One of the goals of the InnovATEBIONational Biotechnology Education Center is to support community college programs in their efforts to incorporate research opportunities into courses and programs. The center relies on expertise from the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI). (Learn about CCURI)
The undergraduate research projects that are being targeted and developed under this goal have an industry focus, or a direct industry collaboration. InnovATEBIO is using a mixed model approach (Figure 1.) in its efforts to build capacity for undergraduate research experiences (UREs) within the InnovATEBIO network. In the centralized approach, InnovATEBIO works directly with established industry partners to help develop, pilot, and implement UREs. This work is being conducted in the laboratory and classroom facilities at Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, New York. In the disseminated approach, the hub will work with partners to establish industry collaborations locally and support the development of projects “on site.” As with the centralized approach, once project development has matured, the InnovATEBIO leadership commits to supporting dissemination of the project results through the InnovATEBIO website and will invite them to participate in the InnovATEBIO “5 for 5” webinar series in order to share their work with the ATE community.
Since 2003, Jim Hewlett, InnovATEBIO Co-PI, has received funding from the National Science Foundation to build a network of community colleges that are dedicated to the development and implementation of undergraduate research experiences at their home institutions. This network, build under the NSF funded Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI), consists of over 100 partner institutions, affiliate institutions and collaborators. CCURI has collected and analyzed data from successful research projects within the CCURI portfolio in an effort to identify characteristics of projects that have the greatest chance of sustainability. InnovATEBIO will be applying CCURI's approach to the InnovATEBIO network of ATE projects.