Special Issue on the Inclusion of Students from Historically Underrepresented Groups in Undergraduate Research
Undergraduate research serves as a pivotal experience for both students and faculty mentors. The benefits of undergraduate research participation have been widely studied. However, there is a scarcity of research that examines how patterns of participation and entry into undergraduate research opportunities may vary based on students’ minority or non-minority status. For example, Gregerman, Lerner, von Hippel,  Jonides and Nagda, (1998)[1] found that students who identified as racial minorities were more likely to graduate college when they had engaged in undergraduate research with a faculty mentor. Further, other research has suggested that students, who not only received mentoring through undergraduate research opportunities, but also served as mentors to younger undergraduate research students, were more likely to go to graduate school. When we think of undergraduate research and the undeniable benefits, do we concurrently consider who our undergraduate researchers are? Are the methods we use to recruit students into our labs or research groups giving all students who could benefit from the experience access? When mentoring students from underrepresented groups are there certain factors, supports, levels of awareness we must have? What if you are in a discipline that traditionally does not have students from underrepresented groups as majors or minors, does this issue still apply to you? Finally, who are historically underrepresented groups in your discipline and how is it essential to include this perspective in your research process?

In the PURM Fall 2015 Special Issue on the Inclusion of Students from Historically Underrepresented Groups in Undergraduate Research, we invite pieces from students, faculty, and administrators that delve into the challenges and the innovations on your campus and in your experience. Collaboration with students on manuscripts is strongly encouraged. Topics might include

  • How faculty members can invite and support students from historically underrepresented groups to participate in their own ongoing research agendas.
  • Best practices for sustaining participation in undergraduate research for students from underrepresented groups.
  • How faculty and students overcome the perceived and institutional boundaries that might impact access to undergraduate research for certain populations.
  • How institutions can support, encourage, and recognize engaged learning in the form of undergraduate research for students from historically underrepresented groups.

PURM accepts manuscripts on a rolling basis. To be considered for the Special Issue on the Inclusion of Students from Historically Underrepresented groups in Undergraduate Research, fall 2005, manuscripts must be received by March 1, 2015.

Any questions regarding PURM, the submission and review process, or article inquiries for the Special Issue may be directed to Dr. Buffie Longmire-Avital, Special Guest Editor, bavital@elon.edu.

All other inquires may be directed to Dr. Rebecca Pope-Ruark, Managing Editor, PURM, rruark@elon.edu and Dr. Mathew H. Gendle, Editor-in-Chief, PURM, mgendle@elon.edu.



[1] Gregerman, S.R., Lerner, J.S., von Hippel, W., Jonides, J., & Nagda, B.A. (1998). Undergraduate student-faculty research partnerships affect student retention. The Review of Higher Education, 22, 55 – 72.