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Entering Research (LASC 397B&C)


Entering Research is a two-semester seminar-style course designed by Janet L. Branchaw, Christine Pfund and Raelyn Rediske at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20516356) to complement and support undergraduate students in independent research experiences. As a part of my broader impact goals with an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, I have been implementing a version of this course for physical science undergraduates at the University of Arizona, offered through the Teaching Teams program.

Entering Research now has an official UA course listing: LASC 397 B (Fall) and LASC 397 C (Spring)!

In the 2013-2014 academic year, I taught a small pilot version of this 2-unit (1 per semester) course. The current 2014-2015 academic year has 10 students enrolled divided between two sections.

About the Workshop Series
LASC 397B (Fall): Students meet weekly, sharing their research experiences and learning about the roles, responsibilities and relationships that make for a successful research experience. Throughout the semester, students gained the skills to draft a small research proposal and presented it to the class.

LASC 397C (Spring): In this second course in the series, students focus on science communication, research ethics, science's role in society and research presentations. Students write a mini grant proposal for the final and present it to the class.

For UA Undergraduates Interested in Research
I encourage students interested in taking future offerings of this course to contact me (bramson (at) lpl.arizona.edu), click on the links below or check out the Entering Research page on the Teaching Teams website.

Advice to undergraduates wanting to get involved in Research at UA

For UA Grad Students Interested in Teaching a Section of Entering Research
I encourage graduate students with a strong interest in learner-centered and experiential-based teaching strategies to contact me. Entering Research is a great way for graduate students to get additional teaching experience beyond what a TA position often offers: think less grading and lecturing and more discussion-leading and mentoring. This year I have brought two additional graduate students on to help with leading the sections. As Entering Research grows, I am working towards building up of cohort of graduate students that serve as instructors and can help with recruiting and growing the course. While we currently don't have money to offer like a TA for leading a section, we can provide instructor of record status to students who instruct sections and participate in a seminar on learning styles and learner-centered teaching.

Example Course Application and Syllabus
Application for Entering Research 2014-2015 Academic Year

Syllabus for Entering Research 2014-2015 Academic Year