Undergraduate Research Projects

According to the American Association of Colleges & Universities (2007), Undergraduate Research is included in a set of verifiable, effective educational practices that are correlated with positive educational results for students from widely varying backgrounds (see “High-Impact Educational Practices: A Brief Overview,”, pp.9-11). In connection with the AAC&U essential learning outcomes, Undergraduate Research fosters broad knowledge of human cultures and the natural world, strengthens intellectual and practical skills, and it is a practice of interactive and applied learning.

At Mesa Community College, Undergraduate Research (UGR) experiences occur in all disciplines. MCC’s HSI-STEM: Guided Pathways Enhancement Project aims to increase faculty and student engagement with undergraduate research as a way to increase student persistence, successful completion, graduation, and transfer. The HSI-STEM grant supports two types of research: Student-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (SURE) and Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CURE). Grant funds are available for

  • research project supplies,
  • faculty development projects including faculty-faculty project development mentorship,
  • faculty revision projects,
  • hourly wages for grant-eligible students completing undergraduate research internships,
  • tuition scholarship for grant-eligible students completing undergraduate research in a one-credit special projects course, and
  • grant-eligible student and faculty travel funds for symposium awards.

What are Student-based Undergraduate Research Experiences?

With SURE projects, faculty recruit students or students select a faculty mentor to enroll into a 1-credit special projects course and complete undergraduate research as an independent or small group project. Students document the project by creating a research poster.

What are Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences?

Faculty integrate undergraduate research into any course that they teach. The CURE projects are offered as an assignment option or a course requirement for all students. Students document the project by creating a research poster.

Faculty Undergraduate Research Development Projects

Projects are funded for development or revision during the spring to summer term.

Develop a New UGR Project

  1. Determine if you will develop a student-based project or course-based project.
  2. Complete the UGR faculty development project application.
  3. Participate in UGR community of practice meetings to discuss projects and develop together. These meetings will be scheduled to accommodate participant schedules during the semester.
  4. Meet regularly with your assigned mentor and develop a project.
  5. Integrate a student research poster as part of the project plan.
  6. Share the project plan with your department.
  7. Earn a $1500 one-time payment.

Implement a UGR Project

  1. Special Projects ONLY:
    • Identify students that will enroll into the special projects course (Z formula funding applies). Grant-eligible students may qualify for undergraduate research hourly pay: Student interest form
    • Complete the project overview document.
  2. Request UGR project supplies.
  3. Implement the UGR project.
  4. Participate in UGR community of practice meetings to discuss projects and develop together. These meetings will be scheduled to accommodate participant schedules during the semester.

Revise a UGR Project

  1. Determine if you will revise a student-based project or course-based project.
  2. Complete the UGR faculty revision project application.
  3. Participate in UGR community of practice meetings to discuss projects and develop together. These meetings will be scheduled to accommodate participant schedules during the semester.
  4. Integrate a student research poster as part of the project plan.
  5. Share the project plan with your department.
  6. Earn a $750 one-time payment.

Mentor Faculty Developing a New UGR Project

  1. Submit the UGR faculty-to-faculty mentor form.
  2. Determine if you will mentor faculty that are developing a student-based project or course-based project.
  3. Participate in UGR community of practice meetings to discuss projects and develop together. These meetings will be scheduled to accommodate participant schedules during the semester.
  4. Meet regularly with your assigned mentee.
  5. Earn a $750 one-time payment.

Funded by a U.S. Department of Education Title III HSI-STEM grant.