CUR E-newsletter
Dec. 24, 2014

CUR recognizes institutions to be represented at 18th Annual Posters on the Hill
From March 6: The Council on Undergraduate Research is proud to recognize the institutions which will be represented at this year's 18th Annual Posters on the Hill. As the undergraduate research community works to ensure that those in the U.S. Congress have a clear understanding of the research and education programs they fund, nothing more effectively demonstrates the value of undergraduate research than a student participant's words, work and stories. Hosted on April 29, 2014, CUR will invite representatives from federal funding agencies, members of Congress, and Congressional staff to attend the evening poster session.More

New NASA program has undergraduates designing and flying payloads
The Space Reporter
From July 10: A new program organized by NASA's Science Mission Directorate is providing undergraduates an unprecedented opportunity to actively take part in science missions both on Earth and in space. The new Undergraduate Student Instrument Program, in its inaugural year, is geared to promoting the study of science, technology, engineering and math through direct, hands-on involvement by students in scientific research projects.More

Let students join you in the lab
Times Higher Education
From June 12: Wider participation of undergraduates in research is not a revolutionary concept. Its contribution to economies and communities, however, is not universally recognized. Critics have contended that undergraduate research is not "real," and that such students are not sufficiently able or skilled to undertake work. There have also been allegations that it amounts to exploitation because undergraduates make cheaper research assistants.More

Study: For undergraduates, active learning better than lecturing
U.S. News University
From May 29: Lecture halls are fixtures on many college campuses, but how helpful are these spaces to student learning? The researchers behind a recent University of Washington study set out to answer this question. Professors who prefer lecturing pupils may not like the conclusion investigators arrived at.More

The overachiever's guide to senior year
The Huffington Post
From Aug. 21: "For nearly two decades, I've been committed to preparing the most inspiring and motivated college students for graduate/professional school, influential careers, and lifelong achievement. I have learned that my very best students were focused, driven, and disciplined enough to follow these key steps-to-success during their senior year," writes Larry P. Thomas.More

Column: Undergraduate research an uphill battle, has benefits for students
The Daily Toreador
From April 17: According to statistical analyses of course enrollment at Texas Tech, less than 1 percent of undergraduate students are conducting documented research projects. Given recent studies that suggest the benefits of the undergraduate research experience, one would think that more students would seek out the opportunity. Why aren't more of our students involved in research and how come so few are trying to fix it? The answer might be a bit unsettling.More

Essential ingredients for sustaining undergraduate research programs
From Oct. 16: During Nitya Jacob's postdoctoral teaching fellowship, she conducted research with undergraduate students. From then on, the molecular biologist wanted student research to be integral to her career as an educator and scientist. When Jacob took a faculty position at Oxford College of Emory University, the 2-year school had no summer research program for students. "When I began at Oxford 12 years ago, they were starting to think about undergraduate research and ... had just started a formalized program across all disciplines during the academic year," said Jacob. Administrators told her that they were open to expanding students' summer research opportunities. So, building on an existing summer research program at Emory, Jacob, in collaboration with her colleagues, developed a similar program for Oxford students and also integrated research into the curriculum.More

University at Buffalo forum aims to improve undergrad research experience
UB Reporter
From June 12: In an effort to improve research experiences for undergraduate students, more than 60 University at Buffalo faculty mentors and summer research program staff met to discuss the best practices for coaching young students. The forum tackled issues encountered by most graduate and faculty mentors, which included learning to trust inexperienced researchers; developing techniques to improve their students' motivation, work ethic and attention to detail; and opening up discussions about diversity in the lab.More

Science teaching goes viral: Alternative course increases undergraduate retention
From Feb. 6:An alternative approach to the traditional introductory laboratory course at the undergraduate level significantly increases student retention rates, according to research published in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.More

Working with excellent summer undergraduate researchers? Help connect them with graduate schools!
From July 24: The Council on Undergraduate Research hosts a Registry of Undergraduate Researchers. The purpose of this registry is to facilitate matchmaking between undergraduates trained with research experience and a desire to pursue an advanced degree, and graduate schools seeking high quality students who are well prepared for research.More