Asee peer logo

Three Training Programs for Preparing Undergraduates to Conduct Research

Download Paper |


2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

NSF Grantees' Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1250.1 - 23.1250.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Susan L. Burkett University of Alabama

visit author page

Dr. Susan L. Burkett earned the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri in 1985, 1987, and 1992, respectively. She joined the University of Alabama in 2008 as the Alabama Power Foundation Endowed Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering. From 2005 to 2007, she served as program director at the National Science Foundation in the Division of Undergraduate Education. She has funded research projects with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Army Research Laboratory (ARL). Her research interests are in the areas of semiconductor processing and advanced interconnect schemes. Dr. Burkett was a co-chair representing the IEEE Education Society for the 2011 Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference. She is a senior member of IEEE, a member of the AVS: Science and Technology Society, and ASEE.

visit author page


David F. Bahr Purdue University, West Lafayette

visit author page

Prof. David Bahr is currently head of Materials Engineering at Purdue University. Prior to his appointment at Purdue, he served as the director of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Washington State University and as the WSU director of Undergraduate Research from 2006 to 2010. He received a B.S. and M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Purdue, and then received a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Minnesota in 1997.

visit author page


Shelley N Pressley Washington State University

visit author page

Dr. Shelley Pressley earned her B.S. from Carnegie Mellon University and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Washington State University all in Civil and Environmental Engineering. She worked as a hazardous waste environmental consultant with ABB Environmental Services, Inc. in Portland, ME for about five years before pursuing her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Since graduating with her Ph.D. in 2004, she has been at Washington State University. She currently holds two half-time positions. One position is as an assistant research professor within the Laboratory for Atmospheric Research (LAR) in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The second position is as director of Undergraduate Research within the University College at Washington State University. Her research interests include measurements of trace gas emissions and associated atmospheric chemistry. She has funded research projects with the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the WA State Department of Ecology (WADOE). She is a member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), the American Geological Union (AGU), and the Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR).

visit author page

author page

Kimberly R Schneider University of Central Florida

author page

John C Lusth University of Alabama

Download Paper |


Three classroom formats devoted to preparing STEM students for successful research endeavorsis the forum for this project. All formats are intended to reach undergraduate students early intheir academic careers. The three formats include: a semester long seminar, a one week “bootcamp”, and a 2 ½ day short course. The investigators attempt to keep the main topics in eachformat the same although time constraints do not allow thorough review of each topic in thelatter two formats. The topical content and activities cover the following areas: resume building,contacting a faculty mentor, reading and analyzing journal articles, understanding the differenttypes of literature available, using campus library resources, performing a literature review,discussion of intellectual property, tips on effective presentations, and career guidance. Thisproject is motivated by the need for students to acquire the appropriate skills in order to be mosteffective in conducting research under faculty supervision. This project is a collaborative effortbetween three institutions that have previous experience teaching research preparatory skills inthe different formats. The investigators are teaching each of the course formats at theirinstitution and working as a team to develop the appropriate course modules that can bedisseminated to interested institutions. In addition, they are working to prepare a set of bestpractices and evaluate the costs associated with each format. The team is developing a pre- andpost-test in the style of a concept inventory that can be used to assess improvements in studentunderstanding of research skills and concepts. Initial results show similar gains in conceptualawareness at each institution. This suggests that the educational models may be transferrableand easy to adopt by an institution. Focus group discussions indicate that students are pleasedwith the programs and consider them useful, especially for students preparing to conductresearch. To date, the team has impacted over 250 students and a web site has been developedfor disseminating project information. This project is funded by the NSF TUES Type IIprogram.

Burkett, S. L., & Bahr, D. F., & Pressley, S. N., & Schneider, K. R., & Lusth, J. C. (2013, June), Three Training Programs for Preparing Undergraduates to Conduct Research Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22635

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2013 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015