Skip to Content

Undergraduate Research in Australia

Search for helpful resources

Text Search

Keyword Search




Search returned 25 results


resourceExamples of undergraduate research within the curriculum
author(s)Angela Brew
Learning and Teaching Centre, Macquarie University
descriptionThis handout includes a number of miscellaneous examples of using undergraduate research within the curriculum in different disciplines and different universities. It will be useful for people and departments thinking of introducing research-based learning into their courses. You are welcome to make copies but please ensure that any copies contain the reference in the footer at the bottom of the page.
contextThe handout has been used in a number of my ALTC Fellowship Roundtables and presentations to illustrate different ways in which undergraduates can be engaged in research and inquiry at different levels. Some of the examples are from my book: Brew, A. (2006). Research and Teaching: Beyond the Divide. London: PalgraveMacmillan.
Curriculum design
First year experience
Graduate attributes
Inquiry-based learning
Problem-based learning
Research skills development
Second and third year teaching
documentationA two-page handout of examples.
Examples handout.doc
resourceOpen or closed-ended investigations
author(s)Theresa Winchester-Seeto
Learning and Teaching Centre, Macquarie University
Dale Scott
Centre for Ecostratigraphy and Palaeobiology, Macquarie University
John Talent
School of Envionmental and Life Sciences, Macquarie University
descriptionMany investigative activities that students may be asked to engage in involve being guided towards pre-determined conclusions. One of the aims of research-based learning is that students should be guided towards more open-ended investigations.
contextIn an article, (Winchester-Seeto, T., Scott, D & Talent, J. (2003). Fossils in Open-ended Investigations. Science Education News, 52(3) 134-136.) some examples of different levels of openness in scientific investigations are presented. The article focuses on school education, but the framework for thinking about levels of open-endedness is also relevant in university contexts.
keywordsCase based learning
Inquiry-based learning
documentationThe document includes a brief outline of different kinds of investigation including a table for classifying levels of openness of investigation. Two examples are then presented and there is a list of references.
resourceGuide to Resources for designing a research-supportive curriculum
author(s)Angela Brew
Learning and Teaching Centre, Macquarie University
descriptionThis resource is designed to make the book: Karukstis, K. K. and Elgren, T. E. (Eds.). (2007). Developing and Sustaining a research-supportive curriculum: A compendium of successful practices, accessible to a wide range of people.
contextThe examples in this Compedium all come from the USA but many, if not most, will be applicable in other countries.
keywordsCommunity-engaged learning
Curriculum design
Inquiry-based learning
Research skills development
Second and third year teaching
Students at risk
Team based learning
documentationThis nine-page document shows where to find different chapters and examples by different disciplines and lists examples according to particular interests, e.g. interdisciplinary approaches, teaching large classes, collaborative learning, incorporating technology, emphasising reading and writing, involving external partnerships, supporting academics, etc. A link to the CUR website where the book may be purchased is also included. The full reference is included in our annotated bibliography.
Roadmap to CUR Curriculum Resources.pdf
resourceExamples of community engaged undergraduate projects
author(s)Angela Brew
Learning and Teaching Centre, Macquarie University
descriptionUndergraduate students at the California State University engage in a wide range of community based projects. The economic impact of the 32 million hours of service that students provide is claimed to equate to $624 million annually.
contextThe types and scope of the work students do is publicised in a booklet "Walking the Paths of Progress" prepared by the Centre for Community Engagement.
keywordsCommunity-engaged learning
documentationThis document is a section of that booklet. It provides examples of a wide variety of community engaged projects at different institutions within California State University. It should be useful to people thinking of setting up a community-engaged project scheme or thinking about potential projects their students may engage in. For further information about the CatState scheme refer to the website.
resourceCelebrating the undergraduate research experience
author(s)University of Alberta, Canada

descriptionUndergraduate research requires celebration. One way to do this is through the creation of a booklet highlighting examples being pursued in the institution. Such booklets can be useful in attracting students, media attention and, importantly, potential donors and students.
contextThe University of Alberta, Canada, Research Makes Sense for Students initiative created a glossy booklet with examples from different disciplines.
keywordsVacation scholarship schemes
documentationThe examples illustrate the range and type of projects undergraduates undertake.
resourcePeer to peer collaboration
author(s)Australian Flexible Learning Framework

descriptionUndergraduate research and inquiry is commonly carried out in collaborative teams The ability to work in groups is a key aspect to research collaboration more generally.
contextThis resource is part of a website developed by the Australian Flexible Learning Framework. It provides some examples of online collaboration and then explores the purposes of collaboration and the ways in which, using various online tools, it can be implemented.
Curriculum design
Research skills development
resourceEssay assignment marking and assessment guide
author(s)Susan Mayson and Jan Schapper
Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University
descriptionThis is an example of an essay guide which is used in a Human Resource Management unit of study. Students engage in a Guided Tutorial Reading Assignment & Essay: This assessment is based on the Research Skills Development Framework developed at the University of Adelaide.
documentationThe documentation is a powerpoint presentation which outlines the rationale for the course and the assignment. The Essay marking guide is slide 10 of the presentation
Essay assignment marking guide.pdf
resourceWays undergraduates gain research experience
author(s)Northumbria University

descriptionThere are numerous ways in which students can gain research experiences through their courses.
contextThis resource provides a number of examples of different ways. It was developed by Pat Gannon-Leary at the University of Northumbria, UK and comes from a report on her Research-informed Teaching Baseline Study, page 5.
keywordsCurriculum design
Research experiences
documentationThis is a one page handout that could be used in workshops or course team meetings to discuss how to involve undergraduates in research
Gannon-Leary 2.doc
resourceAdvertisement for undergraduate research scholarships
author(s)University of York, UK

descriptionIf you are thinking about setting up a scheme to engage undergraduates in research projects in collaboration with academics, then how do you advertise this?
contextThis resource is the advertisement for summer scholarships at the University of York. It is included here as an example of how such a scheme might be advertised.
keywordsVacation scholarship schemes
documentationA one page advertisement which may be of interest to people setting up an undergraduate scholarship scheme
Studentships advertisement.pdf
resourceDesigning a curriculum that values a research-based approach to student learning
descriptionWhat are the principles that guide approaches to curriculum design of research-based approaches to student learning?
contextThis Guide is one of a series produced by the Imaginative Curriculum Network of the UK's HEA Generic Centre. It provides an introduction to the way a curriculum might be designed to promote the values and ethos of a research-based approach to student learning. The Guide is written primarily for: teachers looking for ways to improve the quality of their studentsí learning; course leaders/coordinators who lead whole course curriculum design and/or who help other academics to develop the curriculum; academic developers and others who help academics to develop their knowledge and skills about curriculum design; university administrators and others engaged in quality assurance. The guide includes principles for curriculum design and examples of how these have been put into practice in different institutions.
keywordsCurriculum design
Inquiry-based learning
documentationA seven page guide which can be used in curriculum design discussions and workshops.
Designing a curriculum.doc
resourceUndergraduate research grant application
author(s)University of Arizona, Tucson, USA

descriptionThis is an example of an application form for undergraduates to apply for a research grant or scholarship. It may be of interest to anyone setting up a grant or scholarship scheme. It includes a section reminding students to obtain ethical approval.
contextThe application form was used in 2009 at the Honors College of the University of Arizona, Tucson.
keywordsEthics and institutional review
Vacation scholarship schemes
documentationA five page application form.
Grant application.pdf
resourceA research-based unit of study
author(s)Weber State University, Utah, USA
Clinical laboratory sciences,
descriptionWhen considering introducing research into a unit of study, it's useful to see some different examples. On this website there are lots of ideas for different ways to do this. This particular resource is a unit of study outline for an advanced level course in clinical laboratory sciences.
contextThe course is implemented by Scott Wright at Weber (pronounced 'Weeber) State University, Utah, USA. Students typically work in hospital laboratories. This course provides an opportunity for them to identify a problem in their workplace and then design, secure funding and conduct a research project to address it.
keywordsInquiry-based learning
Research experiences
Research skills development
documentationA detailed course outline giving assessment points and dates, sources of funding and the syllabus.
Clinical laboratory sciences.pdf
resourceShowcase of Good Practice in Undergraduate Research and Inquiry
author(s)Angela Brew

