Undergraduate Research Highlights – Fall 2019


Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research Journal

More Articles in this Issue

Member Content

  • Assessment

    The Purpose of Research: What Undergraduate Students Say

    ‐ Andrea Wilcox Brooks, Jane Hammons, Joseph Nolan, Sally Dufek, and Morgan Wynn
    SPUR (2019) 3 (1): https://doi.org/10.18833/spur/3/1/7

    This research study examines how undergraduate researchers conceptualize the purpose of research. Researchers distributed surveys to students who participated in a campus-wide research symposium to learn about student perceptions of research. The findings suggest that students recognize the importance of sharing scholarship and view research as a way to enhance their learning. Findings also indicate some disciplinary differences in the way students understand research and that perceptions of research may evolve as students advance through their academic careers.

  • Assessment

    A 10-Year Study on the Efficacy of Biomedical Research Support Programs at a Public University

    ‐ Jonathan C. Whittinghill, Simeon P. Slovacek, Laura P. Flenbury, and Vivian Miu
    SPUR (2019) 3 (1): https://doi.org/10.18833/spur/3/1/3

    The programs Minority Access in Research Careers (MARC) and Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) are funded by the National Institutes of Health to increase the number of students from underrepresented backgrounds earning degrees in the biomedical sciences. This article estimates the impact of participation in MARC and RISE on grade point averages, degree completion, and entrance into biomedical PhD programs. Supported students graduated at higher rates, had higher grade-point averages at graduation, and entered biomedical doctoral programs at much higher rates than students in a propensity score–matched comparison group. Results are comparable with previous study results of similar programs at other institutions and provide further evidence of the valuable support these programs provide to students from underrepresented backgrounds in achieving success in the biomedical sciences.

  • Assessment

    Teaching and Evaluating Skills for Undergraduate Research in the Teacher Education Program

    ‐ Tunde Szecsi, Charles Gunnels, Jackie Greene, Vickie Johnston, and Elia Vazquez-Montilla
    SPUR (2019) 3 (1): https://doi.org/10.18833/spur/3/1/5

    Teacher candidates have lower participation in undergraduate research than students in other disciplines. To enable teacher candidates to develop skills for scholarly activities and to engage them in research activities, teacher education programs utilize diverse approaches. This article describes a strategy to promote undergraduate research among teacher candidates using a systematic course-based infusion of skills necessary for undergraduate scholarship. In addition, it reports on the undergraduate students’ performance in research skills such as critical thinking, information literacy, and written communication in scholarly products over a three-year period. The results show an uneven but steady growth in research skills. Also discussed are the course and curricular modifications used by instructors to promote skill development for undergraduate research related to teaching


SPUR advances knowledge and understanding of novel and effective approaches to mentored undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry by publishing high-quality, rigorously peer reviewed studies written by scholars and practitioners of undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry. The SPUR Journal is a leading CUR member benefit. Gain access to all electronic articles by joining CUR.