Bridging the gap: Staff-student partnership through an undergraduate researcher scheme

Emma Jane Sunley

Abstract


In this report, the operation of the York St John University ‘Students as Researchers Scheme’ (SRS) in the academic year 2013-14 is reviewed. The historical context is set and main aims are explained. The SRS, underpinned by the growing research culture across the University, provides exciting opportunities for staff-student collaboration through research. Recent student evaluation indicates a positive impact on student understanding of research processes, development of transferable skills such as teamwork and communication, and greater clarity about future aspirations. Two feedback projects funded by the SRS have the potential to influence change in feedback processes in line with institutional assessment strategies. This report also describes ways in which the York St John annual undergraduate research conference, closely aligned to the SRS, celebrates the achievements of researchers and offers students an opportunity to network and present their research in a friendly and supportive peer environment. The report concludes by exploring ways to develop the SRS further, which include the creation of an online blog, which, it is argued, will strengthen the sense of an undergraduate researcher community, improve motivation and encourage recording and sharing of progress among staff supervisors and their student researchers.


Keywords


student researcher schemes; York St John University, transferable skills; staff-student collaboration

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References


Healey, M. and Jenkins, A. (2009) Developing undergraduate research and inquiry. Available at: https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/developingundergraduate_final.pdf (Accessed: 22 August 2014).

Jarvis, J., Dickerson, C. and Stockwell, L. (2013) ‘Staff-student partnership in practice in higher education: the impact on learning and teaching.’ Procedia - Social and Behavioural Sciences, 90, 220-225.

John, J. and Creighton, J. (2011) ‘Researcher development: the impact of undergraduate research opportunity programmes on students in the UK.’ Studies in Higher Education, 36 (7), 781-797.

Sandover, S., Partridge, L., Dunne, E. and Burkill, S. (2012) ‘Undergraduate researchers change learning and teaching: A case study in Australia and the United Kingdom.’ Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly, 33, 33-39.

York St John University (2014) Principles of Feedback. Available at: http://www.yorksj.ac.uk/add/add/pedagogic-practices/assessment-and-feedback/principles-of-feedback.aspx (Accessed: 15 August 2014).

York St John University (2014) Students as Researchers Scheme. Available at: http://www.yorksj.ac.uk/add/add/student-engagement/students-as-researchers-scheme.aspx (Accessed: 15 August 2014).




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21100/jeipc.v1i2.165

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