An evaluation of a STEM summer undergraduate research internship scheme: student-perceived learning gains

Neil Williams, Humma Hussain, Pinali Manojkumar, Asim Thapa


The organisation of a STEM-wide summer undergraduate research internship scheme to ensure equal opportunities for all students is reported. Student engagement in the internship programme is much greater in the Biological, Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences (142 applications in 2016) than in Engineering and Computing (30 applications in 2016). To evaluate the impact of the scheme, previous interns were surveyed about their perceived learning gains from doing an internship. Twenty three responses were received from 46 previous interns. The greatest gains were reported for key skills such as: project and time management and working independently. Though the number of responses was small, engineering interns reported lower perceived learning gains than science interns. The survey indicated that perceived gains in key skills such as oral presentation and scientific writing were not rated very highly. In addition, more oral presentation and writing a final report were rated amongst the lowest for changes that might improve the learning gain from doing an internship.

Keywords:  Research Internship, learning gain


Research Internship; learning gain

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