National Summer Undergraduate Research Project (NSURP): A Virtual Research Experience to Deliver REAL (Retention, Equity, Access, and Life-Changing) Outcomes for Underrepresented Minorities in STEM

Michael D.L. Johnson, Corey J. Knox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Microbiology and Biology Education
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • REU
  • STEM
  • microbiology
  • minority
  • remote
  • research
  • undergraduate
  • underrepresented
  • virtual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences

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