descriptionThe Showcase aimed to demonstrate examples of good practice in how to actively engage undergraduate students in research. Professor Mike Neary, Dean of Teaching and Learning at the University of Lincoln, opened the Showcase with a presentation on Student as Producer - Reinventing the Undergraduate Curriculum. Showcase program and presentations are attached. Macquarie academics from different departments were invited to share their experience of engaging students in research. Their presentations included using Facebook to develop a student research community, designing a LAMS activity to develop the research-based thinking capabilities of pre-service teachers, and providing guidance in Ethics protocol and Ethical practice in involving students in research and students working with clients on research statistics. The presenters have given their agreement to this publication of their presentations.
documentationPresentations in the Showcase of Good Practice in Undergraduate Research and Inquiry
Showcase of Good Practice in Undergraduate Research and Inquiry PROGRAM.docx
20120919 eG presenation at L&T week 2012.pdf
Baker et al Macquarie L&T week.pptx
resourceDesigning research into Capstone units
author(s)Angela Brew
Office of PVC (Teaching and Learning), Macquarie University
descriptionCapstone units provide an opportunity to engage students in learning through inquiry. In these workshops, participants explore how they can design and assess capstone units to encourage students to integrate their learning from the whole of their degree program. There are opportunities to work on capstone unit design including the development of learning outcomes and assessment. Examples of the use of research and inquiry in capstone units and resources available to support them are presented.
contextBetween 2010 and 2012 three workshops were held on this topic in the Learning and Teaching Centre at Macquarie University. Facilitator(s) were: Professor Angela Brew and Ms Margot McNeill and A/Prof Leigh Wood.
keywordsLearning design
documentationThree Powerpoint presentations
Capstones CN13-9-12.pptx
IBL in Capstones 171111.ppt
research in capstone 2010[1].ppt
resourceTen easy ways to put research and inquiry into units
author(s)Angela Brew
Office of PVC (Learning and Teaching), Macquarie University
descriptionPerhaps youíre thinking about engaging your students in some form of research and inquiry but donít know where to begin. For people who havenít thought of courses in this way before, here are some hints about how you can change your units or parts of your units to develop studentsí research skills and competencies. There are ten simple suggestions to get you going that you can adapt to suit your particular context. Of course, these are not the only ways to engage students in research and inquiry. Sometimes knowing where to start is the difficult bit particularly for studentsí early years. The examples here are not new and they are not intended to be exhaustive. But hopefully they will give you some ideas to start with and stimulate you to think of other things you can do that are appropriate to your disciplinary context. At the end of the examples there are some frequently asked questions and suggestions about where further information and help can be found.
keywordsStudent engagement
documentationA Ten page document designed to provide further information on a Teche blog post in January 2017
Ten easy ways.docx


