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Durham University

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Publication details for Professor Tony Fawcett

Spronken-Smith, Rachel, Sandover, Sally, Partridge, Lee, Leger, Andy, Fawcett, Tony & Burd, Liz (2018). The Challenges of Going Global with Undergraduate Research: The Matariki Undergraduate Research Network. SPUR: Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research 2(2): 64-72.

Author(s) from Durham


To determine the logistics, benefits, and challenges of
developing and implementing an international undergraduate research network, the authors analyzed the
Matariki Undergraduate Research Network (MURN).
MURN attempted to connect undergraduate students
from four countries across two years, with 21 and 23
students respectively. Using mixed methods, the authors
explored faculty and student experiences of MURN.
Although MURN worked well at the local level, it had
limited success at a global level. Teaching across time
zones and academic-year differences posed the biggest challenges. Students and faculty reported a range
of benefits typical of engagement with undergraduate
research but noted weak international connections. A
credit-bearing program with partners in similar time
zones and academic-year systems, as well as a requirement for collaborative projects across institutions, are