New program encourages undergraduate research

A project that will target incoming freshmen who are interested in conducting research, analyzing data and working with experts in their field will come to Marshall University’s campus in fall 2019, said a spokesperson of the project. 

The Transformative Integrative Marshall Experience (TIMElines) program, an undergraduate research program, is intended to be a two-year project to help students feel engaged and help them understand the processes of research, said Karen McComas, executive director for the Center of Teaching and Learning and project spokesperson.

The program will be conducted through courses, McComas said, starting with students’ first spring semester on campus with a class that will help them choose a topic and complete the certification process to conduct human research. 

This course will be one credit hour, followed by a three credit hour course in their second fall semester, when they will begin collecting their own data through research, McComas said. In the second spring, students will finish analyzing data and present the findings of their study, she said. 

Each TIMEline study is intended to be focused on community issues and needs, like the pilot program’s focus on addiction, McComas said. She said students will work on a research team and will be assisted and supervised by a research mentor who helps them along the way. 

“Ultimately, what we would like to have on each TIMEline is at least one content specialist and one research specialist,” McComas said. “The goals of TIMElines are to provide students with opportunities to engage in learning through an alternative means, to engage in learning through research. Engaging students in this way might be the thing that makes them stay and finish (at Marshall).”

Sydney Wyer can be contacted at [email protected].edu.