Developing a Research Engineer Identity

By Salil Desai, PI

Bala Ram, PI (original)

The project aimed to enhance the research culture and broaden the participation in research of underrepresented groups within graduate engineering programs at a mid-sized historically black college or university.
Research identity refers to the ways in which graduate students define themselves as researchers and is an important factor in student success. Specifically, this project implemented and tested approaches to foster research identity development for graduate students in non-research-intensive institutions.

The project entailed

(1) establishing a Research Engineer Network to help graduate students develop a research engineer identity;
(2) forming Small Research Groups of faculty members with common interests to foster students’ research skills; and
(3) designing and administering a survey-based Research Engineer Identity scale and assessment using a mixed-methods research design that includes focus groups, structured interviews, and web-based surveys.


Read the abstract 

2021 ASEE Annual Conference paper Research Engineer Network: A Network Analysis of Graduate Student Relationships