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Strengthening the Voice of ­ndergraduate Research

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The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) have joined forces to form a new organization, which will retain the CUR moniker, that will build on the two organizations' achievements in strengthening and promoting the endeavor of undergraduate research. Undergraduate research is an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline. The newer, larger, stronger organization will strengthen advocacy and awareness efforts and offer members expanded services and more resources.

At an October 27 reception celebrating the joining of the CUR and NCUR, Nancy Hensel, CUR's Executive Officer, said, "The two organizations have always shared a common mission. By joining together, under one umbrella, the student, faculty, and institutional development aspects of undergraduate research, CUR will more effectively promote undergraduate student and faculty engagement in research."

Combining efforts will better serve the groups' collective mission, their members, students, and all institutions of higher education. Subra Suresh, the newly appointed director of the U.S. National Science Foundation, attended the celebration and urged the CUR community to continue to pursue its tremendous mission of support for growing the practice of undergraduate research that "ultimately contributes to maintaining this nation's critical edge of global competitiveness."

Regardless of type of institution, undergraduate research has the potential to radically change the understanding of any number of important existing concepts and contribute to the research enterprise. The involvement of undergraduates in research has led universities and their faculties to devise new approaches to curriculum, ultimately enhancing research opportunities for faculty and students. CUR will continue to convey the importance of undergraduate research to campus leadership, federal, state and local policymakers and students and faculty nationwide.


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