Learning Through Research

Special Projects

Special Projects

CUR also has a number of special projects and partnerships that have received sponsored program funding.  Currently, we have an initiative funded in collaboration with State University of New York Buffalo State (Jill Singer, principal investigator) and the SERC center at Carleton College, which focused on dissemination of an assessment model developed by Jill Singer and colleagues at Buffalo State.  

Opportunity To Participate in Pilot of a Novel Undergraduate Research Evaluation Model
Expressions of interest are now being solicited from campuses with a summer undergraduate research program that wish to participate in an exciting new project funded by the NSF WIDER program. The project will refine and disseminate a successful model of undergraduate research that has been in place at SUNY Buffalo State since 2008. In this model, the teaching and learning process and project evaluation are closely linked in a unique design that has improved student learning while producing rich empirical evidence of program outcomes. More than five years of evaluation data have confirmed student gains in knowledge as well as new student insights into their academic strengths and weaknesses. The project is now seeking additional institutions to pilot the dissemination of this model. Interested campuses must have a summer undergraduate research program lasting from six to ten weeks in which students work with faculty mentors, a campus undergraduate research director or coordinator who oversees the program, and ongoing institutional support for continuing program operation.


Over the past decade, we also received funding by the National Science Foundation for several projects, which are listed below.

Workshop Program on Institutionalizing Undergraduate Research for Systems and Consortia

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) received a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement (NSF-CCLI) program for a comprehensive expansion of the successful model of CUR’s annual, national-level Institutionalizing Undergraduate Research workshop. The NSF grant focused on improving the quality of undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education at state colleges and universities systems and public and private consortia with similar or closely related missions.

Programs for Community Colleges

Community colleges provide educational opportunities for students to earn pre-baccalaureate certificates or degrees, transfer to four-year institutions, or complete workforce and skill development programs. Each of these respective types of students would be better prepared for the next step in their careers if they were able to participate in quality undergraduate research experiences.

Over the past few years, CUR has worked with many community college faculty and administrators and has developed resources to broadly disseminate best-practices and models of undergraduate research to encourage research opportunities for students at two-year institutions.

Transformative Research

Transformative research is a term used by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). NSF's National Science Board defined transformative research as "research that has the capacity to revolutionize existing fields, create new subfields, cause paradigm shifts, support discovery, and lead to radically new technologies."

CUR believes that it should be a goal of faculty members at PUIs to conduct high-quality, original research and that the outcome of research at a PUI should constitute a contribution to the discipline, ideally in the form of peer-reviewed publications in recognized disciplinary journals and that PUIs should encourage their faculty members to pursue transformative research.