Promoting Research Experiences


Other groups are also active in promoting research experiences. The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is a network of faculty members devoted to providing experiences for undergraduates. CUR has 3,000 members representing over 850 institutions in eight academic divisions. Most members are from primarily undergraduate institutions. CUR encourages faculty-student collaborative research and investigative teaching strategies, as well as supports faculty development and attempts to attract attention to the benefits of undergraduate research. Professional societies, such as the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), also play an active role in stimulating undergraduate education and research. ASM often holds sessions on education at its annual meetings and provides independent conferences on education such as the Ninth ASM Undergraduate Microbiology Education Conference entitled "Emerging Issues in Microbiology: Expanding Education Horizons." An extensive annotated list of professional societies active is in undergraduate science education, as well as links to other resources for science education.

Opportunities for learning also exist beyond the classroom and the faculty laboratory. The range of research opportunities available to undergraduates can be further broadened by drawing on the strengths of a wide range of public and private institutions. Independent work in faculty laboratories, biotechnology companies, pharmaceutical companies, agricultural chemistry companies, engineering firms, national labs, and independent research centers should be encouraged. Real-world research is generally more interdisciplinary than traditional lab courses. Biotechnology companies, as well as established pharmaceutical and agricultural chemistry companies, have a major stake in the vitality and quality of undergraduate education for future research biologists. Industry will employ many life sciences majors in the years ahead. To abet the academic advising process, they and their teachers need to acquire an understanding of the spectrum of industry activities from basic research through product development. The formation of partnerships between life science corporations and academic institutions can enhance student learning in the undergraduate years so that scientists of the future prepare to play leadership roles in the private sector. Such partnerships could consist of summer or academic year research internships for students. Another possible collaboration would be corporate sponsorship of undergraduate research on college or university campuses.

Corporate sponsorship for faculty to work in industry during summers or sabbaticals would help transfer knowledge into the academic setting. Similar types of benefits might be possible by arranging for scientists and engineers employed by local companies to regularly come to campus and interact with faculty and students. Many independent research institutes also offer summer programs that provide students with opportunities for laboratory work at very high levels using the most modern equipment. For example, Cold Spring Harbor has carried out for many years an Undergraduate Research Program that has been very successful in encouraging students to enter the profession, and has given others an appreciation of how research is done. Colleges and universities should make maximum use of such research opportunities, and both public and private research institutes should be encouraged to develop undergraduate research programs. Biology undergraduates also should be given opportunities to study and carry out research in foreign countries to broaden their education and enhance their appreciation of the international nature of science Case Study. As research science is increasingly an international endeavor, future researchers will benefit from experiences that give them the opportunity to work with researchers from other countries in Web partnerships or other projects, or to spend time in research laboratories in other countries. Browsing through all the things above, maybe you have learned something on learning a foreign language, especially the one you have chosen. Want to learn more, click Rosetta Stone Hindi and Rosetta Stone Italian.