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Undergraduate Research in Australia

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Australasian Survey of Student Engagement

The Australasian Survey of Student Engagement (AUSSE) is designed to stimulate evidence-focused conversations about students’ engagement in university study. It is managed by the Australian Council for Educational Research. The AUSSE was run in Australian and New Zealand universities for the first time in 2007 with 25 universities, with 29 universities in 2008 and with 35 universities in 2009. Findings from the AUSSE survey can be found in the Australasian Student Engagement Reports on this website

College of Creative Studies, University of California Santa Barbara

Courses offered by the College of Creative Studies, University of California Santa Barbara are designed to allow students to rigorously explore or even modify a field of knowledge, rather than merely expose them to a predetermined quantity of fixed subject matter. Through intense creative work and research projects typically reserved for graduate school, students acquire a thorough comprehension of their discipline and are encouraged to begin making original contributions to the field. Most CCS classes are tutorials, studios and small seminars. In addition to taking CCS courses, students are encouraged to work within academic departments in the UCSB Colleges of Letters & Science and Engineering, taking advantage of the full spectrum of courses, extensive research equipment, facilities, and faculty expertise available across the campus [adapted from ccs website]. Highly motivated students plan their own program with the guidance of their academic mentors.

Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR)

The USA Council for Undergraduate Research exists to support and promote high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. It is a not for profit organisation with a membership of 4,500 individuals and nearly 600 colleges and universities. The website includes a number of resources and publications likely to be of use to Australian academics with an interest in undergraduate research.

CSU Impact

This 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:

CUR Publications on Undergraduate Research

This website lists the publications available for sale from the Council on Undergraduate Research. Some publications are available for online viewing. Recent topics include: Broadening Participation in Undergraduate Reseasrch and Developing and Sustaining a Research-Supportive Curriculum

Ethics approval for student research

Blog by Lisa Wynn, Macquarie University, which provides useful information, guidelines and examples of ethics application forms for research projects that involve students.

HHMI science educational research program

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute in the USA is committed to involving undergraduate students in ground-breaking original research through its Science Education Alliance (SEA) program. Its first undertaking is the National Genomics Research Initiative (NGRI). This is a national experiment in both research and education that revolves around a research course in genomics for undergraduate students. In the program's first full year of implementation, 270 students from 12 undergraduate institutions--including large research universities and small liberal arts colleges--participated. Students participate in an authentic research experience. This is integrated into a laboratory course designed for first year students. The idea is that this will result in significant contributions to the field of genomics. For further information see the website.

International Perspectives on Undergraduate Research

Information about a Pre-ISSOTL (International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) event on INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH AND INQUIRY. This event was held in the UK in October 2010. The website provides links to Resources: Final Program. List of Delegates at each Table. List of Posters (for download), Useful Websites, and Evaluation of Program. It also provides presentations by the speakers and Discussion Reports. Speakers: Tom Wenzel, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, United States, PowerPoint Presentation, Summary. Angela Brew, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, PowerPoint Presentation, Summary. Susan Vajoczki, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, PowerPoint Presentation, Summary. Commentators: Paula Myatt, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, Summary. Ray Land, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, Summary. Neil Haigh, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand , Summary. Final Plenary: Bill Campbell, University of Wisconsin - River Falls, River Falls, Wisconsin, United States and CUR President-Elect, Summary. Cecilia Lucero, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, United States, Summary. Stuart Hampton-Reeves, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom For upcoming ISSOTL conferences see:

Learning through enquiry alliance

This alliance is a consortium of Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETLs) in the UK which are all focused on in(en)quiry-based learning. It aims to support the development of students as competent, critical, independent and creative enquirers; cooperate, alongside students, to achieve greater benefits for institutions and the sector; foster a research-informed approach to pedagogic development; make a positive difference to students' lives and act as a collective voice in teaching and learning policy debates. It pools and co-develops knowledge about how to accomplish large scale strategic change and focuses also on acquiring the technology so that physical and virtual spaces that support students' learning can be connected to optimise opportunities for interaction [adapted from website].

National Science Foundation Division of Undergraduate Education

The 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.

Podcast on Barriers to Student Research

Trudy Ambler speaks with Lisa Wynn about her Learning and Teaching Fellowship project to try to overcome some of the barriers to getting students involved in research in classes, including the hurdle of ethics clearance for human research, and a new online training module developed at Macquarie to teach students about research ethics. Length: 20 minutes.

Project Kaleidoscope

Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) is one of the leading advocates in the USA for building and sustaining strong undergraduate programs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). PKAL is an informal alliance funded by the NSF and the WM Keck Foundation. It takes responsibility for shaping undergraduate STEM learning environments that attract undergraduate students to STEM fields, inspiring them to persist and succeed by giving them personal experience with the joy of discovery and an awareness of the influence of science and technology in their world. From the work of the PKAL community, resources are available that can be adapted by leaders on campuses working to ensure robust STEM learning of all their students. [Adapted from the PKAL website] The website contains numerous resources likely to be of interest to academics in other countries thinking of developing new ways to engage students.

