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Developing Your Research Program in the Natural Sciences With Undergraduate Students – ConnectUR 2024 Preconference Workshop

June 24 @ 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Monday, June 24, 2024 | 10:30 am-12:30 pm, ET | Onsite | College Park, Maryland 
Institutions that emphasize undergraduate education can offer productive and rewarding research careers for future faculty. Considering that a vast majority of academic jobs are available at such institutions compared to research one/high research productivity institutions, graduate students and post-doctoral researchers should have ample opportunity to learn about diverse career tracks in academia. This workshop will provide trainees with first-hand experience from established faculty within such institutions, along with strategies for enhancing one’s research program within the context of undergraduate teaching and mentoring. In addition, the workshop will provide trainees with information about sources of funding and other resources to support their research with undergraduates. They will also learn about resources available through the Council on Undergraduate Research as a professional organization.
10:30—10:45 am, ET
  • Introductions of facilitators, overview of modules and participant Self-Reflection
10:45—11:15 am, ET
  • Session One: The job responsibilities of a faculty member at an institution focused on undergraduate education – the 9 month tenure track position. Post-doctoral training largely occurs at institutions that confer doctoral degrees, medical schools, and government agencies, where interactions with undergraduates may be infrequent. Based on Carnegie classifications, these institutional landscapes are very different from the majority of US institutions of higher education (90%) where baccalaureate and master’s degrees are conferred. This module will elaborate on the teaching, research, and service obligations of faculty positions at institutions that emphasize undergraduate education. Participants will also be led through a 5 year “goal-making” exercise for a tenure track period to demonstrate productivity in the three obligation/responsibility areas.
11:15—11:45 am, ET
  • Session Two: Beyond the one-on-one apprenticeship experience: The case for CUREs, classroom based undergraduate research experiences. CUREs have the benefit of making undergraduate research experiences accessible to all students. Given the documented benefit of undergraduate research as a High Impact Practice [HIP], this module will provide perspectives on the progressive development of research skills and the curricular mechanisms used at institutions to engage undergraduates in research experiences. Participants will learn about best practices for incorporating a CURE into a 10-12 week lab curriculum. 10-12 week CURE module based on a research project of their choice.
11:45-12:15 am, ET
  • Session 3: Securing funding for your research program – the scope of federal funding. A hallmark of success and, often, a criteria for obtaining tenure and promotion for an academic is to seek and obtain external funding. Federal funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have mechanisms that are particularly suitable for investigators at primarily undergraduate institutions. Program directors from relevant programs will be invited as panelists for this session. A 20-minute presentation will be followed by Q&A.
12:15-12:30 pm, ET
  • Final Wrap-up & Resources available through CUR, & participant feedback
  • Joyce Fernandes, Miami University (BIOLOGY)
  • Irene Reed, University of Saint Joseph (BIOLOGY)
  • Lance Barton, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (BIOLOGY)
  • Doug Dluzen, Johns Hopkins University (BIOLOGY)
  • Keri Colabroy, Muhlenberg University (CHEMISTRY)
  • Joe Reczek, Denison University (CHEMISTRY)
  • Michael Jackson, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (PHYSICS/ASTRONOMY)

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