Towards a European Undergraduate Research Support Network
Our changing world requires an adaptation of university education. We can no longer assume that teaching existing bodies of knowledge is sufficient. Therefore, it is of great importance to involve students in research as soon as possible today. As numerous studies show, undergraduate research increases the quality of university studies.
In the U.S., a program to promote undergraduate research (UR) has been running successfully for more than forty years. Meanwhile, there is an American as well as an Australasian association (CUR, ACUR) concerned with the development of undergraduate research. Despite several national initiatives, there is still no corresponding association or UR support structure in Europe. It is therefore imperative to strengthen, interlink and institutionalize the existing European UR initiatives.
Our goals are:
1. The network will promote research involving students and facilitate research collaboration and experiences among European undergraduate student communities.
2. The network will aim to provide for an UR research ecosystem in Europe (universities, research institutions, a European UR association…) while at the same time supports existing structures where UR takes place.
3. The network will promote and develop (digital) tools for students’ research.
The network project emerged from the Erasmus+Partnership digiUR (www.digiur.eu) and uses the author network of the upcoming Cambridge Handbook on Undergraduate Research. The network is intended to support mentoring of UR and to aim for pan-European cooperation.