Survey Results

Below is a brief synopsis of the results from our survey. Detail analysis of the survey data can be found in our paper:

Rachelle M. Spell, Judith A. Guinan, Kristen R. Miller, and Christopher W. Beck. 2014. Redefining Authentic Research Experiences in Introductory Biology Laboratories and Barriers to Their Implementation. CBE—Life Sciences Education 13:102–110. 10.1187/cbe.13-08-0169


Responses from 279 faculty representing:

  • 48 2-year colleges
  • 114 liberal-arts colleges
  • 36 comprehensive universities
  • 57 research universities.
  • Minority-serving institutions represented 14% (39 of 279) of the responses
  • 532 introductory biology laboratory courses

Defining Authentic Research

20 Most Common Words Used to Describe Authentic Research

Themes in Definitions of Authentic Research

  • Novel Questions (Unknown Results)
  • Student-Generated Questions
  • Hypothesis Formation
  • Experimental Design
  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis
  • Presentation or Publication

Implementation of Authentic Research

Proportion of Research Experiences


Research Experiences by Course Type

Research Experiences by Institution

Barriers to Authentic Research

Barriers at Public Institutions

  • Cost
  • Lack of equipment
  • Lack of student preparation
  • Effects on student evaluation of instructors

Barriers at Minority-Serving Institutions

  • Lack of administrator support
  • Lack of facilities
  • Lack of time for faculty to develop new research experiences
  • Effects on student evaluation of instructors