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What is a Research Intensive Course?

A Research Intensive Course at UNF involves and requires, within the context of a graded academic course, the faculty-mentored engagement of matriculating students in each and every element discussed in the Definitions section: inquiry, investigation, and production of knowledge, to include a deliverable. Thus, courses which treat only a segment of the research process (a course focused on readings within the scholarly field and culminating in a focused review of the literature, for example; or courses on laboratory methods and techniques or analysis of data which conclude in an essay, reflection, or final exam) may be research exploratory sources, but they are not Research Intensive Courses.

High-Impact Practice (HIP) Course Attribute assignment in Banner and subsequent assessment

In recent years, numerous national studies have shown that undergraduate research is a High-Impact Practice positively correlated with student success. Institutions within the State University System Florida are therefore interested in assessing levels of engagement in undergraduate research within their existing curriculums. The assignment of a Research Intensive Course Attribute (URES) to qualifying UNF courses is a practice introduced in 2020. The system for assigning the URES attribute is managed by the Office of Undergraduate Research. The Banner interface for the attribution system, launched by the Center for Community-Based Learning in Fall 2018 and modified in 2020 for Research Intensive Courses, allows department chairs and their delegate(s) to directly indicate which courses qualify for the URES attribute.


Research at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at UNF is a process of faculty-mentored student inquiry and systematic investigation according to the standards of the field. The process results in demonstrable production of knowledge. A Research Intensive Course at UNF thus involves and requires, within the context of a graded academic course, the faculty-mentored engagement of matriculating students in each one of the following three elements: 1) inquiry; 2) investigation according to the methodologies and standards of the field; and 3) production of knowledge, to include a deliverable. Courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels which qualify as Research Intensive should be tagged with the URES attribute.


Assigning the URES attribute to qualifying courses will allow UNF to collect and assess data in a variety of ways. The data is tied to student IDs, allowing it to be matched to additional information (including extra- or co-curricular research) in the UNF Data Warehouse. UNF intends to examine the effect of undergraduate research on student retention and graduation. 

How does the HIP Course Attribute assignment interface in Banner work? 

Currently, the system identifies all courses that carry Community-Based Transformation Learning (CBTL) and/or Research Intensive (URES) attributes within a department and allows these attributes to be added or removed from a course as necessary. Additionally, for CBTL there is an opportunity to indicate the average number of service hours a student enrolled in the course completes while carrying out the community engaged activities in the course. Only department chairs, their delegates, and either the Center for Community-Based Learning or the Office of Undergraduate Research can access and make appropriate updates.


The system opens access to future semesters after courses are scheduled and posted. This means that attributes can be added to courses prior to the beginning of a term. However, department chairs can only input or change HIP course attributes for an academic year (Summer, Fall, Spring) until the day before Summer A/C starts each year. For instance, the first day of classes for Summer 2019 was 5/8/19, so the last day for updates to Summer 2018, Fall 2018, and Spring 2019 was 5/7/19. 

Which departments at UNF offer Research Intensive Courses at the undergraduate level?

For the 2019-2020 academic year, the following UNF departments reported offering one or more undergraduate courses which meet the definition of Research Intensive: 

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Childhood Education, Literacy & TESOL
  • Civil Engineering
  • Economics and Geography
  • Electrical Engineering
  • English
  • Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Nutrition & Dietetics
  • Physics
  • Political Science & Public Administration
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Teaching, Learning and Curriculum

Following is definitional detail of the three required elements of Research and thus a Research Intensive Course -- inquiry, investigation according to the field, and production of knowledge -- as the definition applies to undergraduate studies at UNF and as a Research course attribute (URES) is to be attached through Banner to appropriate course sections.

Research Intensive Course Banner Attributes

Attribute Code: URES
Description Examples and Elements
Inquiry: The faculty-mentored student identifies a question or problem within the field to investigate. Example: Does this enzyme naturally produce secondary metabolites? If so, can we characterize them? Do they have clinical application?


Example: What role, if any, did Woodrow Wilson's call for self-determination play in fueling Indian nationalists' desire for home rule?


Investigation: The faculty-mentored student conducts a systematic investigation of the question or problem according to the methodologies and standards of the field. Required element: Primary (original) investigation according to the field. For example:
  • Laboratory and/or field experiments and analysis
  • Critical analysis of primary sources

Required element: Secondary (contextual) investigation according to the field (i.e., review of the scholarly literature or body of work relative to the question or problem)


Production of knowledge: The faculty-mentored student develops and demonstrates evidence-based knowledge originating from the systematic investigation in a form appropriate to the standards of the field. Required element: Conclusion, results, or findings; and possibly further directions and/or future implications


Required element: Deliverable, for example:

  • Research paper, published article, etc.
  • Research poster, formal research presentation, etc.
  • Creative digital or multimedia project such as a website, video, podcast, musical composition, or work of art