UW–Madison’s Burt to offer distinguished lecture on how research experiences can support underrepresented students

On March 13, Brian Burt, an associate professor in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis and director and chief research scientist with Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB), will offer a lecture on how research experiences can support underrepresented students as the 2023 J. George Jones and Velma Rife Jones Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Utah.

Brian Burt

Burt’s lecture, “(Re)Engineering Graduate Advising: A Discussion about Care,” will focus on the importance of hiring underrepresented faculty of color, actively reaching out to underrepresented students, and paying students livable wages. 

In a Q&A published by the University of Utah ahead of the lecture, Burt said “much more knowledge remains needed on how to intentionally develop the [research] team, design the team’s practices, supervise the team, and create a culture of community that promotes both cohesion and productivity.”

Burt said his work on “the science of team science” works to “better unveil the complexities and opportunities of research teams and to provide useful strategies to assist faculty and principal investigators with their teams.”

“If people sincerely want change, then I believe we should interrogate why practices, policies and behaviors have enduring power,” he said. “If we are truly committed to change, then we must be willing to (un)learn and dismantle many of the bad practices, policies, and behaviors that continue to shape higher education.”

He added that, to attract students, “programs must be clear on their commitment to complete students.”

Burt and UW–Madison School of Education doctoral student Blayne Stone Jr. recently published an article in Teachers College Record that seeks to shed more light on how leaders of group research projects in higher education settings can create more rewarding experiences for the students who work for and with them on the projects. The study investigated student research group members’ perspectives on things like the value of in-person communication, recruitment aimed at creating more diverse research groups, the size of the group, and how new researchers entering or exiting the group is handled.

According to the University of Utah, the J. George Jones, Jr. and Velma Rife Jones Guest Lecture Series brings a scholar researcher of note to the University of Utah campus twice each year to give a presentation to faculty, staff, students, and the public. The Jones Lecture series is intended to develop and enhance educational instruction, research, and scholarship.

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