Learning Through Research

"How To" Series


howtoDevelop"How To Develop and Administer Institutional Undergraduate Research Programs"

  • A step-by-step approach to developing and managing a campus-wide undergraduate research initiative
  • Commentaries on undergraduate research issues relating to faculty, students and curricula
  • Common practices and surveys
  • Useful vignettes
"This manual provides a guide to the crucial questions that must be raised and answered at various stages in the decision-making and implementation process...[It is] a much needed guide for the institutions that wish to begin or expand an undergraduate research program , while at the same time it offers fresh ideas and evaluation tools for more experienced institutions."
- Larry Wilson,
Past President, Marietta College

Authored by: Toufic M. Hakim

ISBN: 0-941933-22-9

Year Published: 2000

Pages: 75

Format: Print

"How To Get A Tenure-Track Position At A Predominantly Undergraduate Institution"


How To Get A Tenure-Track Position at a Predominantly Undergraduate Institution, updated and expanded in 2015, provides practical advice regarding  the process of landing a tenure track position at  a predominantly undergraduate institution (PUI).

Aimed primarily at current graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty in temporary positions, this booklet will also assist those who counsel graduate students as they seek jobs. Faculty members and administrators who are hiring new faculty members at PUIs will also find the booklet useful in their own recruiting practices.

Applying for a tenure track position at a PUI is a fundamentally different process than applying for a tenure track position at a research institution with a large graduate enrollment. Graduate thesis advisors and postdoctoral advisors are sometimes unaware of the culture at undergraduate institutions. This booklet will bridge the information gap between PUIs and research institutions and give you some practical advice that will make your application stand out from the rest.


Authored by: Michelle N. Bushey, Iain Crawford, Deborah E. Lycan, and Patricia E. Videtich

ISBN: 0-941933-52-0

Year Published:2015

Pages: 70

Format: Print and Online PDF Download

“From preparing for and searching for a faculty position to interviewing and negotiating an offer, this How to does a great job of framing the expectations and challenges for anyone interested in securing a tenure-track faculty position at a PUI. Drawing on years of experience, the authors present a realistic portrayal of what it takes to pursue one of the most rewarding paths in academia today.  It is an excellent resource for graduate students and even upper-level undergraduate students, because it can help them make important decisions about opportunities to pursue to improve their chances of landing a highly competitive faculty position."

-- Michael A. Palladino, Interim Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Professor of Biology, Monmouth University

“While our doctoral programs across the country skillfully prepare the next generation of scholars and teachers, our graduate students are often left to gather information piecemeal from their faculty advisors or fellow graduate students about how to pursue a tenure-track position.  The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) publication, How to Get a Tenure-Track Position at a Predominantly Undergraduate Institution, masterfully fills this void with perspectives from a variety of disciplines.  The booklet provides insightful advice on how to gain professional experience while in graduate school, and how the mentoring of undergraduate research can facilitate the successful pursuit of a tenure-track position at a predominantly undergraduate institution.  The heart of the booklet offers essential guidance on all the key elements of the search process: preparing a curriculum vitae, crafting a cover letter, soliciting letters of recommendation, preparing for a phone interview, navigating the campus interview, and negotiating an offer.  The authors note the CUR resources as well as other professional resources which can be supportive along the way.  The booklet is a must read for not only graduate students seeking a faculty position at a predominantly undergraduate institution but also faculty mentors, search committee members, and university administrators who can always benefit from sage advice on the search process.-- James LaPlant, Interim Dean of the Graduate School, Valdosta State University



HTAHCoverSm"How To Get Started in Arts and Humanities Research with Undergraduates"

