Special Issue: Mentoring Student-Athletes for Undergraduate Research (Fall 2020)

Participation in high impact practices (HIPs), such as undergraduate research (UR), has steadily increased as institutions recognize the potential and real benefits for students. Participation in UR has been found to positively affect critical thinking (Kardash 2000; Kuh, Kinzie, Buckley, Bridges, & Hayek, 2007), increase academic achievement (Cole & Espinoza 2008; Ishiyama 2002), clarify choice of academic major (Seymour, Hunter, Laursen, & Deantoni, 2004; Tompkins 1998), increase minority student retention rates (Nagda, Gregerman, Jonides, von Hippel, & Lerner, 1998), and provide a high level of satisfaction with learning experiences (Bauer & Bennett, 2008). However, it must be acknowledged that UR requires an extensive amount of resources from the student, the faculty mentor, and the institution for it to be beneficial (Linn, Palmer, Baranger, Gerard, & Stone, 2015).

While there is a growing body of research on student participation in UR and the benefits and concerns for those involved, there is limited work that examines the participation and experience student-athletes, a particularly underrepresented subgroup. Student-athletes face unique challenges, such as heavy time commitments to their sport, which diminishes access to undergraduate research, as well as opportunities to make connections outside of athletics. Another challenge specific to undergraduate research is the common misconception that undergraduate research is not designed for student-athletes. It seems that for student-athletes to participate in many HIPs, innovative mentoring is required.

In the PURM 2020 Special Issue on Mentoring Student-Athletes for Undergraduate Research, we invite pieces from students and educators that explore the practice of mentoring student-athletes in undergraduate research.

Topics might include:

  • Identifying and defining different mentoring models for student-athletes
  • Recognizing the unique challenges and opportunities that exist for student-athletes, faculty, coaches, and other constituents when it comes to mentoring undergraduate research
  • Exploring the impact of mentoring student-athletes on faculty development
  • How institutions (and in particular athletic departments) can support, encourage, and recognize undergraduate research
  • Examining best practices in mentoring student-athletes
  • Pedagogical benefits for student-athletes engaged in undergraduate research

PURM is an open-access, multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed online journal supporting the mission of undergraduate research and the programs that strive to provide undergraduate students opportunities to participate in scholarly activities with faculty mentors. PURM’s unique focus on the process of undergraduate research and mentoring rather than the products of these activities provides a space for the growing undergraduate research community to share experiences, opportunities, concerns, and challenges in a rigorous, professional venue.

Submissions may have a student author or co-author, and should address mentoring of student-athletes in undergraduate research, either through a theoretical, empirical, review, experiential dialogue, or viewpoint perspective. For more information about the types of articles accepted by PURM, please visit the website at: https://www.elon.edu/u/academics/undergraduate-research/purm/for-authors/

To be considered for the Special Issue of Mentoring Student-Athletes for Undergraduate Research, Fall 2020, manuscripts must be received by June 15 (deadline extended), 2020. Full submission guidelines may be found at https://www.elon.edu/u/academics/undergraduate-research/purm/for-authors/. Any questions regarding PURM, the submission and review process, or article inquiries for the Special Issue may be directed to Dr. Tony Weaver (tweaver@elon.edu) or Dr. Bill Sterrett (sterrettw@uncw.edu). All other inquiries may be directed to Dr. Qian Xu, Editor-in-Chief of PURM (qxu@elon.edu).


Bauer, K. W., & Bennett, J. S. (2008). Evaluation of the undergraduate research program at The University of Delaware: A multifaceted design. In R. Taraban & R. L. Blanton (Eds.), Creating effective undergraduate research programs in science: The transformation from student to scientist. New York: Teachers College Press.

Cole, D., & Espinoza, A. (2008). Examining the academic success of Latino students in science technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors. Journal of College Student Development, 49(4), 285–300.

Ishiyama, J. (2002). Does early participation in undergraduate research benefit social science and humanities majors? Journal of College Student Development, 36(3), 380–386.

Kardash, C. A. (2000). Evaluation of an undergraduate research experience: Perceptions of undergraduate interns and their faculty mentors. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92(1), 191–201.

Kuh, G., Kinzie, J., Buckley, J., Bridges, J., & Hayek, J. (2007). Piecing together the student success puzzle: Research propositions and recommendations. ASHE Higher Education Report, 32(5). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Linn, M. C., Palmer, E., Baranger, A., Gerard, E., & Stone, E. (2015). Undergraduate research experiences: Impacts and opportunities. Science, 347(6222), 627.

Nagda, B. A., Gregerman, S., Jonides, J., von Hippel, W., & Lerner, J. (1998). Undergraduate student-faculty research partnerships affect student retention. The Review of Higher Education, 22, 55–72.

Seymour, E., Hunter, A., Laursen, S. L., & Deantoni, T. (2004). Establishing the benefits of research experiences for undergraduates in the sciences: First findings from a three-year study. Science Education, 88, 493–534.

Tompkins, L. (1998). Being a scientist: One woman’s experience. In A. Pattarucci (Ed.), Women in science: Meeting career challenges (pp. 110–115). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.