Virtually the same? Evaluating the effectiveness of remote undergraduate research experiences Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • ABSTRACTIn-person undergraduate research experiences (UREs) promote students integration into careers in life science research. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted institutions hosting summer URE programs to offer them remotely, raising questions about whether undergraduates who participate in remote research can experience scientific integration. To address this, we investigated indicators of scientific integration for students who participated in remote life science URE programs in summer 2020. We found that these students experienced gains in their scientific self-efficacy and scientific identity similar to results reported for in-person UREs. We also found that these students perceived high benefits and low costs of doing research at the outset of their programs, and their perceptions did not change despite the remote circumstances. Yet, their perceptions differed by program, indicating that programs differentially affected students perceptions of the costs of doing research. Finally, we observed that students with prior research experience made greater gains in self-efficacy and identity, as well as in their perceptions of the alignment of their values with those of the scientific community, in comparison to students with no prior research experience. This finding suggests that additional programming may be needed for undergraduates with no prior experience to benefit from remote research.

altmetric score

  • 21.284

author list (cited authors)

  • Hess, R. A., Erickson, O. A., Cole, R. B., Isaacs, J. M., Alvarez-Clare, S., Arnold, J., ... Dolan, E. L.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Hess, Riley A||Erickson, Olivia A||Cole, Rebecca B||Isaacs, Jared M||Alvarez-Clare, Silvia||Arnold, Jonathan||Augustus-Wallace, Allison||Ayoob, Joseph C||Berkowitz, Alan||Branchaw, Janet||Burgio, Kevin R||Cannon, Charles H||Ceballos, Ruben Michael||Cohen, C Sarah||Coller, Hilary||Disney, Jane||Eggers, Margaret J||Ferguson, Edwin L||Gray, Jeffrey J||Greenberg, Jean T||Hoffmann, Alexander||Jensen-Ryan, Danielle||Kao, Robert M||Keene, Alex C||Kowalko, Johanna E||Lopez, Steven A||Mathis, Camille||Minkara, Mona||Murren, Courtney J||Ondrechen, Mary Jo||Ordoñez, Patricia||Osano, Anne||Padilla-Crespo, Elizabeth||Palchoudhury, Soubantika||Qin, Hong||Ramírez-Lugo, Juan||Reithel, Jennifer||Shaw, Colin A||Smith, Amber||Smith, Rosemary J||Tsien, Fern||Dolan, Erin L

Book Title

  • bioRxiv

publication date

  • January 2022