"If we can do it, anyone can": Paper Chase Collaborative Writing Exercise for Engaging Students in Research Dissemination


  • Alicia Dahl University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Jessamyn Bowling University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Alejandra Fernandez-Borunda University of North Carolina at Charlotte


collaboration, undergraduate, research, dissemination


Involving students in research is a high-impact educational practice, and students often lack opportunities for involvement in successful collaborative research dissemination. Undergraduate and graduate students can benefitĀ  by engaging in manuscript development for writing skills and research dissemination for career trajectory benefits, similar to the importance of faculty communicating their science. Despite the many motivations to publish research findings, persistent barriers exist and delay time to publication. Faculty, especially women and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, face challenges in publishing research (e.g. lower rates of funding, higher service demands). The Paper Chase model is an intensive process of structured writing for collaborative manuscript development. This approach provides opportunities for students to engage in the dissemination phase through manuscript development and publication. Though often done with lab or research teams of known authors, we created a competitive program to connect students previously unfamiliar with the project to work with a faculty's Paper Chase team. Our professional development program involved basic training on writing, academic publishing, and effective group communication with a culminating event of team-based writing. We will present data from our two campus-wide Paper Chase events, held virtually and in-person. We conducted pre- and post-surveys of participants: faculty (n=10), undergraduate (n=40) and graduate students (n=14). Results demonstrate feasibility, acceptability, and positive outcomes associated with the Paper Chase program. We also present challenges and lessons learned. Conducting Paper Chase events on campus can boost faculty members' productivity, students' understanding of research dissemination, and improve confidence in writing practices for all.