Social Sciences Division

Who are we?

Social Sciences Chair: Doreen Sams, Georgia College and State University

The Social Sciences Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research provides networking opportunities, activities, and resources to assist administrators, faculty members, students, practitioners, mentors, and others in advancing undergraduate research. 

Division Activities

  • CUR Conversation: Shaping the Future in Undergraduate Research with Social Sciences
    • ​Recorded on October 18, 2022. Looking for a way to advocate for undergraduate research within the Social Sciences Division? Come listen to fellow CUR Social Sciences Councilors, Leslie Cecil, Mario Gonzalez-Fuentz, Doreen Sams, and Jeanetta Sims, on what the division does for students and faculty and the importance of advocating for social sciences within undergraduate research. Learn firsthand what it is like to be a councilor and how your dedication and commitment to the division can help strengthen CUR.
  • Social Sciences Faculty Excellence in Mentoring of Undergraduate Research Award – The deadline to apply is March 1, 2024
    • Each year, the CUR Social Sciences Division awards a competitive Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research in the Social Sciences (EMURSS) award.  This award recognizes an outstanding mentor of undergraduate research in the social sciences who supports, encourages, and promotes a positive and inclusive scholarly and teaching environment for undergraduate students, as well as contributes to professional and personal development of students inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Undergraduate Conference Presentation Awards This award has a rolling deadline.
    • Each year, the Social Sciences Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) offers a limited number of grants (up to $200 each) for undergraduate students presenting original research results of research that they have conducted at a regional or national, discipline-specific meeting. Award recipients are required to acknowledge CUR for support of their research in their talk or poster. After the meeting, a brief report about the experience is expected. Minority students are encouraged to apply.
  • Undergraduate Research Journals in Social Sciences
    • Undergraduate research is an important part of the social sciences field. We have compiled resources for faculty and students seeking publish their research.

The Journal of Transformative Learning featured a Special Issue on Undergraduate Research and Transformative Learning in 2018. You can access this journal, here. Social Science Division CUR Councilors, Dr. Jeanetta D. Sims and Dr. Doreen Sams served as co-editors of this special issue, which features essays, research, and teaching notes that explore how and to what extent transformation occurs in undergraduate research.

Included within this journal are the following articles:

  • Undergraduate Research as Generative Metaphor: A Provocation by John Tagg
  • Transformative Pre-Research Mentorship Design: Jump-Starting Undergraduate Research Experience in Molecular Biology by Y. Ellen France
  • Innovation in Preservice Teacher Preparation: Undergraduate Research in Special Education by Kymberly Harris, Meca Williams-Johnson and Dana Sparkman​
  • Mentoring as a Socializing Activity
    • The term “social sciences” acts as an umbrella for an extraordinarily broad and diverse range of intellectual activities. It includes practices as quantitative as demography and as qualitative as ethnography. It includes activities like cognitive psychology that are near to the bench sciences, and those like semiotics that are near to literature. It includes research agendas with considerable external funding, such as decision theory, and those like cultural criticism that rarely receive significant grant support. This chapter will not attempt to explore the full breadth of activities encompassed by the social sciences label, but rather will talk about commonalities of mentoring undergraduate students across those fields. Our goal will be to help faculty members excute and encourage undergraduates about the possibilities that the fields entail.
  • Watch as Carol Strong presents the Importance of Undergraduate Research in her TED Talk at TEDxUAMonticello.