Learning Through Research

Mission Statement

About the Council on Undergraduate Research

The mission of the Council on Undergraduate Research is to support and promote high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship.

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and its affiliated colleges, universities, and individuals share a focus on providing undergraduate research opportunities for faculty and students at all institutions serving undergraduate students. CUR believes that faculty members enhance their teaching and contribution to society by remaining active in research and by involving undergraduates in research, and students succeed in their studies and professional advancement through participation in undergraduate research. CUR’s leadership works with agencies and foundations to enhance research opportunities for faculty and students. CUR provides support for faculty, administrator, and student development. Our publications and outreach activities are designed to share successful models and strategies for establishing and institutionalizing undergraduate research programs. We assist administrators and faculty members in improving and assessing the research environment at their institutions. CUR also provides information on the importance of undergraduate research to state legislatures, private foundations, government agencies, and the U.S. Congress. CUR welcomes as members faculty, staff, and students from all types of academic institutions.

CUR achieves its vision through efforts of its membership as organized in a divisional structure that includes arts and humanities, biology, chemistry, education, engineering, geosciences, health sciences, mathematics and computer science, physics and astronomy, psychology, social sciences, an at-large division that serves administrators and other disciplines, and a division for directors of undergraduate research programs.

Definition of Undergraduate Research: An inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.

The Council on Undergraduate Research, founded in 1978, is a national organization of individual and institutional members representing more than 1000 colleges and universities.

Governance, Membership, Program, and Sources of Support

The Council on Undergraduate Research is a national 501(c) (3) not-for-profit educational organization. CUR is governed by a Council, which is elected by the members of each of 11 disciplinary divisions, one at-large division, and one division for undergraduate research program directors. The Council elects an Executive Board, which in turn chooses an Executive Officer, who manages the national office. CUR is a grassroots organization whose principal support comes from its dues-paying individual and institutional members. Together, these members represent over 900 colleges and universities. Most of our institutional members are private and public liberal arts colleges and comprehensive universities, with a growing number of research-intensive, community college, secondary school, and affiliate member institutions. CUR hosts the annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) for students, holds an undergraduate research poster session on Capitol Hill (U.S.), produces a quarterly journal and targeted publications, and provides a number of professional development events for faculty members, students, and administrators.