In Ireland there are a number of initiatives aimed at encouraging undergraduate research, including bursaries, national awards and an annual conference. These initiatives are largely aimed at final year undergraduate students.
We asked ‘what does a whole-programme developmental approach look like?’. The resulting research project sampled existing practice, and then audited undergraduate programmes selected for their excellence in one institution, using a survey instrument based on the Council for Undergraduate Research COEUR guidelines, supplemented by materials from the University of Macquarie in Australia. The research highlights not only good practice but also gaps in the development of undergraduate research from first year to final year.
Analysis led to important learning by course directors, and by the institution. We will present these results, as well as subsequent activity designed to scale-up identified good practice across the institution, and to engage other institutions within Ireland.