The Students as Researchers Scheme at Teesside was introduced in the academic year 2011/12 as a learning and teaching enhancement activity. The purpose of the scheme is to develop learners as co-creators, rather than consumers of knowledge, enhance research and transferable skills and to encourage students to consider the option of postgraduate study.  It is designed as an initiative specifically in support of ongoing enhancements around research informed teaching, as well as to support University agendas around employability.  The scheme provides opportunities for undergraduate students to work as paid research assistants, under the supervision of experienced researchers.

18 projects were funded in the academic year 2016/17 in a wide range of pedagogical and discipline areas across Schools and Departments. A number of participating students presented about their experiences of the scheme at the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Conference in June 2017, developing their articulation and presentation skills.

Carl Meggs presenting at the LTE ‘Promoting Teaching Excellence’ Conference in June 2017

The student experience of the scheme was evaluated using a pre and post self-reporting scale against the 3Cs and 3As. All students reflected on improvements in all domains, with noticeable improvements in confidence, articulation and adaptability. In addition, in the open comments, many students reflected on how engagement with the scheme had raised their aspirations and developed their skills for employment or post-graduate.

“I now feel confident and ambitious with the prospect of post graduate study.”

“I would actively encourage other students to engage with this scheme as it is a chance to enhance their CVs and stand out from the crowd as a graduate.”

“I would recommend applying for the projects even if you are unsure, as the feedback given from the interview stage is great and could help you in future interviews. It also did not interfere with any of my university modules.”

The evaluation of the scheme is overwhelmingly positive and we are keen to build on this success in 2017/18. Proposals are therefore invited from staff across the University who feel that they could provide an opportunity for a student researcher.

Key Dates:

4.9.17 – Call for Staff applications
13.9.17 – Workshop to support staff applications
25.9.17 – Closing date for staff applications
6.10.17 – Confirmation of funded projects and notification of decisions
18.10.17 – Student posts advertised
10.11.17 – Closing date for student applications
20.11.17 – 6.12.17 – Student interviews
24.1.18 – Student induction
29.1.18 – Projects Commence
27.4.18 – Completion of projects.

LTE will support student applicants throughout the scheme through drop in sessions and workshops. In addition, the Careers service will run workshops to support students in the application and interview process.

Further details about the scheme and how to apply can be found at https://blogs.tees.ac.uk/lteonline/projects/sars/.

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