Mellon Foundation Grant

 

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Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant —
Reaching Across All Disciplines: Broadening the Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Participation

Introduction

At Centre College we [staff, faculty, and administration] engage in a number of different high-impact teaching and learning activities with our students outside of normal classroom instruction. These produce opportunities for students that include internships, study abroad, community-based service projects, and undergraduate research experiences. Because these transformative experiences play a central role in the mission of the institution, in 2012 Centre College included the promise of experiential learning experiences in The Centre Commitment.
 
Undergraduate research, or “mentored scholarship”, is one of the several transformative opportunities that satisfy this commitment. The Undergraduate Research Committee at Centre College has recently defined undergraduate research as “an activity conducted by an undergraduate with the guidance of a faculty member that advances the knowledge of the student and aims to make an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.” The definition is inclusive, and aims to cast a wide net across the various disciplinary approaches to undergraduate research.
 
While faculty are currently engaged in undergraduate research across the divisions and disciplines at Centre College, there are challenges which the Mellon Grant is specifically designed to address. These include the ambiguity of what “counts” as undergraduate research at Centre, as well as the relatively lower frequency of undergraduate research in the social sciences and humanities compared to the natural sciences.

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