Learning Through Research

CUR Conference 2014 Themes

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The CUR Conference 2014 will address the following themes in any discipline:
●      Undergraduate Research for the Public Good
●      Undergraduate Research for All! Ensuring Access to High Quality Opportunities
●      Undergraduate Research for High-impact Learning: Scaling Up and Scaffolding
●      Undergraduate Research for Transformation: Assessing the Impact
●      Undergraduate Research for Mentors: Support and Sustenance
●      Funding for Undergraduate Research: Finding and Leveraging Resources
●      Undergraduate Research for the Future: Exploring New Directions
●      Other non-theme proposals are also welcome
 
Undergraduate Research for the Public Good
Sessions submitted under this theme highlight community-based undergraduate research; undergraduate research as public relations (for our institutions); federal and state funding of undergraduate research; educating the public about the value of undergraduate research; and/or the promise of undergraduate research. Sessions might focus on community engagement as a mutually beneficial research activity—one in which all partners benefit, including the faculty members, undergraduate researchers, and community partners.
 
Undergraduate Research for All! Ensuring Access to High Quality Opportunities
Sessions submitted under this theme demonstrate effective practices for recruiting and retaining student researchers from underrepresented groups (low-income, first-generation, minority on campus); involving students and faculty from two-year colleges; and including students and faculty from all academic disciplines. Approaches for linking undergraduate research and internationalization; utilizing undergraduate research as a mechanism to improve retention and degree completion; and/or strategies for funding undergraduate research also address this theme.
 
Undergraduate Research for High-impact Learning: Scaling Up and Scaffolding
Sessions submitted under this theme focus on building/scaffolding research skills in courses and programs; undergraduate research as pedagogy; creating research-intensive assignments; undergraduate research in the core (general education); and/or undergraduate research and liberal-arts education. Sessions might address the challenge of meeting expectations; in other words, now that everyone knows undergraduate research a good idea, how do we effectively serve all those interested? Presenters submitting under this theme could highlight how moving research into the curriculum allows institutions to serve more students, helping empower more students with research skills.
 
Undergraduate Research for Transformation: Assessing the Impact
Sessions submitted under this theme highlight how individuals or institutions are effectively monitoring and assessing undergraduate research programs’ impacts; using assessment data to improve their programs; determining the effects of undergraduate research; and/or addressing NSF’s "broader impacts" review criteria. Presenters might share how they have communicated students’ learning outcomes; articulated the return on investments in undergraduate research in the broad sense; and/or navigated through high-stakes transformations of curricula and/or departments.
 
Undergraduate Research for Mentors: Support and Sustenance
Sessions submitted under this theme share effective practices for guiding new mentors; making mentoring manageable; hiring undergraduate research mentors; preparing for the unexpected; and/or integrating undergraduate research with teaching, faculty scholarship, and service.  Presentations that share effective mechanisms for including undergraduate research in tenure and promotion; utilizing undergraduate research to reinvigorate faculty across their careers; fielding specific incentives for investing in undergraduate research; supporting non-tenure track faculty (e.g., adjuncts, term & part-time faculty; staff; research associates; post-docs; graduate students, and others) as mentors, would be particularly useful.
 
Funding for Undergraduate Research: Finding and Leveraging Resources
Sessions submitted under this theme share standards for funding projects, classes, faculty, travel, etc.; budget models; using federal work-study; or using indirect costs associated with external grants and contracts. Additionally, we welcome submissions under this theme that address transforming undergraduate research projects into start-ups and commercial ventures.  Submissions might share methodologies at the institutional level for using accreditation as a mechanism for support; making compelling arguments for reprioritization of institutional funding; and how to develop and maintain strong undergraduate research experiences in tight fiscal times.
 
Undergraduate Research for the Future: Exploring New Directions
Sessions submitted under this theme address emerging models for undergraduate research.