Improving Efficiency and Participation in Undergraduate Research

  • August 14, 2023
Only six months from acquiring InfoReady, Dr. Christine Johnson, Associate Vice President for Research at Oklahoma State University, decided to take the leap and use the platform for the prestigious Niblack Research Scholars Program. This undergraduate-focused program involves a collaboration with graduate student and faculty mentors, making a complete research team. In a recent webinar, Dr. Johnson shared how InfoReady maximized their undergraduate research programs and saved valuable time for all those involved.


  • Materials: “In the past, the applications for this program were submitted, compiled, and reviewed all by hard paper.”
  • Components trickled into the office as students gathered them: Essay, transcript, resume, and 2 letters of support from faculty.
  • Administrators then had to order materials and scan each piece, which took several weeks after the due date to compile.
  • Four or five reviewers looked at all 30-35 applications.

Application and Review Process Outcomes

  • “I can say very confidently that just the aspect of compiling and getting the applications ready to go out for review saved us three weeks by using InfoReady.”
  • 15% increase in applications (with solicitation process the same)
  • Almost all materials submitted when deadline closed—even reference letters!
  • Twelve reviewers each reviewed 11-12 submissions, which saved two weeks of time.
  • A total of five weeks’ time was saved by switching to InfoReady!

Research Symposium  

  • Campus-wide, all-day event open to all undergraduates working at any stage of the research process
  • The biggest concern was getting the word out to increase student participation.
  • Her team focused on promoting to faculty members through in-person events, listservs, newsletters, calendars, video screens, etc. The hope was that faculty members working with students would nudge them to participate.
  • Students submitted all information through InfoReady, including their abstract.

Symposium Outcomes

  • 203% increase in applications!
  • Within 2 hours the program and sessions were determined. As Dr. Johnson explained, “I started to work on it at probably 8:30 in the morning and by 10:30am, the program was set.”
  • She utilized Excel reports from InfoReady to sort by faculty mentor’s home department and group applications into six broad disciplines.

Future Plans Dr. Johnson has many more plans for InfoReady at Oklahoma State University. She hopes to both introduce InfoReady to more units on campus to help with process automation and to advantage of more features in the platform.

 Sharing InfoReady with other campus units:
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Office of Scholar Development

Enable Progress Reports to collect:

  • Follow-up forms
  • Annual reports
  • Impact statements

We want to thank Dr. Johnson for sharing her initial experience with the InfoReady platform for undergraduate research programs at Oklahoma State University. The combination of timesaving and increased participation were the exact outcomes they were hoping to achieve.


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