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Emeritus Professor Alan Jenkins

Alan Jenkins is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education at Oxford Brookes University, Reinvention Fellow and Consultant on teaching/research links for the Higher Education Academy and QAA Scotland. Publications on undergraduate research include: (PDF Document) Developing undergraduate research and inquiry (2009) and those listed on the Resources and Information page of this web site.

Related publications on linking teaching and discipline-based research are:

Adaptation of US Undergraduate Research Schemes for Mainstream Development in the UK and other International Contexts: Principles and Policies

The Reinvention Centre’s intellectual origins in part stem from USA thinking - in particular the work of Ernest Boyer and the Carnegie Association’s view that research and teaching should be brought together through progressing ‘undergraduate research’ where undergraduate students learn through research investigations often guided by the research interests of staff. A related intellectual perspective of Boyer et al is that universities need to engage with their (local) communities but in clearly scholarly ways – the ‘scholarship of service engagement.’ One central way this has been developed in the USA is through research partnerships with local communities. In the USA such undergraduate research/community based research is often extra–curricula and reserved for selected more ‘gifted’ students.

The perspective taken here is that these intellectual ideas and USA structures are potentially of considerable value to UK practice and policies - but need to be adapted to the UK context; to be firmly integrated into the mainstream curriculum; to be available to many students and if possible to benefit all students; and the value of this transference of USA practice to the UK to be critically appraised, investigated and researched

Oxford Brookes, as a pioneering UK institution in adapting modular credit based undergraduate courses to the UK context, is ideally placed to be a leader in this area, while also drawing on the experience of other UK institutions that have already gone in part down this road, in particular its Reinvention Centre partner, Warwick University.

This Fellowship therefore is therefore designed to:

  • investigate and research USA experience of undergraduate research schemes
  • investigate and research how best to adapt USA undergraduate research schemes, including those involving community based research, to the UK context
  • draw up guidelines for policy and practice in this context suitable for adoption by UK higher education institutions.

More information about US undergraduate research schemes is available in the Resources and Information section of this website.