Undergraduate Research Opportunities Committee Report

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Committee

Committee Charge and Overview of Activities

Between Fall 2018 and Fall 2020, the UROC was charged by the Faculty Senate with exploring:

  1. Current undergraduate research practices at Portland State University (PSU);
  2. New initiatives, or development and improvement of, current practices to engage more undergraduates in research including students and mentors from disciplines perceived as overlooked in this area, such as the humanities; and
  3. Activities and structures to sustain successful undergraduate research related practices over time at PSU.  

The UROC reviewed best practices in undergraduate research at other institutions and organizations (e.g., Council on Undergraduate Research) and researched the state of undergraduate research at official PSU comparator universities to inform our assessment of PSU undergraduate research practices. We then drew on various sources of data to better understand the status of undergraduate research at PSU. Sources of information included previous research carried out by the Academic Quality Committee (AQC). We collated data on undergraduate research activities through analysis of Honors College data, exit data from various programs (e.g., Honors, REU, ISS), and information on undergraduate engagement with the annual PSU research symposium.

We initiated a survey of university leadership (administration, research PIs, leaders of centers and institutes)  to assess undergraduate research from the perspective of different units and add leadership perspectives on undergraduate research to available data on faculty perspectives. We also sought to incorporate feedback from areas of scholarship not well-represented on the committee. Efforts in this area included requesting additional Senate members from humanities and arts, inviting feedback from college and unit heads across the university through a May 2019 presentation to the Academic Leadership Council, and conducting direct outreach to the College of the Arts (COTA). We coordinated with the student success effort lead by the Provost’s Office to collect data on student perspectives and experiences with undergraduate research by adding relevant questions to a student survey administered by the Provost’s office. For more information contact: uroc@pdx.edu

Supporting and Expanding Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate Research Questionnaire and Workshop

The UROC seeks feedback from faculty and staff members interested and engaged in undergraduate research from across the university. To gather this data, we invite you to review the committee's report, submit responses to our undergraduate research questionnaire and participate in a virtual workshop on December 3, 2020, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

The workshop will cover:

  • An overview of the committee's activities and findings;
  • Break-out group discussions of:
    • Strengths of, and challenges to, undergraduate research at PSU; and
    •  Specific recommendations for improving undergraduate research opportunities at PSU

Supporting and Expanding Undergraduate Virtual Workshop
Thursday, December 3, 2020
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Register for the workshop