Getting Started in CUREs

Students Alan Wright and Emily Kincaid with Dr. Rafael Lang during a CURE Lang teaches.

Increasing Access to UREs Via Courses 

CUREs are an attractive model for engaging more students in research experiences. While CUREs have been most broadly employed and evaluated in the sciences, any discipline can develop and implement a CURE The CURE—Purdue team encourages broad participation form departments across campus.

CUREs have a number of attractive features and the current body of evidence suggests that CUREs yield many positive outcomes for both faculty and students: 

  • CUREs can operate at a larger scale than the traditional apprenticeship model of UREs, increasing the overall capacity for undergraduate research.  
  • CUREs are more inclusive than the apprenticeship model, which is often selective in the students chosen to join UREs and require students to know how to find such opportunities. 
  • Faculty who develop and teach CUREs have cited the benefits of: 
    • greater enjoyment when teaching CUREs over a traditional course,
    • the ability to integrate their research and teaching,
    • advancement of their research agenda,
    • recruiting students to their personal research group, and
    • the potential to positively impact promotion and tenure.  
  • The benefits students report after a research apprenticeship are shared by students participating in CUREs.  

 The Office of Undergraduate Research supports instructors’ development of CUREs through: 

Scope and Definition of a CURE 

A CURE is a specific URE model occurring within a course that: 

  • includes a novel research experience, 
  • is holistic, engaging students' creativity and ownership in the discovery process and presentation, 
  • is mentored by a Purdue faculty/staff instructor, and 
  • is offered for credit. 

A course must include all four characteristics to be a CURE, but there are numerous models for a CURE regardless of discipline. CUREs can run for an entire semester or be a module within a course. CUREs engage students in the entire process of discovery from the creation of questions to a presentation of findings.