Learning Through Research

CUR Biennial Conference 2018

Read the 2018 CUR Biennial Conference Program

CUR would like to thank Gold-Level Sponsors EURO Scholars and International Studies Abroad; and Silver-Level Sponsors Student Opportunity Center and next thought; and Friend-of-CUR Sponsor Epigeum for helping make this event happen. Please click on their logos and visit their websites!


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Click here if you are interested in sponsoring the conference.


Quick Links

About the Conference

The conference runs July 1-3, 2018. Click here to view the full conference program.-NEW!

CUR will host its Biennial Conference, "Creating Collaborative Connections in and through Undergraduate Research,” at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA. (The conference officially begins at 8 am on Sunday, July 1 and ends around 11:30 am on Tuesday, July 3. There is a soft opening with a divisional meet and mingle around 5 pm if you arrive in time on Saturday, June 30. This may help with travel planning.)

The CUR Biennial 2018 will provide an opportunity for faculty, administrators, staff, academic and community partners, and policymakers to share interdisciplinary investigations—both individual and collaborative—across local, national, and international contexts, as they showcase models of undergraduate research activities at all types of higher education institutions. In addition, the conference will feature nationally recognized keynote speakers who will provide insight into current national/global trends and related fields of interest.

The conference will highlight the value of undergraduate research, as attendees from two- and four-year colleges, universities, and communities learn from each other in the effort to expand opportunities for undergraduates in collaborative scholarly work and creative activities. Participants in undergraduate research are better prepared in their fields of study as they learn problem-solving, critical thinking, information skills, and communication skills as well as become proficient in the practice of intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies within their multiple learning environments. Faculty mentors of these students contribute to the next generation of knowledge makers, creative thinkers, and innovative leaders.

In support of these efforts, this conference will showcase novel ideas in plenary talks, stimulating sessions, and informal networking activities, offering practical strategies and future directions for undergraduate research at higher education institutions and organizations around the world. 

Below is a preliminary schedule, subject to change. Please check back for updates and changes.



2018 Conference Speakers

This conference will feature the following nationally recognized keynote speakers who will provide insight into current national/global trends and related fields of interest:

  •   Jos� Antonio Bowen (president, Goucher College)
  •   Freeman A. Hrabowski III (president, University of Maryland–Baltimore County)
  •   David Lopatto (director of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment; Grinnell College)
  •   Robin Wright (director, Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation)

Learn more about the speakers

Conference Themes

The 2018 CUR National Conference will address the themes listed below across all disciplines. Examples are provided under each listed theme, but submissions are encouraged that go beyond the provided examples and even beyond the traditional presentation format (such as performances).

In the new dialogic opportunities, interested individuals will work within a learning community over several months before the biennial, meet at the biennial to further their discussions, and collaborate to create at least one CUR-related written product as a result of their interactions. This may take the form of a “white paper” for sharing within the CUR Community, a manuscript for submission to a peer-reviewed journal, a Zotero bibliography, and/or a website. Learn more about the dialogic opportunities.

  1. Integrating and Building Undergraduate Research into Curriculum and Coursework - focusing on building curriculum that is both research-based and supports undergraduate research as an outcome of curriculum.

Abstracts submitted under this theme may also address but are not limited to subthemes such as the following:

  • Connecting undergraduate research and the curriculum
  • Linking undergraduate research and long- or short-term study abroad experiences
  • Utilizing undergraduate research as a mechanism to improve retention and degree completion
  1. Assessing the Impact of Undergraduate Research – focusing on examination of the outcomes of undergraduate research on students, faculty, curriculum, and institutions.

Abstracts submitted under this theme may address but are not limited to subthemes such as the following:

  • Assessing best practices and new ideas to demonstrate the impact of undergraduate research
  • Monitoring and assessing the impact of undergraduate research programs on students, faculty, curriculum, institutions, and communities
  • Using assessment data to improve institutional programs or measure the effects of undergraduate research
  • Explaining how researchers have determined and communicated students’ learning outcomes, both academic and non-academic
  • Articulating the economic, social, and cultural return on investments in undergraduate research and/or navigating through high-stakes transformations of curricula and/or departments focused on high-impact learning experiences
  1. Fostering Diversity and Inclusion in Undergraduate Research – focusing on offering undergraduate research to a wider audience of undergraduates, faculty, and institutions to increase the diversity of participants, particularly from underrepresented groups and institutions.

