Embedding Undergraduate Research through Industry-Based Projects: Student Experiences


  • Ashika Naicker Durban University of Technology, South Africa
  • Evonne Singh Durban University of Technology, South Africa




undergraduate research, industry-based projects, student experience, knowledge transfer


Traditionally, formal training in research methodology begins in postgraduate programmes; however, potential exists to embed high-impact research skills during the undergraduate programme to develop learning by inquiry, promote critical thinking and engaged scholarship. Identifying factors that affect students’ research engagement can provide important practical implications to effectively encourage and facilitate undergraduate research opportunities. This exploratory qualitative study investigates the undergraduate student experience of the research process embedded in collaborative industry-based projects, through focus-group discussions. Using predefined domains from the interview guide, key themes emerging from the focus group discussions included a process-orientated approach to research, knowledge synthesis through data collection and handling, data collection experience, and students’ experience of a collaborative and deep approach to learning. Key enablers of the research engagement included funding for undergraduate research and transfer of research skills into higher levels of study whilst key barriers were limited foundational research knowledge and the impact of emergency situations. Other emergent themes included knowledge transfer through early initiation of research in the undergraduate programme. Institutional and programmatic engagement is required to support undergraduate students with the rigours of becoming knowledge co-constructors for their graduate destination or continuation of postgraduate studies.


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How to Cite

Naicker, A. and Singh, E. . (2022) “Embedding Undergraduate Research through Industry-Based Projects: Student Experiences”, African Journal of Inter/Multidisciplinary Studies, 4(1), pp. 68–83. doi: 10.51415/ajims.v4i1.1017.