Researcher development: the impact of undergraduate research opportunity programmes on students in the UK
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). pp. 781-797. ISSN 0307-5079
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/03075071003777708
Undergraduate research opportunity programmes (UROP) are common in North America where research has confirmed their benefits. These schemes are gaining ground in the UK, and this article provides evidence for how UK students are benefiting from the experience. Results suggest UROP makes a significant contribution to the research capabilities and confidence of participating students, boosting their understanding of both research and their own subjects. Whilst offering considerable benefits to student learning, there is no evidence that UROP schemes on their current small scale attract additional students to postgraduate research, since the majority that participate are already interested in postgraduate study. However, at an individual level, most students report increased confidence and appreciation of the realities of the research process, and desire to progress on to postgraduate study following the placement, indicating that schemes may have the potential to cultivate new research confidence and interest if expanded.