For Faculty

Am I using CURE instruction by teaching research in my course?

  • Does your course conduct research with no known outcome?
  • Are your students using discipline-relevant techniques and evidence-based practices?
  • Does your research allow for failure or inform students to prepare for the unexpected?
  • Does your course produce novel data that can be useful to others in the field?

If YES, then your course is a CURE.

Distinguishing between research- and inquiry-based courses is an important component of defining the type of course you are teaching and the role for your course in the curriculum. Courses in all fields can fit into either category. Both research- and inquiry-based courses engage students in formulating questions that they investigate through various means that may include observation, surveys, writing assignments, or community-based projects.  They may be offered as introductory-level courses to pique students’ interest in a field or as upper-division courses as a culmination of the training students receive through a department’s curriculum. Research-based courses also include the intellectual contribution of information.  The original contributions made by students vary by field of study and can include novel interpretation of current information, generation of data, and creative endeavors.  These experiences are not limited to STEM fields. 

Why should I teach a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE)

  • Integrate your research in the course you are teaching.
  • Engage with students and see them develop a more authentic and rewarding relationship with research.
  • Increase your chances of publishing original research.
  • Explore new potential research questions and projects.

Although the impacts of CUREs on students have been widely studied, the benefits to faculty have only recently been appreciated.  Faculty who teach CUREs report increased integration of their own research in their teaching, recognition from departments and institutions, and opportunities for publication.  They also find that teaching CUREs gives them more enjoyment and reward due to intellectual stimulation and increased student engagement.

Shortlidge, Erin E., Bangera, Gita, and Brownell, Sara E. 2017. “Each to Their Own CURE: Faculty Who Teaching Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences Report Why You Too Should Teach a CURE. J Microbiol Biol Educ. 18(2): 18.2.29.

Additional Resources on CUREs

How do I learn more about CUREs?

Suggested Readings

Govindan, B., Pickett, S., & Riggs, B. (2020). Fear of the CURE: A beginner’s guide to overcoming barriers in creating a course-based undergraduate research experience. Journal of microbiology & biology education, 21(2), 50.

Dolan, E. L., & Weaver, G. C. (2021). A guide to course-based undergraduate research: Developing and implementing CUREs in the natural sciences. W.H. Freeman. 

Dolan, E. L. (2016). Course-based undergraduate research experiences: current knowledge and future directions [White paper]. National Research Council Commissioned Paper, 1-34.

Hensel, N. H. (2018). Course-based undergraduate research: Educational equity and high-impact practice. Stylus Publishing.

Bhattacharyya, P., Chan, C. W. M., Duchesne, R. R., Ghosh, A., Girard, S. N., & Ralston, J. J. (2020). Course-based research: A vehicle for broadening access to undergraduate research in the twenty-first century. Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research3(3), 14–27. 

Crowe, J., & Boe, A. (2019). Integrating undergraduate research into social science curriculum: Benefits and challenges of two models. Education Sciences9(4). 

Shortlidge, E. E., Bangera, G., & Brownell, S. E. (2017). Each to their own CURE: Faculty who teach course-based undergraduate research experiences report why you too should teach a CURE. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education18(2).

Staub, N. L., Blumer, L. S., Beck, C. W., Delesalle, V. A., Griffin, G. D., Merritt, R. B., Hennington, B. S., Grillo, W. H., Hollowell, G. P., White, S. L., & Mader, C. M. (2016). Course-based science research promotes learning in diverse students at diverse institutions. Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly37(2), 36–46. 

Shortlidge, Erin E., Gita Bangera, and Sara E. Brownell. (2016). “Faculty Perspectives on Developing and Teaching Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences.” BioScience 66(1): 54–62.

Parsons, J. R. M., Parsons, J. C. M., Kohls, K., & Ridolfo, J. (2020). Piloting an oral history–based CURE in a general education writing course for first-year students. Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research, 4(2), 27-34. 

Smith, J. (2022). Undergraduate research and the public humanities: Workable futures. Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture22(1), 61–78.

How do I get support for my CURE?

OUR Faculty Learning Community

Join the UNC Charlotte Faculty Learning Community through OUR in order to learn more about CUREs and get support in developing new CUREs or revising existing CUREs.

Mentoring the Integration of Research into the Classroom

The goals of MIRIC are to provide opportunities for long-term mentorship in developing CUREs with veterans of the practice and to develop an effective CURE module or modules that the mentee can utilize in his or her classroom.


CUREnet was established in 2012 by Erin Dolan (University of Georgia), Dave Micklos (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory), and Nancy Trautmann (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) to support networking among faculty developing, teaching, and assessing CUREs, to share CURE projects and resources, and to develop new tools and strategies for CURE instruction and assessment.

National CURE Programs

National CURE Programs

SEA-PHAGES (Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science) is a two-semester, discovery-based undergraduate research course that begins with simple digging in the soil to find new viruses, but progresses through a variety of microbiology techniques and eventually to complex genome annotation and bioinformatic analyses.

Phage Hunters
The Actinobacteriophage Database at is a website that collects and shares data, pictures, protocols, and analysis tools associated with the discovery, sequencing, and characterization of mycobacteriophages—viruses that infect the Mycobacteria and also other bacterial hosts in the phylum Actinobacteria. It was developed at—and is maintained from—the Pittsburgh Bacteriophage Institute, a joint venture of Dr. Graham Hatfull and Dr. Roger Hendrix, both of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.

Small World Initiative
This unique class approach harnesses the power of active learning to achieve both educational and scientific goals. SWI is an innovative program that successfully encourages students to pursue careers in science through hands-on experience and real-world applicable laboratory and field research in introductory courses. 

ORFan Gene Project

This Research Collaborative Network supports a number of CURE courses in molecular biology and genetics using yeast as a model system. The Project provides on-boarding workshops and resources to help support CURE development.


Squirrel-Net was born after a group meeting during the annual conference for the American Society of Mammalogists in 2017. The group came together with the unifying desire to integrate meaningful scientific research with mammals into undergraduate biology education.

Genomics Education Partnership

These implementations range from incorporating short lessons into an existing course (e.g., using a genome browser to investigate eukaryotic gene structure) to participating in a genomics Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience centered around comparative gene annotation.