Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships Creation of the office…
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While addressing the UB Faculty Senate in Fall 2005 Provost Tripathi stated: “ The undergraduates are coming to our research university because they feel they can benefit from the research going on here. I would like to see us cultivate and promote undergraduate research. We should be encouraging that. We should have one-third to half of all undergraduate students going through that process. This will require the cooperation of the faculty. It’s happening here, but we need to do a lot more.”
This office will serve as one nexus for undergraduate research opportunities across campus.
In reporting to the Vice provost for Undergraduate Education, the Center will facilitate research experiences for undergraduates with UB faculty members across the disciplines.
The Center will assist students in planning for their undergraduate research experience, identifying faculty mentors and projects, defining research goals, presenting and publishing research findings, and seeking funding for their research and continued studies.
The annual “Celebration of Academic Excellence” will provide a forum for students to present their works to the university community and the public.
Faculty Mentors will be recognized and honored for their significant contributions to these research works.
Undergraduate researchers experience gains in specific skills such as making use of primary literature, formulating research hypotheses, interpreting data, and communicating the results of research (Kardash, 2000, 2004)
· They show measurable gains in sophistication of epistemological reflection (Rauckhorst, Czaja, and Baxter Magolda, 2001)
· They experience personal gains in independence and self-confidence (Seymour, et al., 2004)
· They show gains in career clarification and career preparation (Lopatto, 2003; Seymour, et al.)
· They persist in their pursuit of an undergraduate degree at a higher rate than comparison groups (Nagda, et al, 1998)
· They pursue graduate education at a higher rate than comparison groups (Hathaway, et al., 2002)
· And as alumni they retrospectively report higher gains than comparison groups in skills such as carrying out research, acquiring information, and speaking effectively (Bauer and Bennett, 2003)
Undergraduate Deans, Directors and Faculty will be contacted and asked to supply specifics on undergraduate research and creative works, that avail themselves to undergraduate assistance, as well as workshop presenters.
Deans and Directors will also be asked for any links and or Departmental contacts who would be willing to work closely with the Center.
The links and opportunities will be advertised to undergraduate students, along with information sessions, and opportunities to discuss “best practices” with current faculty/researchers.
Rules for the April 20th, 2006 “Celebration of Academic Excellence” will be shared with the university community as faculty mentors and students work toward that end goal.