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Queen's University
 

Centre for Teaching and Learning

Matariki Undergraduate Research Network (MURN):

An Inquiry@Queen's International Collaborative Program

New for 2013 Inquiry@Queen's and the Centre for Teaching and Learning are pleased to announce an exciting new Internship opportunity for selected undergraduate student to participate in an International Research Program. Sponsored by the Offices of the Vice Principal (Research) and the Vice Provost (International) and through the Matariki Undergraduate Research Network (MURN) participants will think and learn about the scholarship of teaching and learning, discover and conduct practical research, have the opportunity to collaborate with other students at partner institutions and share with the university community context-relevant information to inform teaching and learning.

Overview of MURN

The Matariki Undergraduate Research Network (MURN) is an innovative and exciting project that will connect undergraduate researchers in four universities spread across four countries: University of Western Australia (UWA); University of Otago, NZ; Durham University, UK; and Queens University, Canada. The universities are part of the Matariki Network, a partnership of seven universities of similar size and philosophy. This scheme provides students with an authentic research experience whose outcomes include the development of transferable research skills; improved communication skills (both written and oral); enhanced levels of confidence; a stronger sense of belonging to their institution; and an international perspective.

About the Program

The rationale driving MURN is the unique opportunity to connect students engaging in undergraduate research (UR) programs in a global classroom. Research by all students is conducted in a teaching and learning topic of strategic importance to all four universities. In 2013, this topic will be Internationalisation. Students in each university choose their own research question within this umbrella topic. For example, what does internationalization look like from an Aboriginal student's perspective? During the program the students share their experiences of personal growth and development as they conduct their research and deliver their findings. Sharing the experiences and discussing the similarities and differences between universities provides an exciting opportunity for the students and offers universities the prospect of internationalising their UR programs

Between six and nine students from a variety of disciplines will be selected at each university to participate in the program. Student selection into MURN in all universities is by committee, based on an identical set of criteria. The UR conducted by the students is not for credit, but students are provided a stipend of $3000.00 to complete the internship. The guiding principle of the program is to give students, in their second or third year of study, an authentic research experience (that mirrors that of postgraduate students) within a well-supported program.

Support is provided to the students by a supervisor and a series of compulsory preparatory workshops. The workshops, already prepared and used by UWA, are delivered to all students either in a synchronised process via online delivery or facilitated by staff in the respective universities during the month of February. seminars focusing on the development of research skills such as:

  • Proposal development
  • Research methods
  • Sourcing and reviewing information
  • Collecting, managing and analysing data
  • Presenting research (orally and in writing)

A timeline of activities and events throughout the six month project is used to ensure that students in all universities are experiencing the same program at the same time and are able to meet online to discuss developments, progress, challenges and achievements. At the completion of the project, students produce an academic paper and present their findings locally or at an external conference.

 

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000