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Widening Research and Participation


The widening research and participation (wrap) project is a 2-year Students as Partners research project, investigating the availability and accessibility of undergraduate research opportunities in which Warwick students can participate.

The research team comprises three postgraduate and two undergraduate students supervised and supported by the Researcher Development Manager. Michele Underwood. The project was funded by Warwick’s Widening Participation Development Fund.


We have been operating since January 2018, and have been investigating models of practice across the University (beginning with the Undergraduate Research Support Scheme – URSS), the UK and US to explore best practice in the role of undergraduate research’s potential to widen participation and contribute to an improved university experience and outcomes for all students.

In March 2019 we ran a survey, and held interviews and Focus groups to collect data on the specific barriers students at Warwick face to engaging in undergraduate research, both within and extra curricula; and their understanding of its potential to increase educational attainment and be a positive influence towards successful graduate employment or further study options.Using the data gathered, we will co-design and test recommendations to increase the role of undergraduate research at the University of Warwick.

We have a specific interest in improving the experience for underrepresented students who traditionally have increased barriers to participation in university life. Our approach aims to ensure that systematic and structural behaviours and actions are organised to support the full inclusion of all students, with a focus on activities which will build bridges and remove barriers for (typically) under-represented groups throughout the full student life-cycle, with the aim of securing parity of outcomes.

Having reported in full to our stakeholders we will be seeking future funding to further implement undergraduate research within the curriculum.

Contact us on

Follow us on Twitter: wrap project @warwick (@wrap_warwick)

See where our research has taken us - wrap blog: https://wrapprojectwarwick.blo

We have disseminated our research and findings at the following events:

University of Sheffield July 2018

The wrap team met with colleagues from the Sheffield Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)

Intl Conference of Undergraduate Research (ICUR) September 2018

Presentation ‘Widening Participation in Higher Education through Undergraduate Research’

Advance HE STEM Conference 2019 (30-31 January 2019)

Workshop session ‘Building an Inclusive Undergraduate Research Module in One Hour’.

Warwick Education Conference July 2019 (WEC)

The wrap team attended the an annual event showcasing research and practice within the teaching and learning sphere, undertaken at and/or for the benefit of the University of Warwick to present a paper, poster and workshop highlighting the initial findings of the primary data collection.

WEC paper an initial findings paper “The Only Way is Research”

Workshop on “Building an inclusive UG Research module in 90 minutes”

Poster ‘The Only Way Is Research: Transforming the Undergraduate Experience for All Students through Undergraduate Research’

Window on Teaching 16 May 2019

The wrap project presented under the title ‘Students as Partners – a new pedagogical paradigm in HEA reflection on the wrap project’.

World Congress of Undergraduate Research May 2019

‘Widening Participation in Higher Education through Undergraduate Research – the findings’

Researching, Advancing and Inspiring Student Engagement RAISE September 2019

Presentation: Widening Participation in Higher Education through Undergraduate Research- a reflection on a students as research partners approach

Poster: The Only Way Is Research: Transforming the Undergraduate Experience for All Students through Undergraduate Research’

ICUR September 2019

Widening Participation in Higher Education through Undergraduate Research – the findings’

RAISE Specialist Interest Group November 2019

‘Supervising a Students as Partners research project’

UK Council for Graduate Education (UKCGE) 2019

'Widening Research and Participation: an exploration of the importance of UG Research opportunities to increase diversity at PG Level'


The wrap team has been committed to stakeholder engagement, dissemination and learning from practice throughout the project life. To this end, the team have held meetings with the Warwick Students’ Union President and Education Officer, and presented findings at meetings such as the URSS board and Spotlight on Widening Participation.

Our research application has been approved by the HSSREC.
Number HSS 32/18-19 Dated: 17th December 2018