Structural change in academia

Muser for structural change in academia

Three critical issues underlie the recruitment and retention of diverse participants in research: (1) make research opportunities accessible and visible to everyone, (2) evaluate applicants equitably, and (3) establish quality, mentored research experiences.  To create truly accessible research experience means creating structural change to enable equitable, transparent, and multidisciplinary access to diverse research mentors and students at all levels.

Patek founded and has led the larger Muser software development and programmatic effort for over a decade to efficiently enable, assess, and strategically architect structural and cultural change of access and equity for research experience.  Muser is an open-source, Drupal software application designed to achieve structural change in academia by addressing the pressing needs for making academic research experience accessible to all.  Muser creates an economical, efficient tool for both enabling research access and directly analyzing how specific interventions enhance or reduce short term and long term participation by diverse mentors and students.

Muser launched at Harvey-Mudd College in 2020, has been running at Duke since 2013, and has been operating at UMass Amherst (called BUA) for over a decade.  It has served thousands of mentors and students across these institutions, and to our knowledge, is the only software platform publicly available to equitably, efficiently, and transparently connect students to multidisciplinary academic research experiences.

Muser’s goal is to change the structure and culture of academic mentored research access across all levels at all types of institutions (community colleges to federal agencies) to clearly, efficiently, and equitably articulate research opportunities.  Toward this goal, we maintain and develop the open-source Drupal version of Muser with funding from the National Science Foundation and Duke University.  Muser software can be downloaded from and hosted by institutions.  Alternatively, Jay Beaton Consulting offers a SaaS model of the current open-source version for institutions preferring not to host the program on-site.  This SaaS option does not financially benefit Patek, Duke, or Muser at Duke.

Multidisciplinary, equitable, and accessible research for students and mentors is one of Prof. Patek’s great passions.  Contact Prof. Patek for more information.