(Press-News.org) Collaborative research across the country has shown that strengthening the relationship between the student and advisor can increase retention rates in engineering doctoral studies.
Dr. Marissa Tsugawa, along with professors from Penn State, The University of Oregon, Indiana University Bloomington, University of Reno, Nevada and North Carolina State University, recently published a study with the Journal of Engineering Education on March 17. The study connects an engineering student’s identity and the intention to complete a Ph.D. in engineering. Identity is a role that students give themselves during their experiences in the lab and classroom. The authors argue that when Ph.D. students fail to identity with engineering, some will not complete their degree.
This worries experts who say degree completion rates for doctoral engineering students remain stagnant at lower levels than necessary to meet national and global requirements. Strengthening the advisor-peer relationship might fix that.
1,754 Ph.D. students from 98 universities were asked about their intent to finish their studies and if they identified as an engineer.
“In this work, we seek to identify to what extent do advisor and peer relationships predict the intention of finishing a Ph.D. and the potential relevance of the number of years in the doctoral program,” Tsugawa said. “To do this, we explore engineering identification variables as predictors of the intent to complete a doctoral degree and explore alternative interventions to increase degree completion rates.”
The results of this research showed that interest and performance for each individual tended to predict the intention to complete a degree. Overall, graduate engineering identity explained a 9.5 percent variation in degree completion intention beyond advisor and peer relationship variables and the number of years in graduate programs.
“This means that research interest and scientific knowledge could be key when engaging with engineering identity to improve degree completion rates,” Tsugawa said. “Efforts should be made to remove barriers and provide support to develop Ph.D. performance.”
Tsugawa’s research follows engineering identity and neurodiversity amongst STEM students. This is one of many papers they have been a collaborator on, and it is their hope to provide better opportunities and support to neurodivergent engineering students.
Advisory role: New research suggests peer-advisor relationship is key to success
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
Researchers get to the “bottom” of how beetles use their butts to stay hydrated
Beetles are champions at surviving in extremely dry environments. In part, this property is due to their ability to suck water from the air with their rear ends. A new collaborative study by researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the University of Edinburgh explains just how. Beyond helping to explain how beetles thrive in environments where few other animals can survive, the knowledge could eventually be used for more targeted and delicate control of global pests such as the grain weevil and red flour beetle. Insect pests eat their way through thousands of tons of food around the world every year. Food security in developing ...
New MU study shapes understanding of adaptive clothing customer needs
With the growth of the niche adaptive clothing market comes new challenges for retailers, including making the process of online shopping more inclusive for people with varying degrees of disability as well as expanding the functionality and aesthetic appeal of individual garments. This study involved mining online reviews to understand the perspectives of adaptive clothing customers. University of Missouri researchers identified two main challenges for adaptive clothing consumers. Customers said ...
Aging | Age-related methylation changes in the human sperm epigenome
“[...] we identified > 1,000 candidate genes with genome-wide significant age-related methylation changes in sperm.” BUFFALO, NY- March 21, 2023 – A new research paper was published in Aging (listed by MEDLINE/PubMed as "Aging (Albany NY)" and "Aging-US" by Web of Science) Volume 15, Issue 5, entitled, “Age-related methylation changes in the human sperm epigenome.” Advanced paternal age is associated with increased risks for reproductive and offspring medical problems. Accumulating evidence suggests age-related changes ...
Study finds similar association of progestogen-only and combined hormonal contraceptives with breast cancer risk
There is a relative increase of 20% to 30% in breast cancer risk associated with both combined and progesterone-only contraceptives, whatever the mode of delivery, though with five years of use, the 15-year absolute excess incidence is at most 265 cases per 100,000 users. The results appear in a new study publishing March 21st in the open access journal PLOS Medicine by Kirstin Pirie of University of Oxford, UK, and colleagues. Use of combined oral contraceptives, containing both estrogen and progestogen, has previously been associated with a small increase in breast cancer risk but there is limited data about the ...
Exercise therapy is safe, may improve quality of life for many people with heart failure
CONTENT UPDATED 3/17 - note new references to cardiac rehabilitation. Statement Highlights: A new scientific statement indicates supervised exercise therapy may help improve symptoms for people with one of the most common types of heart failure, known as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), in which the heart muscle’s pumping strength is intact. Exercise therapy had comparable or better results on improving exercise capacity for people with preserved EF compared to those who have heart failure with reduced ...
COVID-19 unemployment stigma is real and could threaten future job prospects: uOttawa study
Regina Bateson, an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Social Science’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, details the findings of her study, which shows the significant social and economic impacts to individuals who were out of work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below she answers questions about her study. Question: How was this research performed? Regina Bateson: “In this study, I conducted a pre-registered survey experiment with a nationally representative sample of 974 U.S. adults. ...
Ultra-lightweight multifunctional space skin created to withstand extreme conditions in space
A new nano-barrier coating could help protect ultra-lightweight carbon composite materials from extreme conditions in space, according to a study from the University of Surrey and Airbus Defence and Space. The new functionality added to previously developed ‘space skin’ structures adds a layer of protection to help maintain space payloads while travelling in space, similar to having its very own robust ultralight protective jacket. The research team has shown that their innovative nano-barrier would help drastically increase the stability of carbon fibre materials, while reducing radiation ...
Researchers identify new genes that modulate the toxicity of the protein β-amyloid, responsible for causing Alzheimer’s disease
An international study led by the Molecular Physiology Laboratory at the UPF Department of Medicine and Life Sciences (MELIS) identifies new genes that modulate the toxicity of the protein β-amyloid, responsible for causing Alzheimer’s disease. Combining molecular biology, genomics and bioinformatics techniques, 238 amyloid toxicity protective or activator genes have been identified. Among them, the gene Surf4 stands out. It is involved in the control of intracellular calcium and, by increasing the toxicity of the β-amyloid protein, contributes to the disease. The research has been carried out thanks to the support ...
Smart light traps
Plants use photosynthesis to harvest energy from sunlight. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have applied this principle as the basis for developing new sustainable processes which in the future may produce syngas (synthetic gas) for the large-scale chemical industry and be able to charge batteries. Syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, is an important intermediate product in the manufacture of many chemical starter materials such as ammonia, methanol and synthetic hydrocarbon fuels. "Syngas is currently made almost exclusively using fossil raw materials," ...
Visualization of electron dynamics on liquid helium for the first time
An international team led by Lancaster University has discovered how electrons can slither rapidly to-and-fro across a quantum surface when driven by external forces. The research, published in Physical Review B, has enabled the visualisation of the motion of electrons on liquid helium for the first time. The experiments, carried out in Riken, Japan, by Kostyantyn Nasyedkin (now at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA) in the lab of Kimitoshi Kono (now in Taiwan at Yang Ming Chiao Tung University) detected unusual oscillations whose frequencies varied in time. Although it was unclear how ...