Authors and Advisors


Dr. Linda Blockus

Dr. Linda Blockus is Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research at the University of Missouri, is active in the Council of Undergraduate Research (CUR), and co-authored two major publications: Undergraduate Research Offices and Programs: Models and Practices and Characteristics of Excellence in Undergraduate Research. In 2016, she wrote a commissioned paper for the National Academies of Sciences on the co-curricular model of undergraduate STEM research. She has worked at Boston University and as a fellow for the Center for Advancing Science and Engineering Capacity at AAAS in Washington, D.C. and earned degrees at Dartmouth College, Boston University, and Missouri.

Lead advisors

Dr. Julio Rivera

Dr. Julio Rivera researches "Big Data" problems and applies methodologies emphasizing "Business Geographics," which integrates Geographic Information Science (GIS), visualization techniques, and statistics. He brings this approach to problems in Marketing, Real Estate, Retail Site Selection, Economic Geography, and Data Analytics and challenges students to use these methods to solve problems and conduct research. He has directed numerous undergraduate student senior thesis projects, many of which were presented at regional and national conferences. He was the recipient of the 2002 Carthage College Distinguished Teaching Award, and is an Emeritus President of the Council on Undergraduate Research. Rivera regularly serves as a consultant to other colleges and universities as they develop undergraduate research programs. He serves as a consultant to government, business, and higher education and served as the Provost of Carthage College overseeing all aspects of the College's academic administration (2010–14).

Professor Stuart Hampton-Reeves

Stuart Hampton-Reeves is Professor of Shakespeare Studies and Research-Informed Teaching, and Director of Research for the Faculty of Culture and the Creative Industries at the University of Central Lancashire, UK. He is Chair of the British Conference of Undergraduate Research.


Dr. Candace Rypisi

Dr. Candace Rypisi is the Director of Student-Faculty Programs at the California Institute of Technology. She manages ten programs, which provide research opportunities for over 950 undergraduates annually. As a data-driven administrator, she relies on research and best practices to guide strategic planning, assessment, and continuous improvement efforts. Her research interests are focused on the administration and funding of undergraduate research programs and on undergraduate research mentoring. She is co-author (along with Michael Bergren) on the article Endowing Undergraduate Research to Ensure Growth and Stability (Winter 2015, CUR Quarterly) and author of several chapters in Amgen Scholars: Best Practices in Summer Undergraduate Research Programs. She currently serves as President of the Southern California Conferences on Undergraduate Research.

Accessibility advisor

Wilma Alexander

Wilma Alexander is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with Masters in Human-Computer Interaction, Linguistics, and Information Science. She has over 15 years of experience as a manager with the online learning team at the University of Edinburgh, where she specialized in usable and accessible digital practice, tutored on the groundbreaking Masters in Digital Education, and developed online staff training on accessible e-learning and online tutoring skills. Since retiring from the University at the end of 2015, Wilma has provided consultancy services on all aspects of online learning, with a special focus on accessibility and usability issues.

Course structure



  • Introduction
  • Learning outcomes

Course files

    Module 1: Your mentor and research team members

    • Organization and structure of research teams
    • Finding a research mentor
    • Getting to know your research team
    • Knowing who to ask for help
    • Types of support available from mentors and team members
    • Module summary

    Module 2: Understanding the work and social culture of your research team

    • The culture of your research team
    • Research team meetings
    • The rules: formal, informal, and unspoken expectations
    • Building community within your team
    • Navigating team dynamics
    • Module summary

    Module 3: Proactive work behaviors

    • Identifying important work habits
    • Transferable teamwork skills
    • Getting feedback on your work habits
    • Applying and demonstrating team research skills
    • Module summary

    Module 4: Preparing for your next educational and career steps

    • Finishing a project and moving forward
    • Responsible actions for transitioning from your project
    • Keeping in touch with your mentor and team members
    • Module summary


  • Course summary
  • Resource bank

Course features

Course features include:

  • Real-life scenarios offering useful and practical advice
  • Video interviews with students talking about their team experiences.

Supporting institutions

  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Johnson C. Smith University
  • Oakland University
  • Tulane University
  • University of Nebraska – Omaha
  • University of Southern Maine
  • University of Texas at El Paso
  • University of Westminster
  • University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
  • University of Wisconsin – Platteville
  • University of Wisconsin – River Falls
  • University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point