Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) in Biological Sciences

Stanley M. Lo*, John C. Mordacq

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Research experiences provide tremendous benefits to students, such as improved learning outcomes and increased persistence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). However, the opportunity to do research in a faculty laboratory can be limited by available resources. As a solution, national reports have called for laboratory courses that engage undergraduates in authentic research experiences. These course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have the potential to make research experiences accessible to all students. While CUREs have been reported in the literature across STEM disciplines, many of them are in the biological sciences. Here, we present two examples of large introductory biology CUREs, where students work collaboratively on research projects that have the potential to generate novel results with broader relevance. The goal of these courses is to help students develop an understanding of research in the biological sciences by engaging in authentic research experiences. We also report data from quantitative surveys and qualitative focus groups that are used to evaluate these courses and to provide continuing feedback for improvement over many implementation cycles. While the courses described in this chapter are in biological sciences, we believe that our approach is applicable to colleagues across STEM disciplines who wish to develop their own CUREs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationActive Learning in College Science
Subtitle of host publicationThe Case for Evidence-Based Practice
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783030336004
ISBN (Print)9783030335991
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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