Contributors to student gains in undergraduate research published in BioScience

In this paper published in BioScience, we describe pre/post-assessments of 241 undergraduate students who participated in the Harvard Forest Summer Research Program in Ecology between 2005 and 2015. We found that prior laboratory research experience and perception of being a respected member of a research team were positively associated with gains in research skills and abilities to do and present research.

This work also showed that self-assessed gains in a student’s ability to do science were greater for the students without prior research experience. This result suggests that undergraduate research mentors and research programs interested in promoting a variety of learning gains should emphasize the recruitment of students without prior research experiences so that these students can begin to expand on these skillsets through future experiences.

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