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Council on Undergraduate Research

Council on Undergraduate Research

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is a membership organization founded in 1987 that supports the activity of undergraduate research. It sponsors various activities and events at campuses around the US to enhance the undergraduate research capacity of both faculty and students. Its office, staffed by an executive director and support staff, is in Washington, DC.

Council on Undergraduate Research
Merged intoNational Conference on Undergraduate Research
TypeProfessional association
  • Washington, DC


In 1987, the Research Corporation, particularly Brian Andreen, facilitated the establishment of a group of twelve research-active chemists from primarily undergraduate institutions to support and develop undergraduate research.[1] This group expanded and added councils in physics and astronomy, biology, geology, psychology, and other areas.[2] The all-volunteer organization nominated and elected new councilors as those serving stepped down until 1990, when CUR voted to open itself to membership like most scientific organizations.[1][3] Currently it has both individual and institutional memberships.

CUR has meetings periodically to decide on directions and activities. In addition to membership meetings, CUR has dialogues with the major governmental funding agencies in the Washington DC area, workshops on how to set up and successfully run an undergraduate research program at a college or university, undergraduate research presentations (posters on Capitol Hill and a large national conference of students held after CUR merged with NCUR), and other topics.[1] It has published directories of undergraduate research in chemistry,[4] biology,[3] physics,[1] geology,[5] psychology,[6] and other fields[3][7][8] as well as books advocating and explaining undergraduate research. It publishes two journals, CUR Quarterly and Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research.[2][1]


In 2010, CUR and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) merged their two organizations to form one, with CUR as the umbrella organization presenting a National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) annually.[9][10]

Events and activities

The Council on Undergraduate Research offers NCUR annually and also offers posters on Capitol Hill, dialogues with NIH and NSF, a business meeting, a one-day conference for faculty mentors, and workshops on ways to develop undergraduate research programs. CUR also runs a consulting service and a program review service. CUR presents several awards including CUR Fellows for both faculty members and students. It has a speakers bureau and a registry of undergraduate researchers.[9]

The Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly contributes to the growth and development of undergraduate research endeavors across colleges and universities by highlighting best practices, models for mentoring, and the assessment of undergraduate research. The goal of the journal is to provide useful and inspiring information about student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship from all disciplines at all types of institutions in the United States and abroad.


Presidents of the Council:[9]

  • Michael Doyle 1979-1983, 1987-1989
  • Jerry Mohrig 1983-1987
  • Stuart Crampton 1989-1991
  • Laura Hoopes 1991-1992
  • Thomas Goodwin 1992-1993
  • John Mateja 1993-1994
  • Mary Allen 1994-1995
  • Royce Engstrom 1995-1996
  • Thomas Wenzel 1996-1997
  • Neal Abraham 1997-1998
  • Charlotte Otto 1998-1999
  • David Elmes 1999-2000
  • Toufic Hakim 2000-2001
  • Michael Nelson 2001-2002
  • Mitchell Malachowski 2002-2003
  • Jill Singer 2003-2004
  • Tim Elgren 2004-2005
  • Mike Tannenbaum 2005-2006
  • Lori Bettison-Varga 2006-2007
  • Kerry Karukstis 2007-2008
  • Jeffrey Osborn 2008-2009
  • Diane Husic 2009-2010
  • Elizabeth Paul 2010-2011
  • Bill Campbell 2011-2012
  • Mary Crowe 2012-2013
  • Julio Rivera 2013-2014
  • Ami Ahern-Rindell 2014-2015
  • Roger Rowlett 2015-2016
  • Susan Larson 2016-2017
  • Anne Boettcher 2017-2018
  • Iain Crawford 2018-2019
  • Janice DeCosmo, 2019-2020
  • Silvia Ronco, 2020-2021
  • Jeanne Mekolichick, 2021-2022
  • Ruth Palmer, 2022-2023


  1. Doyle, Michael. (1991). A Brief History of the Council on Undergraduate Research: The Early Years. CUR Quarterly 12(2): 17-23.
  2. Michael P. Doyle, editor, (2002) Academic Excellence, Research Corporation, Tucson, AZ.
  3. Laura L Mays Hoopes, (2013) Breaking Through the Spiral Ceiling: An American Woman Becomes a DNA Scientist. 2nd edition.  Lulu Publishing.
  4. Judith A. Halstead (1997). "Council on Undergraduate Research: A Resource (and a Community) for Science Educators". J. Chem. Educ. 74(20): 148-49.
  5. Shelby Boardman. (1988). "Geology Joins CUR, Becomes Fourth Disciplinary Council". CUR Quarterly 8(2): 5-6.
  6. Melissa Dittmann. (2004). "A Reason to Smile: A Professor and Her Undergraduate Student Conduct Research on Smiling during a New Psychology-Focused Council on Undergraduate Research Fellowship". Monitor on Psychology 35(10): 68.
  7. Kerry Karukstis. (2007). "Alliances to Promote Undergraduate Research". J. Chem. Educ., 84 (3). DOI: 10.1021/ed084p384.
  8. Murguia, Edward. 1999. Council on Undergraduate Research to Include Social Sciences. Footnotes: Newsletter of the American Sociological Association 27(8).
  9. "About CUR" section on "CUR and NCUR Join Forces" on CUR website, Downloaded July 30, 2018.
  10. "Strengthening Our Voice, 2009-2011, Triennial Report", Council on Undergraduate Research, downloaded July 30, 2018 from
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