A Selected bibliography of research and writing on undergraduate research is presented below.  This bibliography may be useful in writing grant proposals or papers and for general understanding of issues in student research.

  • Benefits of Undergraduate  Research (UR) at Research Universities
  • Benefits of UR in the Sciences/Engineering
  • Benefits of UR in the Social Sciences/Humanities
  • Benefits of UR to Minority Students
  • Research Program Components/ Characteristics
  • Student Research and Service Learning
  • Mentoring
  • Incorporating Research in Courses

Benefits of Undergraduate  Research at Research Universities:
Bauer, KW; Bennett, JS. "Alumni perceptions used to assess undergraduate research experience" Journal of Higher Education, 2003:74:210-230. A survey of alumni in three groups was conducted. Group one participated in a university-organized program of research. Group 2 participated on their own with a faculty member. Group 3 did not participate in research.  Those going to graduate schools were 80%, 71% and 59% for the three groups, respectively.  Also, those in the first two groups reported greater satisfaction with their undergraduate experience, increased intellectual curiosity, research skills and communication skills.


Nagda,B.; Gregman, S.; Jonides, J;  von Hippel, W.; and Lerner, JS. "Undergraduate student-faculty research partnerships affect student retention," Review of Higher Education, 1998, 22: 55-72. A study of a research program for freshman and sophomores at a research university compares a program group and a control group. Participants had a lower attrition rate, with greater benefits accruing to minority students.


Wolf-Wendel, L; Ward, K; and Kinzie, J. “A Tangled Web of Terms : The Overlap and Unique contribution of Involvement, Engagement and Integration to Understanding College Student Success” The Journal of Higher Education, Vol50, No 4, 2009, pp. 407-428.
This article examines the concepts of involvement, engagement and integration through a literature review and interviews of scholars who developed the concepts. While each is a unique concept useful for analyzing college retention and student growth, there is overlap, especially as expressed in the questions on several national surveys or college students.


Benefits of UR in the Sciences/Engineering:
Campbell, A. and  Skoog, G. "Preparing undergraduate women for science careers," Journal of College Science Teaching: 2004, 33 (5): 24-26.  Respondents of a survey indicated an increase in skills, confidence and motivation as a result of research experiences.

 Chaplin, S; Manske, J. and Cruise, J. "Introducing freshman to investigative research: A course for biology majors at Minnesota's University of St. Thomas," Journal of College Science Teaching, 19989:27 (5): 347-350. Research was introduced into a freshman course in biology. Results or course completers and were compared to prior completers, indicating fewer major changes and continuing research involvement.

DiBiasio, D. and Mello, N. "Multi-level assessment of program outcomes and assess a nontraditional study abroad program in the engineering discipline,' Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 2004:10:237-252.  An evaluation of a student research program in engineering, either abroad or in the local community. Students competed for slots with projects abroad. Projects were reviewed by an independent team and rated.

Russell, SH;  Hancock, MP and McCullough, J. "Benefits of undergraduate research experiences," Science, 2007:316: 548-549. A study 4,500 student researchers funded by the NSF, 3,600 mentors, 3,400 STEM students who did not participate and 3,200 graduates in social science fields.  A web-based survey was administered. Undergraduate researchers said that the research experience clarified their career interests and increased their understanding and confidence.  The duration of the research experience was related to enhanced benefits.  There were no significance differences in the level of benefits based on gender, ethnic or racial group.

Hunter, S.B.; Laursen, S.L. and Seymour, E. "Becoming a scientist; The role of undergraduate research in students' cognitive, personal and professional development, Science Education, 2006:91 (1): 36-74. This ethnographic study examined the opinions of students and faculty in an apprenticeship model of undergraduate research. Both students and faculty agreed on what students gains in scientific thinking, although there were differences in interpretation.


Thiry, H; Laursen, S; and Hunter, A. “What Experiences Help Students Become Scientists?: A comparative Study and Other Sources of Personal and Professional Gains in STEM Undergraduates” The Journal of Higher Education, Vol 82, No 4, 2011, pp.357-388.This study surveyed 62 STEM graduates who had engaged in undergraduate research, internships, professional jobs, clinics, and other engaged experiences. They were surveyed while engaged in research, just before graduation and two to three years after graduation. Respondents reported on gains in career clarification, graduate school preparation, skills, professionalism, socialization and personal gains. Authentic research experiences, either on campus or off-campus, contributed to the gains the respondents identified.

Benefits of UR in the Social Sciences/Humanities:
Ishiyama, J. 'Does early participation in undergraduate research benefit social science and humanities students?" Journal of College Students, 2002:36 93): 380-386.  Student  scores on the College Student Experiences Questions (CSEQ) for groups of students with and without a research experience were compared in order to measure gains in intellectual development.  Results indicated that 72 percent  of students with the research experience had a core of 2.75 or higher and only 47 percent of those without a research experience.


Benefits of UR to Minority Students:
Chandra, U.; Stoecklin, S.; and Harmon, MA. "A successful model for introducing research in an undergraduate program. Journal of College Science Teaching, 1998: 28 (2):116-118. A study of UR at Florida A&M University in which research was introduced into courses and results were compared to previous year's students results.  Among the benefits more students pursued advanced degrees after the change.

Foertsch, J.; Alexander, B.;  and Penberthy, D. "Summer research opportunity programs (SROPs) for minority undergraduates: A longitudinal study of program outcomes 1986-1996. Council of Undergraduate Research Quarterly, 2000: 20(3): 114-119.  A study of 15 Midwest R1 universities that run summer programs and the benefits to program completers. A survey consisting of open-ended questions indicated program participants were much more likely to enter professional and graduate degree programs and to complete them, compared to a control group or minority students from other campuses.

Nadozie, E.; Ishimaya, J. and Chon, N. "Undergraduate research internships and graduate school success," Journal of college Student Development, 2001: 42 92):145-156. A questionnaire was administered to directors of Ronald E. McNair programs.  Various aspects of the programs were rated. Results suggested that faculty-mentored research, seminars and visits to graduate schools were effective and GRE-workshops were least effective.  It was claimed that the more rigorous the research project, the more successful the student was likely to be in graduate school.

Summers, M. and Hrabowski, F. "Preparing minority scientists and engineers," Science, 2006: 311 (5769): 1870-1871. A program for minority STEM students was created including UR. Graduates of the program were twice as likely to graduate and five times as likely to go to graduate school as students in a control group. Tips for success included: recruiting high-achieving minority students, giving merit-based financial aid, having a freshman orientation program, recruiting research active faculty, involving students early in research, and having group activities.


Research Program Components/ Characteristics:
Schilt, Page and Gilbert, Lucia Albino. "Undergraduate Research in the Humanities: Transforming expectations at a research university," CUR Quarterly: 2008, 28 94): 51-55.  The University of Texas Austin has created an undergraduate research model which includes targeted research advising of students, an interdisciplinary bridge, and curricular changes. It  gives particular attention to the social sciences and humanities. 

Shellito, C.;  Shea, K.;  Weissman, G.; Mueller-Solger, A.; and Davis, W. "successful mentoring of undergraduate researcher: tips for creating positive student research experiences," Journal of College Science Teaching, 2001: 30: 460-465.  A mail survey of undergraduate STEM researchers and interviews with faculty members attempted to identify successful components of a research program.  It was found that satisfaction with a research experience was related to satisfaction with a research mentor.  Those who were less satisfied were more likely to have had a mentor who was a graduate student or post-doc, rather than a faculty member.  The amount of time a mentor and student spent together on a weekly basis was an important determinant of satisfaction.  Faculty observed that a successful program had well defined projects, recognized student constraints outside the lab, committed ample supplies, understood and communicated expectations, spent time with students, gave positive feedback, included an approachable mentor, respected students, encouraged presentations, offered career advice and provided continued mentorship.

Kardash, CM "Evaluations of undergraduate research experience; perceptions of undergraduate interns and their faculty mentors, Journal of Educational Psychology, 2000:92 (1): 191-201. Students completed a survey before and after a summer research program in order to attempt to measure quantifiable skills.  Students made gains in their ability to orally communicate their project, make observations, collect data, and relate their study to the bigger picture.  Skills that were less developed were the ability to ask a questions, develop a workable hypothesis and reformulate  a hypothesis.


Student Research and Service Learning:
Ferrari, J. and Jason, L.  "Integrating research and community service: Incorporating research skills into service learning experiences," College Student Journal, 1996: 30 (4): 441-451.  Students in a class in which research was tied to service learning responded to a questions about the experience. Students thought the experience resulted in personal growth, enriched their education and influenced their career goals. They liked using real world data and most aspects of working in groups.


Gafney, L. "The role of the research mentor/teacher: Student and faculty views," Journal of College Science Teaching, 2005: 34 (4): 52-57.  Over 250 students and faculty mentors were interviewed in this qualitative evaluation.  Students working on research projects provide their insights into the differences between research and classroom experiences and the time consuming nature and contingencies of the research enterprise. Mentors recognize that students require more or less supervision or independence  depending on circumstances.  Also, the multiple roles played by mentors was examined.


Links to Resources on Incorporating Research into Instruction

Patricia J. Pukkila, Janice DeCosmo, Danielle C. Swick, and Martha S. Arnold. "How to engage in collaborative curriculum design to foster undergraduate inquiry and research in all discipline" In "How to Design, Implement and Sustain a Research-Supportive Undergraduate Curriculum", ed. K. Karukstis and T. Elgren, Council on Undergraduate Research, pp. 147-163 (2007).

Patricia J. Pukkila with Ben Holt, Devon Fisher, Reed Wilson and David Martinez. "Incorporating Graduate Student Participation.' Undergraduate Research and Scholarship and the Mission of the Research University, Conference Proceedings (2002).

Patricia J. Pukkila and Martha S. Arnold with Danielle Glickman. "Bringing Instructional Innovations that Work in One Discipline to Other Disciplines: The Graduate Research Consultant Program" Integrating Research into Undergraduate Education: The Value Added, Conference Proceedings (2004).

Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-314-7698