What Do They Expect? A Comparison of Student Expectations and Outcomes of Undergraduate Research Experiences By Lara Brongo Pacifici and Norman Thomson 7KHEHQH¿FLDORXWFRPHVRI XQGHUJUDGXDWHUHVHDUFK�b;85�c;LQ VFLHQFHKDYHEHHQFRQWLQXRXVO\ VXSSRUWHGLQVFKRODUO\UHVHDUFK 7KHUHSRUWHGRXWFRPHVDUH RIWHQGLVFXVVHGLQWHUPVRI LQVWLWXWLRQDOJRDOVIRUHGXFDWLRQ 7KHSXUSRVHRIWKLVPDQXVFULSW LVWRH[DPLQHWKHRXWFRPHVRI 85LQVFLHQFHLQUHODWLRQWR WKHLQGLYLGXDOH[SHFWDWLRQVRI VWXGHQWVSDUWLFLSDWLQJLQ85 $TXHVWLRQQDLUHRQVWXGHQWV¶ H[SHFWDWLRQVRIWKHLUUHVHDUFK H[SHULHQFHZDVFRPSOHWHGE\ XQGHUJUDGXDWHVFLHQFHPDMRUVDW WKHEHJLQQLQJRIWKHVHPHVWHULQ ZKLFKWKH\ZHUHGRLQJUHVHDUFK 6WXGHQWVFRPSOHWHGDVHFRQG TXHVWLRQQDLUHDWWKHHQGRIWKHLU VHPHVWHURIUHVHDUFKRQWKHLU SHUFHLYHGRXWFRPHVRIWKHLU H[SHULHQFH)ROORZ XSLQWHUYLHZV ZHUHFRQGXFWHGZLWKRIWKH SDUWLFLSDQWVWRJDLQDGHHSHU XQGHUVWDQGLQJRIWKHUHODWLRQVKLS EHWZHHQVWXGHQWV¶H[SHFWDWLRQVDQG RXWFRPHVRI85,QFUHDVHG*3$ DQGKHOSJHWWLQJLQWRJUDGXDWH RUSURIHVVLRQDOVFKRROZHUHWKH WZRRXWFRPHVIRUZKLFKVWXGHQWV UHSRUWHGVLJQL¿FDQWO\KLJKHU RXWFRPHVWKDQH[SHFWDWLRQV 0DNLQJIDFXOW\FRQQHFWLRQVDQG SXEOLVKLQJUHVHDUFKZHUHWKH WZRRXWFRPHVIRUZKLFKUHSRUWHG H[SHFWDWLRQVZHUHVLJQL¿FDQWO\ KLJKHUWKDQRXWFRPHV7KHVHUHVXOWV FDQEHXVHGWRKHOSLQVWLWXWLRQV ¿QH WXQHWKHLU85SURJUDPVWR DGGUHVVVWXGHQWH[SHFWDWLRQV 54 Journal of College Science Teaching ndergraduate research (UR) has consistently pro-duced positive outcomes for participating under-graduate students. Several research studies (Kremmer and Bringle 1990; Ryder, Leach, and Driver 1999; Kardash 2000; Bauer and Bennett 2003; Seymour et al. 2004; Kinkel and Henke 2006; Russell, Hancock, and McCullough 2007) have exam-LQHGWKHEHQH¿WVJDLQHGE\VWXGHQWV through experiences in undergradu-ate science research and have made a strong case for the importance of undergraduate research. In addi-tion to understanding the outcomes of UR experiences in science, we should also concern ourselves with the expectations of students enter-ing UR experiences and the degree to which their experiences and the outcomes of their experiences meet their expectations. Recruiting pro-grams could then be accurately tai-lored to represent research experi-ences, which students could enter with realistic expectations and a clear understanding of the possible outcomes that they may gain through the research experience. Previous studies have determined that the benefits of undergraduate UHVHDUFK LQFOXGH LQFUHDVHV LQ FRQ¿ -dence (Seymour et al. 2004; Russell, Hancock, and McCullough 2007), GPA (Kinkel and Henke 2006), understanding of what it means to be a scientist (Bauer and Bennett 2003; Seymour et al. 2004; Hunter, Laursen, and Seymour 2007; Rus-U sell, Hancock, and McCullough 2007), understanding of aspects of the nature of science (Ryder, Leach, and Driver 1999), critical thinking and problem solving (Bauer 2001; Hunter, Laursen, and Seymour 2008), research and skills (Kremmer and Bringle 1990; Kardash 2000; Bauer and Bennett 2003; Seymour et al. 2004; Hunter, Laursen, and Seymour 2007), communication skills (Bauer and Bennett 2003; Seymour et al. 2004; Hunter, Laursen, and Seymour 2007), and clarity about future educa-tion and careers in science (Kremmer and Bringle 1990; Bauer and Bennett 2003; Seymour et al. 2004; Hunter, Laursen, and Seymour 2007; Russell, Hancock, and McCullough 2007). As Cartwright (2000) explained, UR provides gains for both students and the university, so we should be concerned, therefore, with the ex-pectations and outcomes of both the students and the university. This research sought to illustrate the degree to which expectations of research experiences are met for those doing UR in science at a large research university with the goal of better understanding how the gains that undergraduates expect to ex-perience through research compare and contrast with their perceptions of realized gains after their research experiences. With the understanding gained in answering these questions, undergraduate research experiences could be tailored, promoted, and implemented to best serve all students interested in pursuing UR in science.