Type: Seminar

Undergraduate Research Experience and Persistence in STEM


Daniela Morar, PhD Candidate in Economics, University of Michigan

Date & time

Feb 15, 2017, 8:30-10:00 am EST


Open to PhD students and faculty engaged in causal inference in education research.

About CIERS:

The objective of the Causal Inference in Education Research Seminar (CIERS) is to engage students and faculty from across the university in conversations around education research using various research methodologies. This seminar provides a space for doctoral students and faculty from the School of Education, Ford School of Public Policy, and the Departments of Economics, Sociology, Statistics, and Political Science to discuss current research and receive feedback on works-in-progress. Discourse between these schools and departments creates a more complete community of education scholars, and provides a networking opportunity for students enrolled in a variety of academic programs who share common research interests. Open to PhD students and faculty engaged in causal inference in education research.


We study the impact of research experience on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) graduation rates. We use a unique dataset created by linking students records data with data on federal grants received by the faculty at the university. We employ a selection on observables strategy and find a positive effect of about 12 percentage points of research experience on STEM graduation rates. The impacts we estimate vary greatly by the gender and race of the students involved in research. While research experience had a high impact on male students and white students, the impacts on female students and URMs are much lower. Our results also show that having a job in general seems to be important for students' graduation rates even if this job is not necessarily research oriented.