Students experience enthusiasm and a deeper understanding of science when they participate in laboratory research. However, carrying out research on the scale of an undergraduate course can present logistical hurdles for faculty.
UVM Chemistry Professor Rory Waterman is addressing those challenges by helping faculty and practitioners effectively add research to the classroom through the course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE).
The CURE format provides significant flexibility to tailor curricula to meet the needs of various class sizes, disciplines, and student groups, and to fit with the resources available in the institutional environment.
In 2018, Waterman and Emory University Associate Professor Jennifer Heemstra co-published Expanding the CURE Model: Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (Research Corporation for Science Advancement, 2018). The how-to guide offers a step-by-step template for how to develop a CURE approach in the classroom.
Waterman is a 2009 Cottrell Scholar with the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, a private operating foundation that provides funding for innovative scientific research and the development of academic scientists. His CURE research will be presented at workshops in Tucson and San Diego in 2019 to help practitioners understand how to apply the CURE approach in the classroom. Waterman’s hope is that the model will expand and be used as a template across the UVM campus and at universities around the country.
In fact, Laura May-Collado, an instructor and research associate in the UVM Biology Department, used the CURE approach in a class during the fall semester.
“Laura’s research is completely different from mine, so it was great to see her use the CURE model,” Waterman says.