Dr. Rebecca Roberts (Biology) Helps to Mold the National Future of Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences

Dr. Rebecca Roberts (Biology) was one of dozen faculty from around the country invited to participate in a meeting at the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College (SERC) in Minnesota. The meeting focused on facilitating CURE sustainability. A CURE is a course-based undergraduate research experience that allows students to participate in original research projects within the framework of a course.

Roberts has been involved in the National Science Foundation-funded development of the BASIL CURE, a biochemistry research experience that focuses on the identification of protein function based on structural information. Students enrolled in Biochemistry II and Structural Biology at Ursinus participate in BASIL and some will be presenting their findings at the upcoming national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

The goal of meeting was to identify cross-cutting themes in CURE development that make it possible to sustain these efforts over the long term. The meeting was organized by CURENet (a national group that supports CURE development) and the findings will be published this spring through SERC. The ideas generated by the group will help the broader community think about how to transition from developing and teaching a CURE as a new initiative to making it a part of “standard operating procedure” for the program or institution.