- Audrey Rorrer
- Breauna Spencer
- Sepi Hejazi Moghadam
- Ting Sun
The exploreCS (eCSR) program is a university awards program created to support the design, development, and execution of research-focused workshops that provide opportunities for undergraduate women in Computer Science to learn more about research pathways and work on exploratory research problems. During the inaugural year of 2018-19, the program funded intensive research (IREs) workshops at fifteen universities across the nation, with 1,103 total student participants, 83% of whom were females, with a majority indicating Women of Color status. The intent of these workshops is to offer accessible research experiences to students who would not ordinarily participate in research, i.e. students from groups traditionally less exposed to computing (women, Women of Color, lower socio-economic status). The overall research questions guiding the study of the program are: does the program foster a sense of community, build skills, confidence and motivation among women to pursue computer science research; and, how do Women of Color experience this program? In this paper, we present findings from a mixed-methods study which demonstrate that IREs are effective at creating a positive research culture for undergraduate women. Factors that were found to be particularly salient for Women of Color are presented.
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