URCA staff work closely with the Center for Innovative Teaching, Research, and Learning. CITRAL is a research hub that promotes and supports inclusive, equitable, and just teaching and learning. The center collaborates with others to systematically study teaching and learning and develop evidence-based programs and innovations across campus. CITRAL's activities put into practice UCSB Teaching and Learning Initiatives' Collaborative Principles.

Below, you will find faculty development resources related to undergraduate research, alongside helpful summaries written by CITRAL staff.

A Research Mentor Training Curriculum for Clinical and Translational Researchers

Christine Pfund, Stephanie House, Kimberly Spencer, Pamela Asquith, Paula Carney, Kristyn S. Masters, Richard McGee, Janet Shanedling, Stephanie Vecchiarelli and Michael Fleming

The authors describe an eight-hour research mentor training curriculum  that data suggest is an effective means of engaging mentors to improve their research mentoring practices. The training resulted in high satisfaction, self-reported skill gains, as well as behavioral changes of clinical and translational research mentors.

CITRAL Summary

A High-Enrollment Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience Improves Student Conceptions of Scientific Thinking and Ability to Interpret Data

Sara Brownell, Daria S. Hekmat-Scafe, Veena Singla, Patricia Chandler Seawell, Jamie F. Conklin Imam, Sarah L. Eddy, Tim Stearns, Martha S. Cyert

Authors find that course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) enables shifts in student conceptions of what it means to think like a scientist. They move from more novice-like approaches to this thinking to more expert-like ones.  At the end of the course, students identified experimental repetition, data analysis, and collaboration as important elements of thinking like a scientist.

CITRAL Summary

A Model for a Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) in a Field Setting

Thompson, Seth K.; Neill, Connor J.; Wiederhoeft, Ellen; Cotner, Sehoya

Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) enable more students to gain research experience, compared with the traditional apprenticeship model. The authors propose expanding on the CURE model to provide field-based research experiences to more students.

CITRAL Summary

Developing undergraduate research and inquiry

Healey, Mick; Jenkins, Alan

In undergraduate research, students learn and are assessed in ways that come as close as possible to the experience of academic staff carrying out their disciplinary research. This report argues that all undergraduate students in all higher education institutions should experience learning through, and about, research and inquiry.

CITRAL Summary

Discovery and Broad Relevance May Be Insignificant Components of Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) for Non-Biology Majors

Cissy J. Ballen, Seth K. Thompson, Jessamina E. Blum, Nicholas P. Newstrom, and Sehoya Cotner

Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) provide opportunities for undergraduates to participate in novel research. Based on data culled from surveying groups with varying levels of CURE component incorporation, this study shows that the “discovery” and “broad relevance” levels of a CURE have insignificant effects of student performance, self-efficacy, and sense of project ownership for non-majors in biology classes.

CITRAL Summary

Faculty Perspectives on Developing and Teaching Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences

Shortlidge, Erin E.; Bangera, Gita; Brownell, Sara

This study presents the first qualitative investigation into the perspectives of a diverse group of faculty members who have developed and taught course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) stemming from their own research interests. The faculty participants reported a number of faculty benefits that can result from a CURE, identified a variety of challenges to implementing CUREs, and speculated about the attributes of a successful CURE instructor.

CITRAL Summary

How to Assess Your CURE: A Practical Guide for Instructors of Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences

Shortlidge, Erin E.; Brownell, Sara

To assess course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs), Shortlidge and Brownell recommend that instructors first identify their anticipated learning outcomes, then work to identify an assessment instrument that aligns to those learning outcomes and critically evaluate the results from their course assessment. To aid instructors in becoming aware of what instruments have been developed, the authors have also synthesized a table of “off-the-shelf” assessment instruments that instructors could use to assess their own CUREs.

CITRAL Summary

Research Mentor Training: Initiatives of the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research

Reimagining STEM Education

Imad, Mays

Imad argues that any educational philosophy that does not actively integrate, affirm, and promote creativity and freedom threatens to model and reinforce conformity, fragmentation, and overspecialization.

CITRAL Summary

Strategies for Group-Level Mentoring of Undergraduates: Creating a Laboratory Environment That Supports Publications and Funding

Overman, Amy A.

This article describes several strategies for group-level mentoring of undergraduates to foster research productivity and simultaneously provide valuable high-impact educational experiences for students. Three types of strategies for group level-mentoring which encourage cohort building which increases sense of  belonging which impacts student performance and health.

CITRAL Summary

Ten Salient Practices of Undergraduate Research Mentors: A Review of the Literature

Shanahan, Jenny Olin; Ackley-Holbrook, Elizabeth; Hall, Eric; Stewart, Kearsley; Walkington, Helen

Through a narrative review of the literature, this paper revealed 10 salient practices which form a pedagogy of mentored undergraduate research. At their core, these practices corroborate the three-pronged focus of UR mentoring described by Thiry and Laursen (2011), which highlighted the need for facilitating intellectual support, personal/emotional support, and professional socialization throughout the research experience.

CITRAL Summary

The Explorations Program: Benefits of Single-Session, Research-Focused Classes for Students and Postdoctoral Instructors

Hsu, Jeremy L.; Wrona, Anna M.; Brownell, Sara; Khalfan, Waheeda

Study investigates a program at Stanford University that allows undergraduates in an introductory biology course to explore specialized topics in the biological sciences while providing graduate students and postdoctoral scholars the unique opportunity to develop and teach single-session, research-focused classes. Most students reported that the program had a positive impact on their undergraduate careers and positively influenced their decision to participate in scientific. Research. In addition, undergraduates who participated were more likely to complete an honors thesis. Finally, Instructors reported that the program provided a valuable opportunity to develop their teaching skills.

CITRAL Summary