- Find an undergraduate research assistant.
- Why engage undergraduates in research?
- Potential sources of faculty funding for undergraduate research opportunities
- Undergraduate research experience evaluation tools
Find an Undergraduate Research Assistant
There are a high number of undergraduate students at VCU seeking research experience in a wide variety of disciplines. If, as a VCU faculty member, you foresee an opportunity to engage an undergraduate in your research, UROP can help you publicize the position and recruit potential research assistants. To begin the process, contact your UROP coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to include:
- A brief description of your research
- A brief description of duties related to the position
- Required hours per week
- Any eligibility requirements
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Why Engage Undergraduates in Research?
- Though they may be less experienced and skilled than graduate students in your field, undergrads who seek out research work are often enthusiastic and ready to be shaped into productive, insightful workers. They provide you an opportunity to become a mentor, and perhaps impart a lifelong impression on a person just entering a productive career.
- Undergrads may bring experiences from outside your discipline into your work, and thus enrich your own perspectives.
- Undergraduate students can open possibilities for you to become more involved in the university community and its surroundings, thus helping to raise the profile of VCU as a center for active learning.
- The VCU 2020 strategic plan calls for “the development and maintenance of faculty and student learning communities, the development and maintenance of opportunities for undergraduate and graduate student interaction and research initiatives[.]” You can help move VCU toward its vision of excellence by developing opportunities for undergraduates to get research experience.]
Potential Sources of Faculty or Student Funding for Undergraduate Research Opportunities
VCU Funding Opportunities
Summer Research and Training Opportunities: VCU also has a number of student research programs that provide funding support for which students who work with you might be eligible.
National Funding Opportunties
Faculty Research Opportunities through ORAU. College and university faculty looking to liven their classroom lectures with the application of authentic laboratory research should look no further. Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) science education programs provide short- and long-term collaborations for either faculty-only or teacher-student teams with one of our world-class science and engineering partners.
Faculty Research Opportunities through ORISE. The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) administers a broad range of internships, scholarships, fellowships and research experiences. These programs are available to students and faculty at every level of education and are accessible through an extensive online catalog.[ Top of Page ]
Undergraduate Research Experience Evaluation Tools
VCU participates in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Through its student survey, The College Student Report, NSSE annually collects information at hundreds of four-year colleges and universities about student participation in programs and activities (like undergraduate research) that institutions provide for their learning and personal development. The results provide an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from attending college.
NSSE provides participating institutions a variety of reports that compare their students' responses with those of students at self-selected groups of comparison institutions. Comparisons are available for individual survey questions and the five NSSE Benchmarks of Effective Educational Practice. Each November, NSSE also publishes its Annual Results, which reports topical research and trends in student engagement results. NSSE researchers also present and publish research findings throughout the year.
If you would like to learn more about NSSE and its reports related to VCU student engagement, please contact Dr. Scott Oates in the VCU Office of Planning and Decision Support.
Student Assessment of their Learning Gains. This free site is designed for instructors of all disciplines who would like feedback from their students about how the course elements are helping their students to learn. It is offered as a service to the college-level teaching community. Once you've registered, you can do the following both quickly and easily:
- Modify the SALG instrument so that it fits your own course design
- Enable your students to complete this instrument on-line
- Review and download a statistical analysis of the students' responses
Undergraduate Research Student Self-Assessment. URSSA is an online survey instrument for use in evaluating student outcomes of undergraduate research experiences in the sciences. The URSSA survey items have been thoroughly tested and URSSA is now available for returning and new users!
URSSA is hosted by salgsite.org, the web site that hosts the SALG (Student Assessment of their Learning Gains), a survey instrument for undergraduate course assessment. Through the salgsite platform, URSSA users have access to all of the functions developed originally for the SALG, including the ability to:
- use and customize an existing survey
- administer it to students online
- examine simple statistical reports of the results
- download the data for detailed analysis on your own computer.