Speaker: Rachel Kallen
Title: Broadening participation and engagement with undergraduate research training
Abstract: Well-developed undergraduate research training programs have demonstrated a range of benefits for students, mentors, and host institutions. For students, these include (but are not limited to) affording opportunities to: (a) enhance educational experience, (b) build transferrable research and professional skills, (c) gain understanding of academic and professional careers options, and (d) build networks necessary for dissemination and collaboration in the scientific and professional space. However, more recent attention has also been given to the fact that the context in which we develop highly skilled and scientifically trained future colleagues matters almost as much at the technical training they receive. It is noted that a number of factors inhibit participation as well as retention later on in the academic or professional pathways. As such, researchers have explored ways to reduce attrition and identify factors that promote broader engagement with STEM. Both applied and basic research demonstrates how broadening participation of underrepresented individuals in STEM research training contributes not only to a more diverse pool of scientists, but that this diversity can have a range of positive benefits for the respective STEM fields. In this talk, we will review the characteristics of successful undergraduate research programs that embed research training within a broader range of recruitment, cohort building and professional development to facilitate the development of successful and highly competitive student researchers.
Bio: Dr Kallen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She earned a PhD in social psychology at the University of Connecticut (USA). Dr Kallen’s research utilises a framework of complex systems to investigate a range of social behaviours and systems. Bridging basic and applied science, she has expertise in many areas of social psychology (stigma, intergroup relations, the science of diversity) as well as in cognitive science (social interaction, multiagent coordination, dynamical modelling).
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