Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE)

What is a CURE?

CURE, which stands for “Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience”, represents an innovative approach to actively teaching courses. These courses provide students with practical, hands-on opportunities to engage in original research, while simultaneously affording faculty members the chance to generate novel insights within their respective disciplines.

Why should I teach a CURE?

Exploring the significance of developing a CURE holds merit. Resources are available, shedding light on the nature of CUREs, impacts on curricula and student learning, and providing insights into nationwide initiatives in this realm.

How can I teach a CURE?

Developing new curricula and courses can be a daunting task. What are the considerations of this special type of course? How do I design this experience in a sustainable way?

Additional Resources

Delve deeper into the extent of course-based undergraduate research to explore various examples of CUREs implemented nationwide.

Teaching a CURE can not only benefit your students, but also benefit your research program, engage undergraduates in your discipline, support graduate program enrollments, and make teaching the courses more exciting for the instructor

Don’t feel overwhelmed! There are lots of resources available and support from a roster of faculty currently exploring or leading CURE courses at UNC Charlotte can help you.

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Don’t hesitate to reach out to OUR for assistance!

What are the essential characteristics of CUREs?


The investigation’s outcome/answer is unknown to both the students and the instructor.  Students must make decisions such as how to interpret their data, when to track down an anomaly and when to ignore it as “noise” or when results are sufficiently convincing to draw conclusions.  Students’ findings offer some new insight into how the world works.

Broadly Relevant

CUREs provide opportunities for students to build on and contribute to current knowledge; they also present opportunities for impact and action beyond the classroom.  In some CUREs, this may manifest as authorship or acknowledgment in a research publication or students may develop reports/recommendations of interest to the local community.

Use of Discipline-based Practices

Asking questions, building and evaluating models, proposing hypotheses, designing studies, selecting methods, using technical tools of inquiry/investigation, gathering and analyzing data, identifying meaningful variation, navigating the messiness of real-world data, developing and critiquing interpretations and arguments, and communicating findings.


Through collaboration, students can improve their work in response to mentorship and peer feedback.  Collaboration also develops important intellectual and communication skills as students verbalize their thinking and practice communicating ideas and interpretations either to fellow students in the same discipline or to students in other disciplines.


Students learn by trying, failing, and trying again, and by critiquing one another’s work, especially the extent to which claims can be supported by evidence. Students may design, conduct, and interpret an investigation and, based on their results, repeat or revise aspects of their work to address problems or inconsistencies, rule out alternative explanations, or gather additional data to support assertions.  Students may also build on or revise aspects of other students’ investigations, whether within a single course to accumulate a sufficiently large data set for analysis or across successive offerings of the course to measure and manage variation, further test preliminary hypotheses, or increase confidence in previous findings.