A Student-Centered, Expanded Approach to the Undergraduate Research Experience

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Student involvement in faculty research is on the rise because it serves at least three sets of interests: (1) students' desire to build their résumés and develop close relationships with faculty members; (2) faculty members' hope of getting research support from bright, attentive assistants; and (3) universities' wish to publicize these opportunities to incoming student and faculty cohorts. At times, faculty members may come to see their undergraduate researchers as a source of inexpensive but high-quality labor, forgetting that they are students who are at the university to learn critical skills. In this article, I make the case for a student-centered approach to the undergraduate research experience (URE), which combines a traditional apprenticeship with a curriculum in the what, why, and how of research and expands the program over multiple semesters, supporting a team of student apprentices. I argue that this approach meets more of students' goals while also supporting faculty and university interests. I describe the multi-semester URE that I have developed and provide tools to faculty members who want to adapt this program to their home institution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-468
Number of pages6
JournalPS - Political Science and Politics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 13 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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