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The Early Research Scholars Program

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors

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Christine Alvarado University of California, San Diego


Joe Hummel University of Illinois at Chicago

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Joe is a Clinical Associate Professor, and the Director of Undergraduate Studies, in Computer Science at the U. of Illinois, Chicago.

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Diba Mirza University of California, Santa Barbara


Renata A. Revelo University of Illinois at Chicago

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Renata A. Revelo is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She earned her B.S. and M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and her Ph.D. in Education Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois.

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In this paper we present an overview of the Early Research Scholars Program (ERSP), an NSF-sponsored research program (Division of Undergraduate Education) with the following objectives:

1. To excite participants through early exposure to computing research and the challenges facing computing researchers today. 2. To teach participants the fundamental skills involved in conducting research. 3. To create a diverse and supportive community within their department, with a particular focus on engaging students from groups currently underrepresented in computer science including women, African Americans, Latinxs, Native Americans and indigenous peoples.

ERSP was first piloted at the U. of California San Diego, and has since broadened to include UCSB, UIC, and Stanford. Focusing on CS and ECE students early in their undergraduate career, we pair teams of undergraduate students with graduate student and faculty mentors for a year-long research experience. The data suggests this year-long experience improves student outcomes, including retention and a sense of belonging (in both the academic and research communities). We believe the ERSP model can be easily replicated at other institutions, with minimal investment from the host department.

Alvarado, C., & Hummel, J., & Mirza, D., & Revelo, R. A. (2021, July), The Early Research Scholars Program Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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