Abstracts submitted under this theme may address but are not limited to subthemes such as the following:

  • Strategies for broadening participation in undergraduate research
  • Building inter-institutional partnerships (such as those between two- and four-year institutions) to promote additional research opportunities for faculty and students
  • Collaborating with underrepresented and/or marginalized groups in undergraduate research projects that address community-based issues
  • Demonstrating effective practices for providing access to students and researchers from underrepresented groups (such as those from low-income backgrounds, first-generation college students, and minorities)
  • Developing and/or collaborating with programs that serve special education populations
  1. Promoting Innovation and Collaboration in Undergraduate Research – focusing on expanding undergraduate research opportunities beyond academic institutions to research collaborations with business and nonprofit organizations as well as between higher education institutions.

Abstracts submitted under this theme may address but are not limited to topics such as the following:

  • Expanding undergraduate research opportunities beyond academic institutions to community organizations (such as those in the business and nonprofit communities).
  • Introducing new models for mentoring that serve course-integrated undergraduate research opportunities
  • Collaborating with discipline-specific professional organizations for the advancement of undergraduate research
  • Examining rapidly-evolving innovations such as digital technologies and new literacies
  1. Advancing Internationalization and Undergraduate Research – focusing on expanding the opportunities for research exchanges, research collaboration, and field research in international settings.

Abstracts submitted under this theme may address but are not limited to topics such as the following:

  • Opportunities for research exchanges, research collaboration, and field research in international settings.
  • Addressing local issues that have global implications, e.g. community science and communications.
  • Applying undergraduate research in service of displaced peoples, migrant populations, prison populations.
  • Identifying opportunities for research exchanges with international students in the US.
  1. Other

Abstracts submitted under this theme may address but are not limited to subthemes such as the following:

  • Collaborations across departments, institutions, and organizations
  • Emergent models and new directions for undergraduate research
  • Avenues and resources to expand the continuing investment in undergraduate research
  • Integration of undergraduate research with other high-impact learning experiences
  • Areas not covered by any of the themes above

Session Types

The CUR Biennial 2018 offers the following types of sessions:

  • Single Presenter 
  • Panel (2-4 presenters)
  • Poster
  • Workshop Sessions
  • Dialogicals-New
  1. Single-Presenter sessions can include short presentations of research in progress and/or study results, models, or other innovative programs and techniques. These sessions are short and allow little time for extended discussion. It is recommended that presenters provide handouts and contact information for participants who may be interested in continuing the discussion at a later time. Materials also may be shared digitally before and/or after the conference.
  2. Panels feature discussion or a series of short presentations on a shared topic by two to four presenters (including a moderator who should organize the session). Panels work best when the presenters interact with one another and the audience, and are organized around a series of questions. Presenters should represent a variety of perspectives on the panel topic. Use of visual aids and handouts (sparingly) as appropriate may enhance a panel session. Materials may be shared digitally before and/or after the conference. In organizing panels, it is beneficial to select the discussant or panel leader. The committee may choose to organize individual submissions into panels and to select the panel leaders.
  3. Posters are intended to provide a more comfortable atmosphere in which participants can share their ideas with conference participants across a wide variety of disciplines and institutions.  Posters can share work done to develop or strengthen undergraduate research institutionally or share examples of student projects, highlighting the various disciplinary models of undergraduate research. Posters will be on display for an extended time during the conference.  Presenters will be present during a poster session to be available to discuss their work with attendees. Poster boards, 40” (width) by 30” (height), will be provided by CUR. Presenters will have the opportunity to share materials digitally before and/or after the conference. Poster abstracts have an extended submission window.
  4. Workshops are experiential, participatory events on a topic or theme related to undergraduate research. After completing the workshop, participants should know or be able to do something new. The activity and the specific learning objective(s) of the workshop should be described in the abstract; the materials (if any) that the presenter wishes to share with the attendees in advance also should be listed (keeping in mind ease of access and limited preparation time) as well as any materials that participants will need to bring (for example, a computer or mobile device). CUR will contact workshop presenters after the session has been accepted to provide links or citations and instructions for participants, which will be made available to attendees before the conference.
  5. Dialogicals will allow small groups of CUR members who share common commitments to specific undergraduate research issues to come together for an extended period to find solutions to problems and plan specific actions e.g., publications, white papers and/or grants. Groups will meet during a preconference session and once during the conference for a total of 10 hours. Four dialogicals are planned: 1) Advancing Undergraduate Research in Education: A Focus on Pedagogy, Practice and Design, 2) Creating Successful Undergraduate Research Connections between Two-Year and Four-Year Colleges and Universities, 3) Addressing the Contest for Truth through UR in the Arts and Humanities and 4) Best Practices for Student Learning in Undergraduate Research Events. The dialogic call for abstracts includes directions on how to apply to participate in one of the dialogicals. Please note that participation in a dialogic session does not preclude you from submitting in other session types listed above.

