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Collaborative research for novice undergraduates.

[No authors listed]



Undergraduate students may be attracted to science by exposure to basic laboratory research. A summer research experience as an apprentice in a scientist's laboratory can be effective in this regard, but the pool of willing scientists is often too limited to accommodate large numbers of students in such environments. The proposed project will use a 10-week summer research program based at Georgia State University in Atlanta to test the hypothesis that a collaborative learning experience in a dedicated teaching laboratory will positively affect student outcomes to the same or greater degree than traditional research apprenticeships. Every year for four years, the Research Team will partner with local programs to recruit and admit undergraduate students from institutions nationwide to participate in the study, with focus on students from underrepresented groups (i.e. xxx). Program logistics deemed effective in pilot studies would be replicated in the proposed project, including recruitment, stipends, housing, and transportation. By conducting hypothesis-driven education research, we will fill a critical gap in current knowledge about the effectiveness of interventions intended to interest, motivate, and prepare students for research careers in the biomedical sciences, with particular focus on students from underrepresented groups. In order to test our hypothesis, we will adapt, develop, and/or validate quantitative and qualitative assessment tools. Self-efficacy surveys will reveal student beliefs about their abilities to study science, conduct scientific research, and succeed in science-related careers. Mastery quizzes will probe acquisition of basic science content knowledge and process skills. Laboratory observations, participant and mentor interviews, focus group discussions, and assessment of research presentations will describe how, why, and for which participant subgroups the summer research program is effective. Long-term follow-up will be conducted yearly through 2016 to determine the impact of the research experience on long-term achievement and career decisions, with achievement defined as course grades and standardized pre-professional test scores, and career decisions defined as choice of science-related courses, majors, pre-professional tests, and post-baccalaureate academic or professional positions. By the end of the project, we will have identified components of undergraduate research programs that foster the progress of a diverse student population toward careers in biomedical and behavioral research.

Other Details

  • Affiliation: Georgia State U
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Funding Mechanism: RFA-GM-08-005
  • Keyword: Achievement
  • Other Investigators: Britner&DeHaan&Demetrikopoulos&Goode&Pecore&Williams,Brian&Chris&John&Melissa&Robert&Shari
  • Primary Investigator: Frantz Kyle