Merging Undergraduate Teaching, Graduate Training, and Producing Research: Lessons from Three Collaborative Experiments

Authors: Toby Bolsen, Bailey Fairbanks, Eduardo Aviles, Reagan Griggs, Justin Kingsland, Kristina LaPlant, Matt Montgomery, Natalie Rogol [Under Review]

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Teaching undergraduate students, mentoring graduate students, and generating publishable research are distinct tasks for many political scientists.  This article highlights lessons for merging these activities through experiences from an initiative that sparked a series of collaborative research projects focused on opinions about crime and punishment in the U.S.  In this paper, we highlight three collaborative projects conducted between 2015– 2017 in order to demonstrate how to merge undergraduate teaching, graduate training, and producing research.  We provide information about how: (1) undergraduate students learned about social scientific research through hands-on experiences designing experiments, collecting and analyzing original data, and presenting the findings to a public audience; (2) graduate students were mentored through co-teaching undergraduate students research methods alongside faculty and peers, and gained valuable experience collecting, analyzing, and reporting the results from experimental studies; and, (3) this approach can generate knowledge and advance career goals by resulting in working papers that serve as the basis for conference presentations and potentially co-authored journal articles.   

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