reference"Broadening Participation in Undergraduate Research: Fostering Excellence and Enhancing the Impact", edited by Mary K. Boyd and Jodi Wesemann
descriptionEngaging undergraduate students in research, scholarship, and creative activity is a proven and powerful practice for enhancing educational outcomes and expanding frontiers of knowledge. This book is a rich collection featuring institutions that are maximizing the impact of this practice by including: · underrepresented ethnic and racial minorities, · students with disabilities, · females, · students of lower socioeconomic status, · first- and second-year students, and · others not traditionally involved in the development of new knowledge. Examples of high-quality, inclusive programs from community colleges, primarily undergraduate institutions, minority-serving institutions, comprehensive universities, and research universities will help faculty, staff, and administrators enhance: · the lives of their students, · the direction of their scholarship, and · the impact of their disciplines and institutions.
keywordsNon-traditional students
Research experiences
Research skills development
Student engagement
referenceTransformative Research at Predominately Undergraduate Institutions Edited by Kerry K. Karukstis and Nancy Hensel
descriptionA report on a June 2009 summit on transformative research held by CUR and funded by the National Science Foundation, Research Corporation for Science Advancement, and the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund. A monograph from the summit with examples of transformative research.
Research experiences
Student engagement
referenceKarukstis, K. K. and Elgren, T. E. (Eds.). (2007). Developing and Sustaining a research-supportive curriculum: A compendium of successful practices. Washington, DC: Council on Undergraduate Research.
descriptionThis book is packed full of useful examples of research being used in curricula. At almost 600 pages there is sure to be something of interest for everyone thinking of developing undergraduates' experiences of research. There are sections on teaching and learning strategies; developing students' research skills; infrastructure to enhance a research-supportive curriculum; innovative multi-disciplinary courses; facilities, resources and institutional practices; and administrators' perspectives. Each section contains detailed examples and shorter 'highlights'. A Guide to using the Compendium and listing examples by discipline is also available.
referenceBoyd, M. K., & Wesemann, J.L. (2009).Broadening participation in undergraduate research: Fostering Excellence and enhancing the impact. Washington, DC: Council on Undergraduate Research.
descriptionThis book asks how undergraduate research can be extended to a broader range of students. Those who could benefit the most from undergraduate research are not engaging in it. This book has as its vision the broadening of participation to institutions, academics and students who have not traditionally been involved. This includes underrepresented ethnic and racial groups, students with disabilities, women, students of low socioeconomic status, and first and second year students.The book includes many examples of inspiring programs. The themes in each chapter are linked to other chapters with similar themes to facilitate navigation through this fascinating book. It is available from
referenceBrew, A. (2006). Research and Teaching: Beyond the divide. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
descriptionThis book asks how universities can develop the relationship between research and teaching so that research is enhanced and teaching is improved. Using examples, conversations and critical inquiry, it suggests that inclusive scholarly knowledge-building communities of both students and academic staff should result from the development of research-enhanced and evidence-based teaching, teaching-enhanced research, and the erosion of institutional and cultural factors in higher education that currently undermine attempts to link research and teaching.
categoryResearch & Teaching
referenceWilson, J. (1970). Thinking with concepts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
descriptionA key attribute of students who engage in research is that they are able to analyse ideas and concepts. In this book, John Wilson describes the techniques of conceptual analysis and gives examples of them in action. It is written as a textbook with examples to be worked through.and should be useful to anyone thinking about how to improve students' skills of critical analysis.
categoryResearch skills


websiteResearch skill development for curriculum design and assessment
descriptionThis website is the culmination of an ALTC funded project to develop a framework which informs the coherent, explicit and efficient development of student research skills. The website now contains examples from both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. The framework can be downloaded in pdf form and the website contains examples of the ways it has been used in different institutions and disciplines.
websiteNational Science Foundation Division of Undergraduate Education
descriptionThe mission of the NSF Division of undergraduate education is to promote excellence in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education for all students. It does this through leadership, supporting curriculum development, developing a scientific workforce and fostering connections, for example, between teaching and scientific research. This website may be a source of inspiration to academics outside the USA wishing to make the case for the support of undergraduate research within the scientific community.
websiteCSU Impact
descriptionThis online newsletter contains a Community-Based Research E-Publication highlighting projects involving CalState University faculty, students, staff and local and global communities. Nearly 40 partnerships and their collaborative work are described. "It is our hope that these examples, whether in their infancy, or developed over several years, serve as inspiration or guidance in varying contexts, and in addressing diverse issues of community and campus interest" [quoted from the website]. To access the publication go to:
keywordsCommunity-engaged learning
websiteEthics approval for student research
descriptionBlog by Lisa Wynn, Macquarie University, which provides useful information, guidelines and examples of ethics application forms for research projects that involve students.
keywordsEthics and institutional review
Research experiences
Student engagement
Students at risk
Undergraduate Research


For further assistance or technical difficulties with searching this database, please contact the project administrator.

^back to top