Summer undergraduate research experiences (SUREs) provide important onramps to secondary STEM graduate degrees and subsequent careers. Studies demonstrate that these experiences increase the likelihood of students advancing to a graduate-level STEM degree, positively impact STEM identity and confidence, and imbue a sense of professional belonging. In 2020, COVID-19 shutdowns eliminated many in-person SUREs. In response, we launched the National Summer Undergraduate Research Project (NSURP).While NSURP addressed an immediate need for a flexible research experience, we found that this model extends access to underrepresented minorities because it provides authentic research experiences for students who are unable to travel to a research location, and/or who have familial responsibilities that necessitate a flexible work model, and/or students facing financial challenges. What began as an emergency summer research program for undergraduates to address laboratory closures resulted in what we believe is a necessary and normalized addition to the undergraduate STEM training and preparation repertoire.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Immunology and Microbiology
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences