Facilitating Entering Research

What is Entering Research?

Wiscience logoEntering Research, an evidence-based, active learning training curriculum for undergraduate and graduate research trainees, was developed at the Wisconsin Institute for Science Education and Community Engagement (WISCIENCE). It is designed to level the research playing field for students from historically underrepresented groups, support development of the skills trainees need to successfully navigate the research training environment and their mentoring relationships, and create a more welcoming research environment for all trainees.

Additional information and free curricula downloads are available on our Entering Research curricula and training page.

The book, Entering Research, is available from Macmillan Learning. It includes comprehensive instructions on how to build and use custom curricula as well as assessment and evaluation tools.

What is the role of the facilitator?

Facilitating Entering Research is not the same as teaching it. The role of a facilitator is to enable trainees to take ownership of their own learning by helping them engage in self-reflection and shared discovery and learning.

The central aim of any Entering Research implementation is to build a community of learners working toward the common goal of developing as a researcher and establishing effective mentoring relationships. Thus, the facilitator’s role in the group is to help others to work through their thoughts and ideas; it is not the facilitator’s role to be the expert.

How do you facilitate Entering Research?

Entering Research is available for research training program directors, faculty, postdoctoral fellows, instructors, staff, or administrators who are committed to implementing courses, seminars, or workshops for undergraduate or graduate research trainees.

We encourage those interested in becoming a Trained Facilitator to attend the two-day Entering Research Curriculum Development Institute. This workshop is for leaders of undergraduate and graduate research training programs who want to build and deliver a customized workshop series or course for their research trainees and learn to facilitate Entering Research activities.

During this workshop, participants are introduced to the Entering Research curriculum, which has nearly 100 activities that address the seven areas of trainee development. Workshop participants become familiar with the curricular activities, practice facilitating training components, and develop a curriculum for implementing the training at their institution or organization.

Some people choose to forgo formal facilitator training and instead use the instructions in the Entering Research book and download the free Entering Research activities. All activities include detailed implementation guides with facilitator instructions as well as participant materials.

Evaluate your Entering Research training

The Wisconsin Institute for Science Education and Community Engagement (WISCIENCE), provides centralized, common assessment and evaluation surveys that use the Entering Research Learning Assessment (ERLA) to promote and systematize the evaluation of undergraduate and graduate research experiences and training programs. These surveys are available to all trained facilitators of Entering Research (ER), regardless of whether they are using ER activities in their implementations. 

Programs using the ER curriculum can also use standardized program/course evaluation questions  designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum in training program implementations. Evaluation surveys are administered by the WISCIENCE through Qualtrics and include standard questions. Research training program directors and facilitators can also add customized questions to collect site or training-specific information. Standard evaluation surveys are typically administered post training and are available for all types of undergraduate and graduate research trainings, including but not limited to courses, seminars, summer programs, workshop series, and standalone workshops.

For more information, visit WISCIENCE’s Evaluating Entering Research page.

Resources for Facilitators

The MyNRMN Group “Facilitators of Entering Research (Mentee Training)” is an online community for instructors and program directors of undergraduate and graduate research training programs who are interested in or already using the Entering Research training curricular materials and resources. Individuals are invited to join this group to learn more about the curriculum, receive updates about facilitator training opportunities, seek implementation advice, and share best practices in supporting research trainee development generally.

Additional resources for facilitators include: