Honors Projects


Undergraduate research does not only help equip STEM majors to be better researchers and employees but increases retention of students to graduate school in needed scientific fields. However, while resources are being produced for undergraduates like Undergraduate Research Experiences (UREs), Centers for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (CURS), and Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs), undergraduate involvement and awareness about these resources, and the value of undergraduate research in general, does not seem to be improving. Therefore, it would be valuable to figure out why undergraduates aren't autonomously seeking out undergraduate research during their studies. To investigate why, a two-part survey was developed using the experience of a single undergraduate who, after complications, was able to participate in undergraduate research via a summer research fellowship. The survey asks undergraduates to rate their ability to perform certain aptitudes that are important for research as well as skills that aren't important to research but undergraduates still consider valuable. They were then asked to rate the importance of these skills for acquiring and undergraduate research position. The same survey was administered to faculty. The goal is to determine where faculty and undergraduates are and aren't aligned in terms of both undergraduates' skill level and the importance of each skill. With this data we hope to communicate both to faculty and undergraduates the misconceptions facing each party and to bridge the gap between researchers and undergraduates. In doing so, increasing communication and fostering a climate that will enable more undergraduates to participate in undergraduate research.


Honors Program



First Advisor

Karen Sirum

First Advisor Department

Biological Sciences

Publication Date

Spring 6-16-2019