Learning Through Research

CUR and NCUR Join Forces

While historically the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) and The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) have existed as separate organizations, as of October 1, 2010, the two organizations will be combined. The two boards decided to join together one organization to be the national voice for undergraduate research.
To commemorate this special occurence, CUR and NCUR have planned a number of special events.

October 27, 2010 Celebration Reception

The celebration reception entitled "Recognizing Tomorrow's Possibilities: Celebrating a New Era of Undergraduate Research" was held on October 27, 2010 at the Library of Congress.
Speakers included:
  • Subra Suresh, Director of the National Science Foundation
  • Michael Doyle, First President of CUR and NCUR, Professor and Chair of Chemistry, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Brian Andreen, Founder of CUR, Vice President of Research Corporation, Retired
  • Cynthia Bedrosian, Student, Eastern Michigan University
  • Katie Brookins, Student, Georgia Southern University
  • Katrina Shughrue, Student, Juniata College

October 26, 2010 Congressional Briefing

"Undergraduate Research and American Innovation"
121 Cannon Building, Washington, DC
Speakers included:
  • Dr. Robert Full, University of California-Berkeley and Tonia Hsieh, undergraduate research student, of University of California-Berkeley
  • Dr. Paul Edmiston, The College of Wooster and Deanna Pickett, undergraduate research student, of The College of Wooster
  • Dr. Beth Paul, Moderator, CUR President and Provost, Stetson University

October 6, 2010 Book Release

On October 6, CUR held a panel at the National Press Club on "Developing the Best Minds and Solutions: Expanding Participation in Undergraduate Research"
Speakers included:
  • Moderator: Dr. James Gentile, President, Research Corporation for Science Advancement
  • Dr. Laura L. Behling, Associate Provost, Butler University and editor, Reading, Writing & Research: Undergraduate Students as Scholars and Literary Studies.
  • Dr. David Lopatto, Professor of Psychology and Samuel R. and Marie-Louise Rosenthal Professor of Natural Science and Mathematics, Grinnell College and author, Science in Solution: The Impact of Undergraduate Research on Student Learning.
Both publications were officially released at this event. They are also available for purchase by visiting here.

Historical Information about the two organizations

CUR is a dues-paying membership organization for faculty members in the sciences, mathematics, psychology and social sciences, arts and humanities, directors of undergraduate research and administrators, most of whom work at undergraduate institutions. They share the goal of sustaining and enhancing research activities by faculty members and undergraduate students. CUR also has a significant membership from colleges and universities that have joined as institutional members. CUR maintains a National Office in Washington, DC under the direction of Executive Officer Nancy Hensel. CUR initiatives include continued conversations with government officials and funding agencies about the value and needs of research programs in undergraduate institutions; publications, such as the CUR Quarterly and a series of How To publications such as - "How to Get Started in Research", "How to Mentor Undergraduates", "How to Get a Tenure-track Position at a PUI", "How to Develop and Administer Undergraduate Research Programs"; a listserv for rapid communication among members; a regular series of electronic bulletins "CUR E - News" on program opportunities and policy issues emerging from federal agencies; opportunities for members to network with government and foundation officials to learn about and to promote funding opportunities through National Conferences (even years) as well as the annual CUR Dialogues gatherings in Washington DC; and a series of CUR Institutes, workshops for institutional teams to learn and plan strategies for strengthening research programs on their home campuses. CUR provides mentors, consultants, proposal review services, a speaker's bureau, peer-review registry, and an undergraduate researchers graduate school registry as services to its members. CUR is organized in divisions (alphabetically): At-Large, Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, Health Sciences, Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Physics/Astronomy, Psychology, Social Sciences, and Undergraduate Research Program Directors. CUR also has Affinity Groups that provide discussion and programs on special topics. Currently active affinity groups are in these areas: Biochemistry, Engineering, Arts/Humanities Issues, Research University Issues, College and University Administration Issues, and Environmental Sciences Issues.
NCUR is the organizer of an annual conference of student presenters each spring, which has become a national celebration of undergraduate scholarly activity involving all academic disciplines and all institutions of higher education. NCUR's annual conferences also include sessions for faculty members and administrators to discuss starting, supporting, or maintaining departmental or institutional undergraduate research programs.
More information about NCUR can be obtained from the NCUR homepage on the World Wide Web at http://www.ncur.org/
A joint statement made by both organizations in 2005 can be found by visiting here.