Leadership in undergraduate research in biology: An innovative approach for assessments
General description of the project
Development of an undergraduate bioresearch group (UBG) of students and mentors, during a period of 13 years, has been a successful strategy to enhance the research training opportunities among students in biology and associated disciplines. A total of 38 students have participated in a model for research based on a series of hierarchical steps along research design, management, and academic assessments. The developed and applied research model is significant to develop mentorships within temporal and spatial limitations, while promoting multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary liaisons. The outcomes of the period reported assess successfully the model followed. Integrations and collaborations are key to enhance the opportunities for students to attend graduate and/or professional schools. professional faculty development, and the institution vison and mission to prepare successful science citizens.
‘The UBG has maximize the use of existing resources within the actual temporal and spatial limitations. The students have been able to engage in some simple but sophisticated and up-dated scientific activities. Their experiences are built from existing resources from laboratories instrumentation and other resources. The research projects have been initiatives to impact instructional laboratories by linking interdepartmental research and teaching efforts while sharing resources, assessment tools, and different pedagogies.
Explain project results
As the new InterPonce re-emerges looking forward to a full recovery from so many adverse situations such as hurricanes, government fiscal constraints, COVID-19 pandemic, earthquakes, and migration trends, that challenges the abilities to provide adequate resources for the student body. However, the development of research initiatives using different resources such as emergent technologies go along with the demands of the new science student. The development of a strong science Undergraduate Bioresearch Group (UBG) is based on the application of innovative curricular and extracurricular offerings that are strategic to the University’s mission and vision. Consequently, the opportunity to engage in undergraduate research is important to enhance the competitiveness of the institution locally and nationally, as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), providing a comprehensive academic development.
Why it should be considered best practice?
It is evident that the research experience throughout these years enhances the long-standing commitment of providing high quality education for the students in biology and related disciplines. Many students have graduated and matriculated into medical, allied health, and graduate schools. As a strong research community, the UBG is well positioned to demonstrate (through successful implementations of its research model) a successful learning experience that may be replicated by other departments or higher education institutions.
The outcomes of the research experiences are essential for developing, sustaining, and promoting an exciting teaching and learning strategy. Designing new research projects may allow the preparation to discuss national and international issues thus enhancing an appreciation toward global issues. The systematic evidence-based evaluation of this research project is a fine example of institutional academic assessment program and a fundamental pillar for its integration to our entire organizational culture.
Highlights of your proposed presentation
Some of the most significant outcomes during the trajectory of the UBG is the publication, in a prestigious peer review journal, of the research work from Raul Aleno under the microbiology program. Also, the award earned by Ricardo Noriega as the best presentation in environmental chemistry in the 2016 ACS spring meeting. However, above all is the motivations, efforts, participations, and satisfactions of the participants.
The continuous support of the administration in research and professional development plays a significant role in the success of the UBG initiatives. Despite the economic and unexpected challenges, including resiliency, the UBG manages to work hand in hand with the availability of resources, space, and time. The secret of the UBG successful research outcomes relies on simplicity, responsibility, and dedication following a research model enhancing the opportunities to develop successful scientific citizens.
The Evaluation Committee will evaluate submitted proposals based on the following criteria. Each area will be rated on a scale from 1 to 7 (1= non-satisfactory; 7 =outstanding), for a maximum of 63 points.