Short Course: Working Effectively with Undergraduate Researchers

Working Effectively with Undergraduate Researchers

Megan Becker
Half Day, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Washington State Convention Center, Room 616

Are you looking to work with undergraduate researchers, but are concerned about balancing the needs of your students with your other professional obligations? Have you been working with undergraduate researchers, but want to increase your impact? Why not start a research lab? In this workshop, organized in conjunction with Pi Sigma Alpha, attendees will learn how to use the laboratory model to organize collaborative undergraduate research experiences.  We will cover the ‘why,’ ‘what,’ and ‘how’ of starting your own research lab. Our facilitator, Megan Becker, runs the Security and Political Economy (SPEC) Lab at the University of Southern California and is  PI of the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program “Data Science and the Political Economy of Security.”  The pedagogical approach employed by the SPEC Lab, called the Stewardship Model, combines five key elements: 1) targeted recruitment of underserved students; 2) technical training; 3) applied research experience; 4) multi-level mentorship; and 5) a carefully constructed, inclusive learning community. These five elements will serve as the thematic foundations of the workshop.

Attendees will…
1) hear perspectives of faculty on starting a research lab and the implementation and efficacy of the Stewardship Model
2) brainstorm ideas for how they might integrate collaborative teams of UGs in their own research projects
3) review useful policies for recruitment, student training, securing funding, organizing collaboration, and maintaining mentoring relationships (with discussions of how to do so at differing scales).
4) discuss strategies for evaluation
5) create a community of faculty who are interested in UG research labs and can share ideas and best practices on an ongoing basis

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