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Northwestern University
Private Higher Education
Date Approved

The Association of American Colleges & Universities identifies undergraduate research (UR) as one of 11 high-impact practices (HIP). UR introduces students to critical engagement with unanswered questions and provides a structure for building professional skills such as effective communication, problem-solving, and teamwork. However, two issues limit the power of UR to fulfill its promise: 1) first generation, low income, and/or underrepresented minority (FGLI/URM) students face systemic, institutional barriers to UR participation, and 2) investments in UR in the humanities, arts, and social sciences lag significantly, primarily because non-STEM research occurs more individualistically. The Northwestern Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) will develop a core non-STEM UR infrastructure aimed at engaging and supporting FGLI/URM students in non-STEM research. To accomplish this goal, we will create videos for common problems students face and adapt existing STEM-oriented Entering Research materials to target FGLI/URM students. In tandem, we will pilot a comprehensive UR training program pairing workshops and funding. The newly developed infrastructure and accompanying supports will be converted into an exportable resource usable broadly across schools and the UR field.