UF Faculty Department College
Christine Miller
Ginny Greenway
Michael Forthman
Entomology & Nematology College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Partner Faculty Department Partner Institution
Various researchers around the world
Exploring International Research
Project Description:

Project 1:

Students virtually interviewed international and UF researchers working around the world to gain firsthand insights into the benefits and challenges of international research and on how international experiences had shaped each interviewee's career. UF faculty identified possible researcher collaborators with diverse biological research interests and a broad geographic spread. In a later iteration of the project, students worked in groups and used a scientific paper published by an international researcher as a springboard for their interview. Students used the group interview to discuss the paper and ask questions. The interview included questions on how the researcher had collected the data, what was it was like to do fieldwork in a particular location, and about the international context that surrounded how that data was collected.

Project 2:

Students followed researchers from the lab who were conducting fieldwork in South Africa and Eswatini. They were introduced to the researchers at the start of the semester and then checked in with their progress each week via a blog the researchers published each week,We discussed the researchers’ latest news each week in class and students were asked to refer to the blog in weekly quizzes as well as in their final reflective essay on the topic of ‘benefits and challenges of international research’. At the end of the fieldwork trip, one of the researchers then came in person into the classroom and summarized their experience and answered questions the students had.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Students gained direct insight into international research, the motivations behind it and the skills and preparation required to make it a success.
  • Students were encouraged to describe and explain the global and intercultural conditions and interdependencies that provide the context for this scientific research.
  • Students developed cultural self-awareness and effective communication communicating virtually with researchers working internationally
Participating Countries:
Number of Participants:
UF Course Code & Name:
ENY2890 - Insect Research & Scientific Engagement
Project Duration:
3 weeks for Interviews, semester-long for blog
Activity Type(s):
Virtual Guest Speaker
Time allotted to each activity:
Synchronous Activities: 1 hours
Asynchronous Activities: 4 hours
Technology Tools:
Videoconference: Zoom
Other: Free dictation/ transcription software (built into MS word and google docs
Sequence of Activities:
  1. Throughout the semester: Blog with international researcher on the field in South Africa- Class was introduced to the international researcher at the start of the semester (either in person or via Skype/ Zoom) and could ask any questions they wanted. Each week  students were encouraged to  check in with the researcher’s blog and track their progress
  2. Mid way through the semester: Preparation for interview:
    • Interview: students liase with their interviewee via email to find a mutually convenient time (copying a course TA on all correspondence). The interview is conducted over Skype and recorded for reference. Students submit an annotated transcript with key details on international challenges and benefits highlighted.
  3. End of semester: Final reflection essay- students incorporate quotes and insights from their interview and the blog posts they’ve been reading, along with other materials and perspectives, in a final essay in which they reflect on the challenges and benefits which come with international research.

Sequence of Activities: