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Table 3 Utility value definition, subcategories, and examples of participants’ statements

From: Early year undergraduate researchers’ reflections on the values and perceived costs of their research experience

Category Definition Subcategories Sample participant statements
Utility value Participants indicated the advantages and usefulness of having research experience in their undergraduate education Feeling more well-rounded Participant 4: I feel like I have learned a lot from being in a lab, things that I could not have really learned, I guess, on my own and as quickly because, as a sophomore, I feel like it is kind of rare for people to have been in a lab since their freshman year. I just feel like it has benefitted me in so many ways.
Helped clarify career goals Participant 17: The experience has broadened my horizons and has given me a better idea of what I want to do in the future.
Helped build professional relationships Participant 12: I got to meet new people and people that are in a higher ranking in the field that I am in. Building a relationship with Professor T. also helped, not only because she was my research mentor, but because she was my professor as well. So when your professor knows who you are, it kind of helps because it is a familiar face.
Provided new opportunities Participant 2: Due to my research experience, I was fortunate enough to present my research at the 2018 Meredith Symposium. In addition, my research led me to be the Goldwater Nominee for the 2019 Goldwater Scholarship. Also, I will be presenting this research at two poster sessions in the spring. All of these exciting benefits of research help to cultivate my growth as a chemist, a student, and a researcher.
Helped with the STEM courses Participant 22: Being in the lab also helped me with my classes. What I was learning in the lab also coincided with what I was learning in my classes, so that helped me understand my classes better.