The mission of the Council on Undergraduate Research is to support and promote high-quality mentored undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry.
CUR provides support and professional development opportunities for faculty, staff, administrators, and students. Our publications and outreach activities are designed to share successful models and strategies for establishing, nurturing, and institutionalizing undergraduate research programs. We assist administrators and faculty members in improving and assessing the research environment at their institutions. We recognize institutions that have exemplary undergraduate research programs and faculty who have facilitated undergraduate research at their institutions through their mentorship and leadership. We also provide information on the importance of undergraduate research to private foundations, government agencies, state legislatures, and the U.S. Congress. Faculty, staff, administrators, students, and colleagues from all types of academic institutions and organizations form the dynamic CUR membership.
Enriching and advancing society through undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry.
Organizational Core Values
- Excellence in all that we do.
- Respect and integrity in all of our interactions.
- Flexibility, responsiveness, and innovation in our implementation.
- Recognizing and valuing differences in our community.
The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) was founded in 1978 by a group of chemists from private liberal arts colleges who wanted to provide information about research that was being conducted at liberal arts colleges by faculty, often in collaboration with students. (Read this article by CUR’s first president Michael Doyle that provides a brief history of CUR.)
As the demographics and needs of members have changed, CUR has adapted and expanded to offer supportive environments for a diverse group of individuals and institutions. CUR has grown to include 13 divisions spanning all disciplines, more than 13,000 individual members from undergraduate students to university presidents, and more than 700 institutional members from all types of institutions. Our programs, services, and publication avenues – such as a consulting service for evaluation of institutional programs; a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal; books and other publications, such as newsletters and white papers; and comprehensive social media presence – reach an even larger audience, as CUR’s network spans most disciplinary and higher education associations.
After years of collaboration and discussion, including a joint statement on undergraduate research in 2005, CUR and the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research formally merged into one organization in 2011. This merger strengthened the undergraduate research community and expanded CUR’s professional development opportunities to more directly serve undergraduate students.
CUR is uniquely positioned to broadly engage the undergraduate research community due to two main factors: (1) CUR’s divisional structure, which brings together faculty and administrators, as well as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and non-STEM disciplines, essential for understanding complex issues affecting undergraduate research; and (2) CUR’s direct engagement with undergraduate students, essential for understanding student success and effective learning issues.
CUR’s leadership has reflected a wide range of backgrounds, disciplines, talents, and institutional roles. CUR presidents typically serve one-year terms that begin at CUR’s Annual Business Meeting. The following distinguished individuals served as presidents of the organization:
- Ruth Palmer 2022-2023
- Jeanne Mekolichick 2021-2022
- Silvia Ronco, 2020-2021
- Janice DeCosmo 2019-2020
- Iain Crawford 2018-2019
- Anne Boettcher 2017-2018
- Susan Larson 2016-2017
- Roger Rowlett 2015-2016
- Amelia Ahern-Rindell 2014-2015
- Julio Rivera 2013-2014
- Mary L. Crowe 2012-2013
- William Campbell 2011-2012
- Elizabeth Paul 2010-2011
- Diane Husic 2009-2010
- Jeffrey Osborn 2008-2009
- Kerry K. Karukstis 2007-2008
- Lori Bettison-Varga 2006-2007
- Michael Tannenbaum 2005-2006
- Tim Elgren 2004-2005
- Jill Singer 2003-2004
- Mitchell Malachowski 2002-2003
- Michael Nelson 2001-2002
- Toufic Hakim 2000-2001
- David Elmes 1999-2000
- Charlotte Otto 1998-1999
- Neal Abraham 1997-1998
- Thomas Wenzel 1996-1997
- Royce Engstrom 1995-1996
- Mary Allen 1994-1995
- John Mateja 1993-1994
- Thomas Goodwin 1992-1993
- Laura Hoopes 1991-1992
- Stuart Crampton 1989-1991
- Jerry Mohrig 1983-1987
- Michael Doyle 1979-1983, 1987-1989