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.
There have been a number of CUR initiatives that have explored Transformative Research. They are outlined below.
Summit on Transformative Research
In June of 2009, CUR hosted a summit on transformative research which was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (Award# 00802506), Resarch Corporation for Science Advancement, and the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund.
Transformative Research Summit participants. Front row (left to right): Michael McCormick (Hamilton College), Kerry Karukstis (Harvey Mudd College), Moses Lee (Hope College), Judy Cushing (The Evergreen State College), Nancy Mills (Trinity University), Neal Abraham (DePauw University), Jeff Osborn (The College of New Jersey), Gina Macdonald (James Madison University). Second row (left to right): Julio Rivera (Davidson College), Robb Winter (South Dakota School of Mines), Ginger Withers (Whitman College), Angela Brew (Macquarrie University), Beth Cunningham (Illinois Wesleyan University), Diane Husic (Moravian College), Nancy Hensel (Council on Undergraduate Research), Paula Dehn (Kentucky Wesleyan College), Jeff Ryan (University of South Florida), Tom Wenzel (Bates College), Jerusha Detweiler-Bedell (Lewis & Clark College), Jim Gentile (Research Corporation), Art Ellis (University of California, San Diego). Back row (left to right): Tom Solomon (Bucknell University), Mark Brodl (Trinity University), John Gupton (University of Richmond), Sean Decatur (Oberlin College), Michael Dorff (Brigham Young University). Not pictured: Lisette dePillis (Harvey Mudd College).
Transformative Research at Predominately Undergraduate Institutions
This monograph, edited by Kerry K. Karukstis, Harvey Mudd College, and Nancy Hensel, Council on Undergraduate Research, represents a compilation of the many ideas that were presented during the course of the transformative research summit.
Transformative Research Briefing
Transformative Researsch at Undergraduate Institutions: The Capacity to Revolutionize
This expert panel reported on a June 2009 summit on transformative research held by CUR and funded by the National Science Foundation, Research Corporation for Science Advancement, and the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund.
Cora Marrett, Acting Deputy Director, National Science Foundation
Moses Lee, Ph.D., Professor and Dean of the Natural Sciences and Applied Sciences, Hope
College and Kristin Dittenhafer, recent Hope College graduate and student at University of
Michael Zach, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and
Guest Faculty Researcher, Argonne National Laboratory and student Tyler Shogren
Materials Regarding Transformative Research
In November 2010, CUR Members Diane Husic, Moses Lee, and Silivia Ronco presented at the AAC&U Conference Entitled "Creativity, Inquiry, and Discovery: Undergraduate Research In and Across the Disciplines". The PowerPoint presenation is available below: