Affinity Research Group (ARG)
Developing the Student Researcher
The Affinity Research Group (ARG) model emphasizes the development of student research skills and those required for cooperative work. The ARG model provides both undergraduate and graduate students with opportunities to learn, use, and integrate the knowledge and skills that are required for research with those required for cooperative work. The existing course focuses on three fundamental aspects that have been identified to contribute to success of undergraduate research: research methods, experimentation and validation, and technical writing and presentations.
The undergraduate research intervention addresses the causes associated with the retention and advancement of students into graduate school. It is well documented that undergraduate research experiences motivate students to pursue graduate studies, and it develops research skills that can help them to be successful in graduate studies. The ARG model incorporates mechanisms that address persistence, a critical characteristic for academic success. For example, it provides opportunities for faculty and students to interact outside the classroom; engages students as role models for each other; fosters a “student culture” in which students can interact with each other and discuss issues in a competent manner; helps students clarify and maintain goals; and involves students in their college-learning experience. Through experiences gained in research groups and research courses, students are connected with role models, students interact with faculty outside the classroom, students develop oral and written communication skills, and students hone their technical and research skills. As a result, they will be better qualified and motivated to pursue graduate studies.
* ARG receives additional NSF funding from DUE 0443061 and DUE 0920300.