This book is designed for faculty members and administrators hoping to develop opportunities for undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative work in the arts and humanities. Since the scholarly norms, definitions of research, and roles of collaboration and individual study are distinct in the arts and humanities from those in the sciences, the book contributes new ideas for meaningful student participation in the scholarship of these disciplines and for ways in which that participation can connect effectively with faculty work. Written by faculty members with long experience working with undergraduates, the book’s eleven chapters offer models of successful practice in a wide range of disciplines and cross-disciplinary programs. Providing a practical, hands-on guide to faculty and administrators hoping to develop programs in undergraduate research in the arts and humanities, the book also argues for the broader value of making undergraduate research an integral part of teaching and learning in these disciplines.
Edited by: Iain Crawford, Sara E. Orel, Jenny Olin Shanahan
ISBN: 0-941933-52-0
Year Published: 2014
Pages: 110
Format: Print


HTGS_Stem_Cover_Sm"How To Get Started in STEM Research with Undergraduates"

Faculty members face unique challenges and issues in doing successful research with undergraduates in STEM fields. How to Get Started in STEM Research with Undergraduates provides a general discussion of these special issues and discusses ways to deal with them.  Examples of such issues include: setting up and managing a research laboratory, designing student research projects, working with administrators, seeking research grants, writing successful grant proposals, integrating research into the classroom, dealing with information management, and making optimal use of the primary literature.    Although the monograph is directed toward helping faculty who are in their early years of teaching, it should also be valuable in showing administrators the needs they must address in providing an environment in which new faculty researchers can be successful and what expectations they can have of faculty.  The appendix lists some research agencies that fund undergraduate research.
Edited by: Merle Schuh
ISBN: 0-941933-28-8
Year Published: 2013
Pages: 86
Format: Print


mentorcoversm"How to Mentor Undergraduate Researchers"

How to Mentor Undergraduate Researchers By Louise Temple, PhD, James Madison University, Thomas Q. Sibley, PhD, St. John’s University, Amy J. Orr, PhD, Linfield College
How to Mentor Undergraduate Researchers is written for faculty members and other researchers who mentor undergraduates. It provides a concise description of the mentoring process, including the opportunities and rewards that a mentoring experience provides to both students and mentors.
This updated How to Mentor handbook reflects many changes over the last decade in the scope and extent of research opportunities for undergraduates in the United States. It draws on the timeless advice and wisdom present in the first edition, 2002, which was edited by Carolyn Ash Merkel and Shenda M. Baker. Reflecting the current expansion of CUR into all undergraduate disciplines, in this edition experts in a variety of different fields were called upon to expand the handbook’s usefulness across all areas of undergraduate research endeavors. In particular, the Social Sciences section reflects not only doing research in the social sciences, but also on the fact that mentoring is a social process. (A larger treatise on this subject can be found here. Advice is valid for both on- and off-campus research experiences and most academic disciplines.
How to Mentor Undergraduate Researchers may be ordered for $12.00 plus handling and postage. It may be ordered by mail, fax, or on the CUR website.

Edited by: Louise Temple, Thomas Q. Sibley, and Amy J. Orr

ISBN: 0-941933-39-3

Year Published: 2010

Pages: 45

Format: Print


HTJournalCoverSm"How to Start an Undergraduate Research Journal"

How to Start an Undergraduate Research Journal By D. Alexis Hart
How to Start an Undergraduate Research Journal provides justifications and strategies for beginning and/or sustaining undergraduate research journals—whether institutionally, nationally, or internationally.  This booklet also provides administrators, editorial boards, and teaching and research faculty members with advice about copyright and dual-publication considerations, and offers suggestions about how to embed an undergraduate research journal into the broader curriculum.  Furthermore, an entire chapter is devoted to advancing institutional assessment via undergraduate research journals.  The fourteen "Best Practices" vignettes included in the appendix present a range of practical advice and reflections on the experience of faculty around the world who have developed journals of undergraduate research—in print and online.  A second appendix provides a detailed list of undergraduate journals, including their content/mission statements.
How to Start an Undergraduate Research Journal may be ordered for $18.00 plus handling and postage. It may be ordered by mail, fax, or on the CUR website.
ISBN: 0-941933-41-5
Year Published: 2012
Pages: 124
Format: Print