Research Corporation for Science Advancement

The USA Research Corporation for Science Advancement, was established in 1912. It has played a major role in funding and stimulating undergraduate research. It 'is an active, hands-on foundation that stimulates advances in science. Its role is catalytic rather than controlling. Its mission is one of partnership rather than ownership. Research Corporation readily adapts to new situations and rapidly responds to new opportunities' [quoted from website]. The link here is to the Research Corporation's Annual Reports which make inspirational reading. The 2006 report is especially recommended.

Research Councils UK: Research Careers Strategy

Research Councils UK, aims to 'optimise the ways that Research Councils work together to deliver their goals, to enhance the overall performance and impact of UK research, training and knowledge transfer and to be recognised by academia, business and government for excellence in research sponsorship' [quoted from website]. In this work it has a strategy for developing research careers and improving the working conditions of researchers. This section of their website includes a link to the Concordat to support the career development of researchers which includes briefing notes for institutions, managers, HR personnel and staff developers. It should be of interest to anyone with a role and/or interest in research careers.

Research skill development for curriculum design and assessment

This 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.

Research Skills Tutorial

A great prezi-presentation on research skills. For students and everyone else! By Kelly Dombroski, a Lecturer in Human Geography at Macquarie University

The National GAP

This website provides information and resources from an ALTC project on implementing and assessing graduate attributes. The project was the result of collaboration between a number of Australian universities. This website contains background information on the three phases of the project as well as the various resources developed by the project. The website is included here because it is sometimes useful to think about developing undergraduates' capacity for research and inquiry within a broader context of the development of a set of graduate attributes.

The Undergraduate Awards

UA is a prestigious and international academic awards programme, which is wholly pan-discipline. It aims to celebrate and support the world’s brightest and most innovative undergraduate students by recognising their best coursework and projects. The programme has been under the patronage of President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, since February 2012.

University of Gloucestershire Centre for Active Learning 'Undergraduate Research case studies'

Contains links to many useful documents and websites


Centre for Inquiry-based Learning In Arts and Social Sciences (CILASS)

‘Modelling the process of research within the student learning experience’. This is the caption of the Centre for Inquiry-based Learning at the University of Sheffield, UK. CILASS supports development and innovation in IBL. It aims to embed inquiry at the heart of the student learning experience in the University of Sheffield It particularly promotes IBL that involves students in discipline-based and inter-disciplinary collaborative inquiries, develops students´ information literacy capabilities, and uses information and communications technologies imaginatively to enhance the learning experience. The website includes information on its research seminar series, CILASS Student Ambassador Network (SAN) Workshops designed to bring staff and students together to discuss inquiry-based learning; the SURE: Sheffield Undergraduate Research Scheme; an external IBL Grant Scheme for colleagues from other institutions and the current Issue of the newsletter ‘crucIBL’. There is also a student blog and a host of other useful information and resources on inquiry-based learning.

Reinvention Center at University of Miami

The Reinvention Center is an American national center focusing on undergraduate education at research universities. 'The Center was born of the excitement and intense national and international interest generated by the Boyer Commission Report, Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America's Research Universities (1998). It is a consortium of research universities dedicated to strengthening undergraduate education through networking, convening, and sharing.ideas and resources [adapted from website]

Reinvention Centre for Undergraduate Research, University of Warwick and Oxford Brookes University, UK

The Reinvention Centre for Undergraduate Research is a collaborative project based in the Sociology Department at Warwick University and the School of the Built Environment at Oxford Brookes University. It is a UK national Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL). The main aim of the Reinvention Centre is to integrate research-based learning into the undergraduate curriculum. The website includes details of the projects that have been funded and links to publications, some by student researchers including books, films and an exhibition.



News report from 1999 on numbers of undergraduates in the University of California and some of the topics they are engaged in.


A research-rich environment

The starting position of this area of work is that a research-rich environment may be of various inter-related kinds. Active researchers may include the outcomes of their research in the curriculum. Students may be encouraged to learn in research-like ways, tackling complex problems with growing levels of autonomy. Students may work in an environment and culture that clearly values research. A Research-rich Environment Working Group is exploring the possible meanings of the term within the curriculum, based on reviews of existing practice at King’s College, London and Warwick University, UK, the review of practice from other national and international universities, and other sources of information. The group is also reviewing the progress and outcomes of commissioned projects being undertaken at each university, and considering sustainable ways in which undergraduate students might engage in a research-rich environment [quoted from website]

Teaching & research

Higher Education Academy Linking Research and teaching

This website provides links to numerous resources, centres, publications, websites and contacts with interests in integrating research and teaching generally, and undergraduate research more specifically.

How To Do Research - Interactive Graphic

Interactive Graphic, detailing the steps involved in doing research. Useful for introducing students to research. AN EDUBLOG ABOUT INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY INTO THE CLASSROOM

Linking Teaching and Research in the Disciplines

Monash University & University of Sydney Teaching & Research Benchmarking Project

Research-Informed Teaching, Northumbria University

The University of Northumbria, UK has supported initiatives that will ensure that teaching is 'informed and enriched by research’.The project ran during the academic years 2006/7 to 2008/9, Initiatives were supported with funding gained from HEFCE’s Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund and overseen by the Research and Teaching Steering Group of the University [adapted from website]. This website includes a number of resources and information on projects.

