Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Undergraduate research: challenges for research-active faculty

In a recent post I wrote about the value of undergraduate research. The topic is not new and has been discussed in many venues over many years. For example, in August of 2003 an Undergraduate Research Summit was held at Bates College, Lewiston, Maine. Funded by the Chemistry Division of the National Science Foundation and co-organized by Prof. Thomas Wenzel (Chemistry Department, Bates College) and Dr. Robert Lichter (Merrimack Consultants LLC), the summit consisted of discussions initiated by a number of white papers. A full report of the summit was disseminated and discussed at a number of American Chemical Society National Meetings.

Prof. John Stevens (Chemistry Department, University of North Carolina at Asheville) and I co-authored a piece on "Generating Research Ideas" for the summit and report. Are the views expressed in this seven-year-old white paper still relevant? Indeed, does the entire report still offer a useful perspective on the challenges associated with undergraduate research?

Incidentally, let me take this opportunity to congratulate Tom Wenzel on receiving the 2010 American Chemical Society Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution.

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