- Students who engage in undergraduate research benefit from a wide rage of personal and professional gains, including an increased ability to think analytically (Ishiyama, 2002), defining/refining research, and career interests, and enhanced confidence (Ishiyama, 2002). Promoting undergraduate participation in research also benefits faculty members (i.e. by enhancing research productivity; Hall et al. 2018) and the institution (i.e. by promoting student retention (Ishimyama, 2002).
At Oregon State University, we have many formal programs that encourage participation in undergraduate research. However, there are few opportunities for the administrators of these programs to collaborate and share best practices (e.g. recruitment and marketing strategies, timelines, and compensation). I studied each undergraduate research program at OSU to examine the challenges that program administrators face and to help increase communication between programs. I created and distributed a survey to administrators from each undergraduate research program to get feedback on challenges and assess what sort of event would help improve undergraduate research programming at OSU.
Survey results indicated that program administrators recognized general challenges, including lack of time/money, challenges related to equity/inclusion, institutional communication, and recruitment. We found a common perception that communication/collaboration between those who facilitate undergraduate research programs across OSU could be improved. Results provided insight on the event types program administrators would like to participate in. The next step is to design our event, called “Undergraduate Research Liaisons Gathering,” for May 12th, 2020.
Hall, E. E., Walkington, H., Shanahan, J. O., Ackley, E., & Stewart, K. A. (2018). Mentor perspectives on the place of undergraduate research mentoring in academic identity and career development: An analysis of award winning mentors. International Journal for Academic Development, 23(1), 15-27.
Ishiyama J. (2002). Does early participation in undergraduate students benefit social science and humanities students? Journal of College Students, 36(3): 380-386.