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Research Plus Me: How students can connect with up-and-coming research at ASU

The website hosts research studies looking for student participants, with opportunities for students from all disciplines

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"This is not limited to the STEM fields; students can also involve themselves in humanities and linguistic research through this platform."

Calling all undergraduate students! Imagine stepping beyond the confines of textbooks and lecture halls, transcending the bounds of theory to embark upon participatory, immersive science. 

This is not a distant aspiration but rather a tangible reality for ASU students through the Research Plus Me program at ASU.​​ Amber Hedquist is a PhD student studying English at ASU, and she manages the research, development and assessment of ASU's Research Plus Me program. 

According to Hedquist, the program is a study discovery site geared toward connecting researchers and participants. For researchers, there are only two requirements to post on the Research Plus Me site: the research must be affiliated with an ASU faculty member and approved by ASU's Institutional Review Board, which ensures that research is performed ethically.

Currently, there are around two thousand users on Research Plus Me, indicating wide interest in the program.

Kimberly Purcell and Jessica Lee are two ASU researchers who have utilized Research Plus Me's services for their studies. Purcell, a research faculty member and student mentor at ASU, has also participated in studies.

"I joined Research Plus Me because I wanted to contribute to the amazing research being performed at ASU, but had difficulty finding studies to join," Purcell said in an email.

Lee is a PhD student who found success recruiting through the program.

"Immediately after posting my study on R+ME, I had consistent daily sign-ups," Lee said in an email. "During those first couple days, I would get one or two sign-ups a day, and then by the end, when I received all the participants I needed. I would receive four, five or even six participants a day! Without R+ME, I could not have finished my data collection as quickly as I did."

According to Purcell, having an open research program encourages a diverse range of people to join studies.

"Research cannot progress without everyone's help, and Research Plus Me has been a great asset to allowing users to easily find research activities that we feel enthusiastic about or have a general curiosity in," Purcell said.

Students also have the opportunity to start their own research through the site. They only need an idea and an ASU faculty member willing to support their research. This is not limited to the STEM fields; students can also involve themselves in humanities and linguistic research through this platform. 

With a wide array of potential disciplines, students are more likely to find a study that speaks to their interests. Hedquist encourages both undergraduate and graduate students at ASU to get involved in the wealth of research available through the site.

"Participating in research is one of the best ways to make a difference, to make sure your voice is heard and to make sure that discoveries are representative of the mix of people that we do have ... in society," Hedquist said.

In the spring, Hedquist will utilize an ASU Graduate and Professional Student Association grant to conduct user testing to enhance the site.

Research Plus Me is an accessible way for students to involve themselves in research and for faculty to broadcast their studies to a broader audience.

Edited by Rvier Graziano, Walker Smith and grace Copperthite.

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