Examples of Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences

By Ashley Weleschuk & Lin Yu

Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) have been in high demand in recent years in response to an increasing number of research that indicates how undergraduate students benefit from research opportunities and experiences (Dolan, 2019; Auchincloss et al.,2014; Hensel, 2018; Reisel et al., 2015). Hensel (2018) defines CURE as “the inclusion of research projects in the curriculum, and it expands research opportunities to all students” (p. 2). Hensel (2018) further specifies the following criteria for CURE in the first two years:

  • Research is embedded into the course curriculum.
  • All students engage in the research project.
  • Students work collaboratively on the project.
  • Research projects introduce students to the research methodology of the discipline.
  • Outcomes of the research are unknown.
  • Student outcomes of the research are communicated in some manner (Hensel, 2018, p.2).
  • Incorporates student critical reflection (McRae, 2017

Incorporating CUREs into introductory courses will ensure every student has the same opportunity to engage with undergraduate research and hone their skills of observing, questioning, making connections, and using evidence (Hensel, 2018). The research skills that undergraduates develop through CUREs will enhance their learning experience throughout their university academic careers, as well as prepare them to address and solve problems or issues more effectively in their future careers (Hensel, 2018).

This handbook, a collection of examples for CURE, was created to spark ideas and inspiration for integrating CURE in the first-year large enrollment courses in Engineering.

Related resources 

Designing a Research Question 


Undergraduate Research as Experiential Learning

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