer, M. J., Lunsford, L. G., Greer, J., & Ihas, D. (2015). Faculty as mentors in undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative work: Motivating and inhibiting factors. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 23, 394-410. doi: 10.1080/13611267.2015.1126164Bauer, K. W. & Bennett, J. S. (2003). Alumni perceptions used to assess undergraduate research experience. The Journal of Higher Education, 74, 210-230. doi: 10.1353/jhe.2003.0011Behar-Horenstein, L. S., Roberts, K. W., & Dix, A. C. (2010). Mentoring undergraduate researchers: An exploratory study of students’ and professors’ perceptions. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 18, 269-291. doi: 10.1080/13611267.2010.492945Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University (1998). 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Assessment of student and faculty mentor perceptions of an international undergraduate research program in physical geography. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 38, 582-594. doi: 10.1080/03098265.2014.963527Hu, S., Kuh. G. D., & Gayles, J. G. (2007). Engaging undergraduate students in research activities: Are research universities doing a better job? Innovative Higher Education, 32, 167-177. doi: 10.1007/s10755-007-9043-yIshiyama, J. (2002). Does early participation in undergraduate research benefit social science and humanities students? College Student Journal, 36, 380-386.Ishiyama, J. (2007). Expectations and perceptions of undergraduate research mentoring: Comparing first generation, low income White/Caucasian and African American students. College Student Journal, 41, 540-549.John, J. &vCreighton, J. (2013). ‘In practice it doesn’t always work out like that.’ Undergraduate experiences in a research community of practice. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 37, 750-768. doi: 10.1080/0309877X.2012.684037Johnson, W. B., Behling, L. L., Milller, P., & Vandermaas-Peeler, M. (2015). Undergraduate research mentoring: Obstacles and opportunities. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 23, 441-453. doi: 10.1080/13611267.2015.1126167Kaul, G. & Pratt, C. (2010). Undergraduate research learning communities for first-year and lower-division students. Peer Review, 12.Kinkead, J. (2003). Learning through inquiry: An overview of undergraduate research. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 93, 5-17.Kinkead, J. & Blockus, L. (Eds.) (2012). Undergraduate Research Offices & Programs: Models and Practices. Washington, DC: Council on Undergraduate Research.Kilgo, C. A., Ezell Sheets, J. K., & Pascarella, E. T. (2015). The link between high-impact practices and student learning: Some longitudinal evidence. Higher Education, 69, 509-525. doi: 10.1007/s10734-014-9788-zKuh, G. D. (1995). 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A central support system can facilitate implementation and sustainability of a classroom-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) in genomics. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 13, 711-723. doi: 10.1187/cbe.13-10-0200Lundberg, C. A. & Schreiner, L. A. (2004). Quality and frequency of faculty-student interaction as predictors of learning: An analysis by student race/ethnicity. Journal of College Student Development, 45, 549-565. doi: 10.1353/csd.2004.0061Nnadozie, E., Ishiyama, J., & Chon, J. (2001). Undergraduate research internships and graduate school success. Journal of College Student Development, 42, 145-156.Packard, B. W., Marciano, V. N., Payne, J. M., Bledzki, L. A., & Woodard, C. T. (2014). Negotiating peer mentoring roles in undergraduate research lab settings. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 22, 433-445. doi: 10.1080/13611267.2014.983327Russell, S. H., Hancock, M. P., & McCullough, J. (2007). Benefits of undergraduate research experiences. Science, 316, 548-549.Salsman, N., Dulaney, C. L., Chinta, R., Zascavage, V., & Joshi, H. (2013). Student effort in and perceived benefits from undergraduate research. College Student Journal, 47, 202-211.Seymour, E., Hunter, A. B., Laursen, S. L., & Deantoni, T. (2004). Establishing the benefits of research experiences for undergraduates in the sciences: First findings from a three year study. Science Education, 88, 493-534. doi: 10.1002/sce.10131Shanahan, J. O., Ackley-Holbrook, E., Hall, E., Stewart, K., & Walkington, H. (2015). Ten salient practices of undergraduate research mentors: A review of the literature. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 23, 359-376. doi: 10.1080/13611267.2015.1126162Smith, P. & Rust, C. (2011). The potential of research-based learning for the creation of truly inclusive academic communities of practice. 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Striving for excellence in undergraduate research mentoring: The challenges and approaches to ten salient practices. In M. Vandermaas-Peeler, P.C. Miller and J. Moore (Eds) Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research. Council on Undergraduate Research: Washington D.C.Walkington, Helen, Kearsley A. Stewart, Eric E. Hall, Elizabeth Ackley, and Jenny Olin Shanahan. (2020). Salient practices of award-winning undergraduate research mentors– balancing freedom and control to achieve excellence. Studies in Higher Education, 45(7), 1519-1532. DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2019.1637838Webber, K. L., Nelson Laird, T. F., & BrckaLorenz, A. M. (2013). Student and faculty member engagement in undergraduate research. Research in Higher Education, 54, 227-249. doi: 10.1007/s11162-012-9280-5Yaffe, K., Bender, C., & Sechrest, L. (2014). How does undergraduate research experience impact career trajectories and level of career satisfaction: A comparative survey. Journal of College Science Teaching, 44, 25-33.Zimbardi, K. & Myatt, P. (2014). Embedding undergraduate research experiences within the curriculum: A cross-disciplinary study of the key characteristics guiding implementation. Studies in Higher Education, 39, 233-250. doi: 10.1080/03075079.2011.651448 Back to Top The Center thanks Meredith Allison for contributing the initial content for this resource.