Undergraduate Research Assistantship: A Comparison of Benefits and Costs from Faculty and Students' Perspectives

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Undergraduate Students, Student Research, Research Assistants, Cost Effectiveness, College Faculty, Teacher Attitudes, Student Attitudes, Comparative Analysis


Education | Higher Education


Conducting and publishing original research under close supervision of a faculty mentor is a valuable experience for undergraduate students regardless of their academic discipline. However, limited space, funding, and resources, along with large numbers of undergraduate students preclude requiring all students to participate in one-on-one research opportunities with faculty at many academic institutions. In an effort to offer research experience to many interested, qualified undergraduates, some departments have established research teams, while other students are required or strongly encouraged to enroll in a formal research-based course as their culminating academic activity prior to graduation. In either case, a cost/benefit analysis has indicated that benefits clearly outweighing the costs of research projects. The purpose of this article is to compare benefits and costs of undergraduate research assistantship from faculty and students' perspectives.

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