The benefits of participating in undergraduate research (UR) are most pronounced for students from traditionally underserved groups (underrepresented minority, Aboriginal, low-income, and/or first-generation students), yet access to UR in many parts of the world favors economically advantaged students with family legacies of higher education. Scaffolding research throughout required components of the curriculum is key to addressing those equity gaps. A professional development workshop with the goal of broadening access to UR was offered at eight diverse universities and three national conferences in the United States. Participants were introduced to the Research Skill Development (RSD) Framework as a means of developing students’ research skills in fair and transparent ways. They used the model to draft learning outcomes and pedagogical strategies that would apply universally across their programs. Using the RSD Framework impelled the participants to make evident how the process of inquiry and research can be undertaken by all students in their program, thereby breaking down the divide in access to UR.
Shanahan, J.O. (2017, December). “I didn’t think students like me got opportunities like this”: Using the RSD Framework to Address Equity Gaps in Undergraduate Research. Paper presented at the International conference on Models of Engaged Learning and Teaching (I-MELT), Adelaide, Australia.