1887

Abstract

Innovations in science education are desperately needed to find ways to engage and interest students early in their undergraduate careers. Exposing students to authentic research experiences is highly beneficial, but finding ways to include all types of students and to do this at large scale is especially challenging. An attractive solution is the concept of an inclusive research education community (iREC) in which centralized research leadership and administration supports multiple institutions, including diverse groups of schools and universities, faculty and students. The Science Education Alliance Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Sciences (SEA-PHAGES) programme is an excellent example of an iREC, in which students explore viral diversity and evolution through discovery and genomic analysis of novel bacteriophages. The SEA-PHAGES programme has proven to be sustainable, to be implemented at large scale, and to enhance student persistence in science, as well as to produce substantial research advances. Discovering a new virus with the potential for new biological insights and clinical applications is inherently exciting. Who wouldn’t want to discover a new virus?

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The Microbiology Society waived the open access fees for this article.
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2021-09-01
2021-09-24
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