National Virtual Computing Research Mentor Program
Undergraduate and Graduate Student Applications for Fall 2023 will open Spring 2023.
Curriculum Developer Applications received by March 31 will be given preference.
Institutional Partner Applications for fall 2023 are being accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until June 15.
UR2PhD focuses on engaging more women in computer science PhD programs through a virtual, nationally-managed approach to quality undergraduate research opportunities and to bridging the gap to PhD applications.
The goal of UR2PhD is to increase the percentage of women entering PhD programs by at least 15% per year, with even higher increases for U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
The programs’ specific objectives are to:
- increase the number of undergraduate research opportunities for women (especially Black, Latina, and Native women) by expanding universities’ capacities for high-quality undergraduate research; and
- close the gap between a first research experience and a successful PhD application.
The UR2PhD program will meet these objectives by creating a virtual, nationally managed structure built on three key pillars:
- A virtual undergraduate research methods course and research community, offered twice annually (fall and summer), will increase the capacity of computing departments to provide high-quality undergraduate research opportunities.
- A virtual mentor training program for PhD students to serve as REU mentors that is grounded in culturally responsive mentoring practices will grow the capacity and quality of research experiences for undergraduates from all backgrounds.
- A series of online REU-to-graduate-school bridge workshops for third- and fourth-year undergraduates will support and retain students from their REU experience to PhD programs by keeping third-year students engaged in research while supporting fourth-year students through the PhD application process.
Participation in UR2PhD will be through two entry points:
- Institutional Partners – Participating academic units will engage twenty or more undergraduate students and their graduate student mentors (if applicable) in the program, with undergraduate researchers working in pairs (or larger groups) on each project. Applications are being accepted now. (link to application)
- Individual Research Advisors – Participating individual research advisors will engage their pairs (or larger groups) of undergraduate research students in the program.
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- We encourage applications from faculty members with experience developing student-facing programs, deep understanding of undergraduate research, and a history of using identity inclusive instructional practices to apply to work collaboratively with program chairs to develop curriculum for the three program pillars during the summer of 2023. Additionally, community members are also encouraged to apply to co-teach the program’s three virtual courses; the research methods and graduate mentor training courses will be taught in the summer and fall and the bridge workshops will be throughout the academic year. Faculty members will be paid via stipend for their contributions.
- The curriculum developer application is currently open. (Link to application)
UR2PhD PROGRAM CURRICULUM DEVELOPERS OPENING
We are seeking curriculum developers for a new CRA program called UR2PhD, whose goal is to vastly increase the number of women students (particularly Black, Latina and Native women students) who have high-quality undergraduate research experiences and continue into PhD programs. UR2PhD is a national, virtual program with three pillars: (1) graduate student mentor training, (2) early undergraduate research support and training, and (3) a bridge program to support students between their first research experience and application to a PhD program.
We are currently seeking two curriculum developers for each of the first two pillars:
- Graduate Student Mentor Training: Curriculum Developers will design a 12-week, virtual training program for graduate students serving in the role of research mentors for early undergraduate students. This training will use a practicum approach: the training program will begin just before the graduate student’s first mentoring experience, and continue during the beginning of their mentoring. The program must centrally incorporate identity inclusive approaches, both in its approach to graduate student training and in the mentoring practices being taught.
- Early Undergraduate Research Support and Training: Curriculum Developers will design a 10 to 14-week research methods course and support program for new undergraduate researchers. The course will teach students about the foundations of research (e.g., reading a research paper, doing a literature review, identifying and communicating a research problem, etc.) as well as foster a network of support for these new undergraduate researchers. The course and support structure must centrally incorporate identity inclusive approaches in their approach to research training.
Curriculum designers for both pillars will work closely with the UR2PhD leadership team (Christine Alvarado, Lori Pollock, Monique Ross, and Kelly Shaw) who have experience developing similar programs.
- Experience leading research with undergraduate students (required);
- Experience mentoring graduate students (required for the graduate student mentor training position only);
- Experience developing student-facing programs (required);
- History of using identity inclusive instructional practices (required);
- Experience working with programs designed to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in computing (preferred);
- Demonstrated organizational and communication skills (required);
Curriculum development will begin in April or May 2023 and must be completed prior to the start of each training program. The graduate training course will begin in August 2023. The undergraduate research methods course will begin in September 2023. Continuing as an instructor for the pillar (i.e., teaching the developed curriculum in the first year of the program) will be an option (with an additional stipend), but is not required.
Curriculum Developers will each be given a $10K stipend for their work.
Please upload a cover letter and your CV to this Google form: https://forms.gle/Fk1BseSK2CBitkoY7. Applicants who apply by March 31 will be given full consideration. The position will remain open until filled.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
APPLY FOR RESOURCES – ENGAGE MORE WOMEN IN UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
The CRA’s new Undergraduate Research to PhD program, UR2PhD (pronounced “you are 2 PhD”), is seeking institutional partners who would like support with growing the number of women and other gender-marginalized computing students who participate in undergraduate research and continue on to PhD programs.
UR2PhD is a national, virtual program with the goal of vastly increasing the number of women engaging in CS research–from the undergraduate level to the PhD. UR2PhD comprises three pillars: (1) research mentor training for graduate students, (2) early undergraduate research training and community, and (3) a bridge program to support students from their first research experience through their application to a PhD program.
Institutional partners will work closely with the UR2PhD program leadership beginning in the Summer of 2023 to vastly expand the number of research opportunities for women and gender-marginalized undergraduates, including those from marginalized races and ethnicities, at their institutions.