Submit a Proposal

Submit a proposal for a poster or session
Apply to participate in a dialogic session

Notification of Acceptance: Will be sent by early March, 2018

Preconference Math Workshop

Sponsored by the Mathematics and Computer Science Division

In addition, the following preconference workshop is being planned for Saturday, June 30, 2018:

A Research Lab Model for Student Research in Mathematics. This workshop will demonstrate a model in which multiple students work together on projects over multiple years, allowing for senior students to mentor students just embarking on research. Techniques will be discussed for reformulating single-student research projects as collaborative ones, developing healthy collaborative relationships among students, promoting meaningful contributions by each student, and organizing the logistics of a larger group. Click here for the agenda. Click here to register.

Cost is $65.

CUR Conference Fees (early-bird rates through March 29, 2018)

Click here to register for the conference.

The deadline to register is Tuesday, May 29, 2018. Early-bird registration ends on Thursday, March 29, 2018.

Registration Type All prices reflect the Early-Bird Rate (Prices increase by $40 after March 29; onsite registration will incur an additional fee as well) 
Enhanced  $                          530.00
Institutional  $                          580.00
Individual  $                          630.00
Nonmember  $                          720.00

CUR Conference Housing

Hyatt Regency Crystal City
2799 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202, USA
T 1.703.418.1234 F: 1 703.418.1289 
crystalcity.hyatt.com (for information on hotel -- see link below to reserve your room stay)

Hotel Rates:

Single/Double - $159
Triple - $184
Quad - $209

The above guest room rates are quoted without the additional 13% tax rate.

Use the link below to reserve your hotel room at the group rate:

The hotel cut-off date is Tuesday, May 29, 2018.

Airports Options:


Discounted rates via Delta Airlines:  Click here

Ground Transportation Options:

Courtesy Hyatt Airport Shuttle

  • Courtesy Hyatt Airport Shuttle to Reagan National Airport (DCA) departs the hotel every 20 minutes on the hour from 4:40am – 12:00am. (Times subject to change.)

*Due to construction at Reagan National Airport (DCA) our pickup and drop-off locations have changed.*

  • Our shuttle will now pickup and drop-off on the upper level (Departure level) right outside doors #2 and #4. After retrieving your luggage from baggage claim you'll need to go back up to the departure level (airline ticket counter level) to catch the shuttle.
  • From Metrorail (WMATA.com) to our lodging:

Take the Blue or Yellow line to the Crystal City Station.

Take the escalators from the station up to the street.

Once you are at the top of the escalators, turn to the left and walk toward 18th Street. The shuttle will pick up underneath the overpass.

The Hyatt shuttles stop underneath the overpass on 18th Street every 30 minutes from 6:15am - midnight, Monday thru Friday, and 7:15am - midnight Saturday and Sunday. (Times subject to change).

Driving Directions:


Washington, DC, Attractions



For more information about the CUR 2018 Biennial, please contact Tavia S. Cummings, CMP, Manager for Institutes and Meeting Services, via email at tcummings@cur.org or phone at 202.783.4810. x204.

Click here to view the full 2016 conference program.


Cancellation Policy

In general the cancellation deadline is thirty days prior to the start of the conference, except where explicitly noted.  Cancellations requests received in writing to the CUR National Office at cur@cur.org prior to the cancellation deadline will receive a full refund less a $50.00 cancellation fee. No refunds will be given after the cancellation deadline. Transfer of registration to another individual before the cancellation deadline is free of charge, but subject to member classification charges due to differences in conference rates. Transfer of registration after the cancellation deadline will be charged a $50.00 transfer fee.

Institutions may not substitute one participant for another without prior approval of the National Office.

CUR always suggests that their registrants purchase low-cost travel insurance when booking their air reservations. Not only will this insurance cover your airfare in the event of cancellation but will also cover the registration cost for the meeting you were to attend.