Since 2006, the Genomics Education Partnership (GEP; http://gep.wustl.edu) has helped faculty bring genomics research experiences into the undergraduate curriculum, introducing thousands of students to eukaryotic gene annotation, comparative genomics, and the evolution of contrasting genome domains. Our 100+ participating institutions include community colleges, primarily undergraduate institutions, and research-intensive PhD-granting institutions. Genomics research requires relatively little infrastructure and can utilize publicly accessible data, keeping costs low. With no safety issues, it lends itself to peer instruction, multiplying faculty effort. Student mistakes are inexpensive in both time and dollars, allowing students to fail in their original analysis, explore, reevaluate, adjust, recover, and succeed. This iterative “formative frustration” process allows students to gain deeper insights into their research problem. Our research format encourages the use of active learning strategies and promotes dialogue about science, both of which contribute to positive student outcomes. Students are generally successful in generating defendable gene models, leading to co-authorship on scientific publications, but those with positive attitudes toward science benefit the most. To support additional collaborative annotation projects, GEP has partnered with Galaxy to develop G-OnRamp, a web-based platform for constructing genome browsers from new genome assemblies; we are looking for new “science partners” who have interesting projects for collaboration. We provide fully-supported training for new GEP faculty members through online mentoring and in-person workshops. The next in-person workshop is June 10-13, 2020, at Washington University in St. Louis. Those interested in joining the GEP can contact us at http://gep.wustl.edu/contact_us. Support: NSF IUSE-1915544, NIH IPERT-1R25GM130517.
This is a part of the Genomics Education Alliance Posters & Beyond materials for the BIOME Institute.
Cite this work
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
Elgin, S., Leung, W., Rosenwald, A., Lopatto, D., Hauser, C., Reinke, C., Reed, L. (2020). The Genomics Education Partnership: Introducing Undergraduates to Research by Engaging Them in Genome Annotation. Cultivating Scientific Curiosity, QUBES Educational Resources. doi:10.25334/SFXW-PZ41