Position Paper: Recognizing Undergraduate Research, Scholarship,
& Creative Inquiry as a Career-Readiness Tool
Jeanne Mekolichick, PhD | Radford University
Through the history of CUR, we have better understood the positive implications of undergraduate research for participants. Over the years, the list of benefits has continued to grow. We are now synthesizing these benefits into broader implications they could have for students. Over the last few years, CUR leaders have been conversing with funding agencies, industry partners, human resource experts, future employers, professional societies, and beyond to understand the impact of undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry (URSCI) on career readiness.
Through the process, we have recognized the need to clarify our language when working with diverse audiences. Our conversations and student participants will engage those far outside our campus and higher education. We found there are often shared goals or needs, but our framing and word choice separated us versus uniting us. The skills gained during participation in URSCI experiences are exactly what employers look for when we speak the same language. In an effort to get us started, CUR is releasing a position statement connecting the URSCI experience with career readiness. This is the first of many steps we will take on this journey. We hope you will use this as a tool to advocate for URSCI and as a prompt to help your students frame the outcomes of participation in URSCI experiences.
Additional Position Statements + White Papers
Undergraduate Research: A Road Map for Meeting Future National Needs and Competing in a World of Change
In this 2019 CUR white paper, the authors [Joanne D. Altman, Tsu-Ming Chiang, Christian S. Hamann, Huda Makhluf, Virginia Peterson, and Sara E. Orel] present evidence for the role of undergraduate research in college completion and preparation of a highly skilled workforce, particularly in STEM fields.
Recognizing and Valuing the Mentoring of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity by Faculty Members: Workload, Tenure, Promotion, and Award Systems
In this 2019 CUR white paper, the authors [Janet A. Morrison, John F. Barthell, Anne Boettcher, David Bowne, Cheryl Nixon, Karen K. Resendes, and Juliane Strauss-Soukup] present the need for recognition of faculty mentorship of undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity, recommend best practices for institutions to adopt, offer a selection of case studies that features some of these practices, and summarize upcoming challenges.
For questions or additional information about the position statement, please contact CUR@CUR.org.