Article Teaser: Faculty Perceptions of Undergraduate Research

In our final article teaser leading to the launch of the inaugural issue of PURM on Friday, we’ll just let our authors speak for themselves:

“Although much research has examined students’ experiences conducting undergraduate research, faculty members’ experiences with and perceptions of undergraduate research have not been examined in as much depth. It is vitally important to examine faculty experiences because they are the individuals who supervise the students. Students will not experience the numerous benefits of undergraduate research if faculty members cannot or will not supervise them. Little empirical research has examined faculty members’ actual experiences supervising undergraduate research, including how many students they supervise, how long they spend with their undergraduate researchers, how the research partnership starts, etc. More research is needed on the actual experiences that faculty have.

For example, how many students do faculty members supervise in a year? Do they think that number is too high or too low? How much time do faculty members spend with each undergraduate researcher? Are they satisfied with the amount of time they spend in undergraduate research supervision? Are faculty members working with teams of students or individuals? What prevents faculty from creating research teams? Do research teams save time or create more work for the faculty member? How many products (publications, presentations) emerge from undergraduate research collaborations, and are faculty satisfied with the number and quality of those products?”

How would you respond to their questions? What’s typical for your institution?

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