Undergraduate Research

A central aspect of the Furman Advantage and one of the hallmarks of engagement with students at a small liberal arts college – supporting undergraduate research projects and the development of young mentees – has become more challenging under pandemic conditions. For the latest updates about undergraduate research projects and the Summer Research fellow program, please stay in touch with the Office of Undergraduate Research and the Institutional Review Board. In particular, note any current restrictions on research with human subjects.

Furman faculty have demonstrated great prowess in adapting undergraduate research efforts to accommodate restrictions on engagement, travel, and human subjects interaction. This recording and handout from an inter-institutional webinar about how the pandemic improved undergraduate research mentorship practices highlights a number of the adaptive strategies and “lessons learned” from colleagues who have supported recent projects.

Colleagues have indicated that the following resources have been of greatest use in planning for flexible undergraduate research projects:

  • Staff in Learning Technology can provide a wide variety of instructional technology support for your research projects – from data management and manipulation platforms to support in communicating project results.
  • Furman’s Executive Reflection Fellow Stephanie Knouse offers this set of tips for incorporating reflection practices into your modified research project to support critical thinking and reflection among student partners.
  • Faculty across disciplines have found success utilizing online project management software – with some of the most common among Furman research mentors being Asana, Monday.com, Microsoft Planner, and Trello. If you’d like to connect with a current user of one of these platforms, please let us know.
  • These suggestions provided by members of the Council of Undergraduate Research for virtual mentoring provide several potential ideas for investing in mentoring activities from afar.

For questions about supporting undergraduate research during a pandemic, please contact Dr. Erik Ching, Director of Undergraduate Research, or email us at FDC@furman.edu.