Research-led teaching and the scholarship of teaching

Originally designed by Angela Brew, this website contains information and resources from the University of Sydney Strategic Project on Research enhanced learning and teaching.

The Academic's and Policy-Maker's Guides to the Teaching-Research Nexus

This ALTC funded project website contains numerous resources and case studies for individual academics and institutions wishing to integrate research and teaching.

The Scottish Higher Education Enhancement Committee (SHEEC) Enhancement Themes:Research-Teaching Linkages

University of New South Wales Research-Teaching Nexus

Undergraduate journals

ANU eView: The ANU Undergraduate Research Journal

This journal presents 'outstanding essays taken from ANU undergraduate essay submissions. The breadth and depth of the articles chosen for publication by the editorial team and reviewed by leading ANU academics demonstrates the quality and research potential of the undergraduate talent being nurtured at ANU across a diverse range of fields' [quoted from website].

Bioscience Horizons: The national undergraduate research journal

This Undergraduate Research Journal is based at the University of Leeds, UK and has support from the Oxford University press. It is peer reviewed. The website includes a useful flow-chart to indicate how students should submit a paper. Papers submitted will have been chosen from final year undergraduate research modules by the department/school in which the student is studying. Papers are then nominated for submission. As well as providing information to students and departments intending to submit an article, these guidelines may be of interest to academics and others thinking of setting up an undergraduate research journal

Journal of Undergraduate Hypersonics @ UQ

An online student journal that contributes to research-led teaching in the UQ Bachelor of Engineering final year elective course "Hypersonics and Rarefied Gas Dynamics".

Journal of UNSW@ADFA: Undergraduate Hypersonics

An online student journal that contributes to research-led teaching in the UNSW@ADFA Bachelor of Engineering final year elective course 'Hypersonics' [quoted from website].

McGill Science Undergraduate Research Journal

The McGill Undergraduate Research Journal provides undergraduate with the opportunity to share their achievements with a diverse research community. It is peer reviewed. The website includes some useful guidelines to students about submitting their work including preparing the article, editorial policies and manuscript format and structure. As well as providing information to students intending to submit an article, these guidelines may be of interest to academics and others thinking of setting up an undergraduate research journal. You can also follow the blog:

Nexus: Journal of undergraduate science engineering and technology

This journal aims to provide a model and a means of integrating and promoting the teaching/research nexus within the undergraduate curriculum at the University of Tasmania

Orbit: University of Sydney Undergraduate Research Journal

Orbit provides a platform for the publication of original and excellent research by undergraduate students of the University of Sydney initially in the sciences and technology.

Reinvention: Journal of Undergraduate Research

Reinvention is an online, peer-reviewed journal, dedicated to the publication of high-quality undergraduate student research. The journal welcomes academic articles from all disciplinary areas and institutions. All articles in this journal undergo rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and refereeing by two anonymous referees. The journal is produced, edited and managed by students and staff at the University of Warwick and Oxford Brookes University. It is published bi-annually and only houses papers written by undergraduate students [adapted from website].

The Plymouth University Student Scientist

The Plymouth Student Scientist! is 'an electronic journal showcasing excellence in undergraduate student research from the University of Plymouth's Faculty of Science and Technology. This online journal is the main output of a HEFCE-funded project, to support and develop research-informed teaching at the University of Plymouth' [quoted from website].

Undergraduate research journals list

Undergraduate scholarships

APS/IBM Research Internship for Undergraduate Women

The American Physical Society and IBM co-sponsor a research internship program for undergraduate women. The goal is to encourage women students to pursue graduate studies in science and engineering. Application Deadline: February 1, 2012. US citizenship is not required.

Monash IBM Future Leaders Scholarship

The Monash IBM Future Leaders Program is designed to equip selected students with the general, technical, organisational and leadership skills needed to: become the next generation of business leaders; substantially reduce the time taken for new graduates to become fully effective employees. Students who have completed first year are eligible to apply.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities: Asthma Research

Vi Watson Vacation Scholarships are open to WA-based university students undertaking research projects relevant to asthma and who have completed at least 2 years of university study. Details and application forms are available on this website

Undergraduate Research Opportunities: Heart Foundation

This website includes information about how to apply for a summer scholarship with the Heart Foundation. The application form may also be useful as an exemplar to people wishing to set up a scheme in their own institution or organisation.

University of Tasmania research scholarships

School of Agricultural Science

Vacation Research Scholarship with AMSI

AMSI has funded, with stipend, 190 Vacation Scholarships for undergraduate students since 2004. The Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute offers Vacation Research Scholarships to 3rd year students. Vacation Scholarships provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to experience research in the mathematical sciences, providing preparation for honours or masters years and encouraging students to continue on to study a PhD. In tackling the research project students develop creativity and critical thinking in problem solving and are introduced to the collaborative nature of research.

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