Institutional partners will receive:
- A $2K stipend for a local coordinator to help manage and organize undergraduate research activities,
- Priority access for their students to all three pillars of the UR2PhD program, including $1K stipends each for up to 10 graduate students who participate in the research mentor training program,
- Guidance and support in implementing recruiting and selection strategies that result in a high participation percentage of women and other gender-marginalized students in CS, including those from marginalized races and ethnicities,
- Regular, personalized support from experts in implementing scalable, inclusive undergraduate research programs.
Institutional partners commit to the following:
- To expand their undergraduate research capacity by recruiting, supporting (with credit or pay), and mentoring at least 20 new researchers in Fall 2023, with at least two students working on each project so that students can receive the benefits of peer collaboration,
- To give undergraduate students credit (or pay) for participating in the virtual research methods course and their research project (pillar 2),
- To designate a local coordinator who is paid a stipend through this project to manage the local recruiting and mentoring effort,
- To have undergraduate students present their work at an on-campus, regional or national venue,
- To use an advertising, recruitment, and selection process that is likely to result in at least 80% of the new researchers identifying as women or other gender-marginalized identities, with a disproportionate number from a marginalized race/ethnicity.
To apply to become an institutional partner, please do the following:
- Make a copy and complete the application form: UR2PhD Institutional Partner Application Form
- Obtain a letter from your department chair expressing their support for this engagement.
- Upload both documents to this form: https://forms.gle/6twr6CNM6nuffKRd7
Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until June 15, 2023.
UR2PhD Instructor Openings
Application coming soon…
Q: Will my stipend for my work as a Curriculum Developer/Instructor be paid to me directly, or will it go through my institution?
A: Your stipend will be paid directly to you by the CRA.
Q: Do I need to submit a proposal for the course when I submit my application?
A: No. We have a significant number of materials that you will be able to build on, so there is no need to create a proposal from scratch. However, if you already have a structure, we’d love to see it.
Q: How much time do you anticipate Curriculum Developers will spend creating materials?
A: We do have a lot of resources already developed, and a lot of the work will be adapting and extending the resources. Here’s a ballpark estimate for the expected time to develop the undergraduate course. The grad mentoring course will be similar–the course itself is a little shorter, but we have fewer resources ready to go.
The course will likely be about ~30 hours of “contact” time (synchronous or asynchronous) plus homework assignments. Let’s assume there is about 3 hours of prep for each “contact” hour, that’s about 90 hours. Split between two people, that’s maybe 55 hours each (because splitting is never half the work). Then add in some coordination time and overhead, maybe another 20 hours each. So a ballpark estimate would be about 75 hours each. It could be more if the team decides to produce a lot of videos, or less if they use fewer videos. Assuming the work is done over 8-10 weeks (mid-May through end of July), we anticipate the time commitment will be about 7-10 hours per week. There’s room to spread that out more or condense it too.
Q: How will the two curriculum developers work together on one curriculum?
A: The goal is to produce one curriculum for each pillar, so the two developers working on the same pillar would be working as a pair. We imagine they would work together closely early on, and then as the overall structure was set, they could divide the work more. We expect that weekly meetings will be necessary once the work starts. Perhaps a couple times per week in the beginning when most of the work requires input from both people.
Q: Will the course be offered online? Will they be synchronous or asynchronous?
A: The training courses will be fully online. While much of the work in the courses will be asynchronous, we anticipate that there will be some elements developed for a synchronous component of the course that instructors will execute with the students in the course. These activities, as well as how and when the synchronous sessions are scheduled, will be determined as the courses are developed.
Q: In what format will the courses be offered? What materials will the curriculum developers be responsible for producing?
A: We anticipate that the courses will be a mixture of video instruction, reading, synchronous activities and homework assignments. The precise design will be determined by the curriculum developers. Curriculum developers are responsible for creating a syllabus and all materials needed to run the course including creating or finding videos, readings, and assignments, as well as creating notes about the overall structure of the course and any synchronous activities. The curriculum developers will have flexibility in determining the best way to meet the learning objectives of the course.
Q: How many hours a week of instructional material should be produced?
A: We envision that much of the courses will be activities that the students engage in, either synchronously with the instructor, or asynchronously. For the undergraduate research methods course, we anticipate that students will spend ~10 hours per week watching videos, participating in synchronous sessions, and doing assignments, including their research tasks. Meaning, the content and assignments will require them to work closely with their research mentor for up to 10 hours of work per week. For example, the module might be a literature search but they will be asked to work with their mentor to tailor it to the project, adding up to 10 hours. This will include 2-3 synchronous contact hours.
For the graduate student course on undergraduate mentoring, we anticipate that engagement with the course will take ~3 hours per week, in addition to their mentoring activities. This will include 1-2 synchronous contact hours.
Q: How will students in the course be assessed?
A: Assessment strategies will be at the discretion of the course designer and the instructor. We have resources for instructors and (when the course is large in future years) teaching assistants who will both teach/coordinate the course and handle the course assessment. It is to be determined whether the courses will be offered as Pass/No Pass or for a letter grade.
Instructional Partners/Student Participation in the Program
Q: Are non-CS computing departments (e.g. Information Schools, Electrical and Computer Engineering departments, etc) eligible to be institutional partners? Can students from these departments participate in the programs?
A: Maybe. This program is open to departments/schools and students focusing in computing fields, including computer science, computer engineering, and information science. Other fields not housed in one of the departments listed here will be considered on a case by case basis.
Q: Are the programs open to Masters students?
A: The graduate course on undergraduate research mentoring is open to any graduate students, MS or PhD, who are engaged in supervising undergraduate research. The undergraduate research methods course and community is open to applications from MS students who are participating in their first research experience. The bridge program is open to MS students who are interested in applying to PhD programs.