Learning Through Research

Faculty Support


Faculty Support And Undergraduate Research: Innovations in Faculty Role Definition, Workload, and Reward

Edited by: Nancy H. Hensel and Elizabeth L. Paul

American colleges and universities, and many international institutions, are embracing undergraduate research as a powerful learning pedagogy across all disciplines and all types of institutions.  Faculty and administrators have firsthand experience in observing the transformative power of undergraduate research.  Though many professors consider undergraduate research as a central part of their faculty role, finding time to work with undergraduate researchers is a major concern.  Even with administrative commitment to undergraduate research, institutions find it challenging to fund reassigned time for faculty or provide courses that support undergraduate research.  And there is often significant controversy about whether and how faculty engagement in undergraduate research should be rewarded in reappointment, promotion, and tenure decisions.  The authors in this book discuss many aspects of providing support for faculty who involve undergraduates in research.  It is the editors’ hope that this book will provide inspiration and encouragement to administrators and faculty to design solutions to these challenges that can be integrated into campus practices and cultures.

"These thoughtful essays, by faculty members and administrators who have had extensive experience in the use of undergraduate research, address in practical ways the benefits and challenges of this technique for improved teaching and learning. Rather than speak only to the increasing popularity of this pedagogy, the essays address faculty members where they live—balancing concern with helping students with aspirations to carry out significant research—and provide institutions with cautionary guideposts as they work to encourage this practice. The book will be a valuable guide for both institutional newcomers in encouraging faculty/student research projects and colleges where the practice is already flourishing."
- Richard Ekman, President, Council of Independent Colleges
"There is ample evidence for the unique learning and developmental gains students realize through participation in undergraduate research and other high impact practices. The essays in this volume take the important next step of addressing the challenges inherent in integrating these practices into the curriculum, not least of which are the implications for faculty roles and responsibilities."
 -Simon Gray, Program Officer, New Directions Initiative, Great Lakes Colleges Association