30 September 2015

New Resource Seeks Input to Help Grow Undergrad Research

Richard Fienberg

Richard Fienberg, AAS Press Officer

This item is posted on behalf of John Mateja, Murray State University, Kentucky:

Over the past several decades, the value of engaging undergraduates in research has been increasingly recognized by the physics and astronomy communities. To date, the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), American Astronomical Society (AAS), American Physical Society (APS), Council on Undergraduate Research’s Physics and Astronomy Division (CURPA), and Society of Physics Students (SPS) have authored and adopted statements calling for research experiences for all physics and astronomy undergraduate majors.

Making such declarations and realizing them are, of course, not one and the same. It is now incumbent upon us to make research experiences for all physics and astronomy majors, either on our campuses or through off-campus opportunities, a reality. Sharing ideas that have worked on our individual campuses is one way in which we can increase the number of research opportunities for undergraduates across the physics and astronomy communities. A new website — Undergraduate Research: Programs and Practices to Grow Research Opportunities — is being created to enable individuals and departments to share successful practices, funding strategies, internship placement strategies, and course designs with embedded research opportunities. If adopted by others, these would work to increase the number of undergraduate research opportunities across the community.

We are launching the site with a half dozen "research vignettes" with ideas from physicists and astronomers across North America who have successfully integrated meaningful research experiences into their undergraduate curricula. We invite AAS members and others who have done the same to contribute to this new resource and share their insights with the broader community. Please send your contribution by email to John Mateja at Murray State University, Kentucky. We aren't specifying a length limit; your article may be as long or as short as you need it to be. Please create it in Word and send it as an attachment to your email. We'll then add it to the research-vignettes website.