STEM Central

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Request for Institutional Proposals Due for CUR Transformations Project

Major Goals of the Project

The CUR Transformations Project is intended to address an urgent need in the undergraduate science community to connect faculty research activities to the curriculum in ways that will lead to a research-rich curriculum for students.  Seen through the lens of undergraduate research, science curricula provide an amazing number of opportunities for enriching student experiences on a larger scale than one-on-one research mentoring experiences can provide.

The overarching goal of this project is to work intensively with 12 institutions and 24 departments over a sustained period to conduct fundamental research on student, faculty, departmental, and disciplinary influences on the process of integrating and scaffolding undergraduate research experiences throughout the curriculum. We will also pursue departmental and school/college-wide transformations in student learning and the learning environment at the 12 partner institutions. The sustainability of these changes will be further enhanced by assisting institutions to integrate research-based curricula into student and faculty cultures and reward systems and by developing expanded undergraduate research assessments, including the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE) instruments.

To accomplish this goal, the Council of Undergraduate Research (CUR) will team with Indiana University’s Center for Postsecondary Research, an international leader in studies of high-impact educational practices. Since 1996, CUR has worked with more than 600 academic institutions to help integrate deeper levels of undergraduate research into their educational processes and campus strategic plans. Almost without exception, two interconnected objectives described in each campus plan have been to focus on the curriculum to make it more research-rich and to change the academic culture to support sustained and scaled-up success of a greater number of students, faculty, and institutions. Achievement of these integrated objectives requires a college-wide approach, orchestrated through departments, and a deep understanding of each discipline’s curriculum design and culture.


University of San Diego
San Diego, CA 92110