What are research coaches?
Research coaches are undergraduate or graduate students who are hired by faculty exclusively to assist undergraduate students with course-integrated research projects. Similar successful research coach programs are in place at Florida State University and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
What will the research coaches do?
Research coaches work with faculty to help undergraduate students learn about and facilitate high-impact research experiences in a classroom setting. Based on the learning objectives of your course, coaches can:
- hold office hours or meeting times or participate in your class,
- answer questions, and/or
- explain concepts or research methodologies to facilitate your high-impact research projects.
- Assist with the coordination of field-based research efforts
Research coaches are not GTAs and should not be responsible for grading or formally evaluating students. Research coaches must commit to (1) a half-day pre-semester training and (2) meeting with students for approximately 30 hours over the semester.
- Linda Walters had 3 coaches in her Advanced Marine Biology class. Each coach was responsible for leading a group project on invasive species in the aquarium hobby industry. These projects were represented at the SURE Undergraduate Research Conference.
- Mary Tripp used 2 coaches to assist her first year Composition students in researching writing practices in local communities and writing research papers for submission to Stylus: A Journal of First-Year Writing.
- Michael Rovito used 3 coaches in his Applied Health Research Methods course. The coaches held open mentoring hours each week and hosted a series of roundtable discussions with the students independent from class time. Student groups prepared a research proposal and corresponding poster that were presented at the Health Sciences Research Symposium.
- Martha García worked with 3 coaches to enhance the research component and the preparation of the final term paper using the Modern Language Association style of her upper division Spanish Literature course. Students prepared a term paper based on a research question and coaches presented their paper at regional conferences.
How will the research coaches be compensated?
Each coach receives $300 scholarship, funded through our QEP grant.
How do I find a research coach?
Faculty identify and train their own research coaches. Coaches may be undergraduate students who have previously taken a course with you, members of your research program, or graduate students with specific skill sets such as statistical analysis, writing in your discipline, or information fluency.
How many research coaches will this scholarship support?
Our research coach model suggests a range of 1:15 to 1:30 ratio of coaches to students, depending on the learning objectives and scope of the research experience you propose. For instance, if you have 60 or 75 students in your course, you can request funding for (2) two or
- three research coaches. If your class has 20 students, you may request (1) one
Interested in using student research coaches to enhance learning in your courses?
- Fill out this application and explain how using student research coaches will help you integrate high-impact research experiences into a Spring 2017 course that you are scheduled to
- Submit your application by November 1,
- Identify undergraduate or graduate students you would like to use as research coaches.
- Notifications about funding will go out to faculty applicants by mid-November.
- If your project is selected for funding, offer your research coaches the scholarship, and have them fill out an agreement about the project and their time commitment (we will provide document).
- Coaches will attend a half-day training session to learn about this
- Teach your Spring 2017 class with the help of your research
- At the beginning and end of the semester, assess the impact of your high-impact learning experiences using our brief online Qualtrics pre/post
Please contact Dr. Mary Tripp at Mary.Tripp@ucf.edu