Faculty Development Opportunities

Institutes – Learning Communities and Development workshops

CUR Institutes are two- to three-day meetings on a college campus at which a small group of people (approximately 45-65 individuals) meet to discuss an issue related to undergraduate research and faculty development, leading to plans for improvement on their own campuses. Since the goal is institutional as well as individual change, persons usually come to the institute in campus-based teams of 3-5 individuals.

Initiating and Sustaining Undergraduate Research Programs (ISURP)– This institute is designed for campuses that are establishing new undergraduate research programs or centralized undergraduate research offices and those expanding undergraduate research opportunities from a single department to a campus wide program.  It is also valuable for campuses interested in serving new student constituencies. 

Beginning a Research Program in the Natural Sciences at a Predominantly Undergraduate Institution Institute (BRP)– The goal of the institute is to give individual pre-tenured faculty members  the opportunity to learn from and discuss with experienced faculty how to establish and manage a research program with undergraduates. While at the institute, participants will also prepare plans for starting and/or advancing their individual research programs at their respective campuses. A range of topics will be covered during the institute that show ways to achieve career success in undergraduate research. 

Proposal Writing Institute – This Institute will bring together faculty and administrators interested in preparing proposals for submission to external funding agencies.  The four-day institute will consist of one-on-one work with a mentor, writing, small group discussions, and critiquing of proposals. The institute has been developed to assist novice to experienced proposal writers in drafting complete proposals for submission. Prior to the institute participants will be able to access information that will help them begin to draft their proposal.

Transforming Undergraduate Research Culture and Curricula (TURCC) – This workshop will bring together teams of three to five faculty members and administrators from institutions that are interested in institutionalizing existing research activities and who are interested in developing research rich curricula to support those goals.

Initiating and Sustaining Undergraduate Research Programs – This Institute is designed for campuses that are establishing new undergraduate research programs or centralized undergraduate research offices and those expanding undergraduate research opportunities from a single department to a campus wide program.  It is also valuable for campuses interested in serving new student constituencies (e.g. community college, underrepresented students, first and second year students, graduate students as mentors) and engaging faculty from disciplines new to undergraduate research (e.g. arts and humanities). The Institute will provide participants with the opportunity to develop a strategic implementation plan through sessions

Research Experiences for Undergraduates Symposium (REUS) – This conference features keynote presentations, presentations by students from REU programs in all disciplines, sessions for REU students, faculty, and administrators, and opportunities to present to representatives from NSF. Poster sessions will be displayed in the NSF atrium.

Integrating Undergraduate Research into the Curriculum Institute – Undergraduate research has been recognized as an effective “high impact practice” in higher education.  The traditional apprenticeship model of undergraduate research, where one or a small number of students work closely with a faculty member is powerful, but it is often difficult to scale so that all students have the opportunity.  During this CUR Institute, individuals or teams we will explore multiple ways to think about scaling the benefits of undergraduate research to a larger percentage of students by integrating research into the curriculum.

Institutionalizing Undergraduate Research – This workshop will bring together teams of three to five faculty members and administrators from institutions that are interested in institutionalizing existing research activities. The teams will begin the workshop by meeting with their facilitator and reflecting on the current status of undergraduate research on their campuses.  After this assessment, the teams will begin formulating mission statements, goals, and action plans for their own institutions.

Here’s what chemists had to say about Institutes they’ve attended recently:

The “Beginning a Research Program in the Natural Sciences” CUR Institute, which I attended in 2013, provided me with excellent opportunities for professional networking and discussion of approaches to undergraduate research. The essential information regarding obtaining and securing external research funds was of great help to me as a new faculty. “CUR Dialogues” of 2013 and 2015 boosted my research program offering a unique chance for me to meet with program officers from various granting agencies (e.g. NSF, NIH, HHMI, ACS-PRF). Following the meeting a grant-writing workshop, helped me to master my skills in writing competitive proposals and provided a great opportunity for networking with colleagues to exchange ideas in advancement of undergraduate research programs.  ~Dr. Dmytro V. Kosenkov, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Monmouth University

Conferences and Events

CUR Dialogues – CUR Dialogues is designed to bring faculty and administrators to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area to interact with federal agency program officers and other grant funders. Attendees will also have the chance to engage in several networking opportunities.

CUR Biennial Conference – UR holds a biennial Conference in even years. This conference brings together faculty, administrators, policy makers, representatives of funding agencies and other stakeholders with an interest in doing and promoting undergraduate research. It features over 100 workshops, presentations by representatives of funding agencies, social interactions, and poster presentations.

Read this post where Dr. Bridget Gourley explains why you should attend a CUR Conference.

PRE-ISSOTL Conference –  CUR has collaborated with the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) to offer pre-conference seminars focusing on international perspectives on undergraduate research.

Undergraduate Research Week – On November 16, 2010 the U.S. House of Representatives declared the week of April 11, 2011 as “Undergraduate Research Week”. Since that time, each year CUR has designated a week in April as “Undergraduate Research Week”.  Consider planning your campus celebration days and other special events during this week.


The Chemistry Division is interested in supporting Chemistry faculty that want to attend a workshop or conference for the first time. Please submit a travel fund request here.