Undergraduate research is becoming more important in higher education as evidence is accumulating that clear, inquiry-based learning, scholarship, and creative accomplishments can and do foster effective, high levels of student learning. This curricular innovation includes identifying a concrete investigative problem, carrying out the project, and sharing findings with peers.
The mission of the Council on Undergraduate Research is to
support and promote high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative
research and scholarship.
The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) was founded in
1978 by a group of chemists from private liberal arts colleges who wanted to
provide information about research that was being conducted at liberal arts
colleges by faculty, often in collaboration with students. Since that time CUR
has grown to include all disciplines and all types of institutions. Today,
members include nearly 10,000 individuals and over 650 colleges and
The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR),
established in 1987, is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research,
scholarship, and creative activity in all fields of study by sponsoring an
annual conference for students. Unlike meetings of academic professional
organizations, this gathering of young scholars welcomes presenters from all
institutions of higher learning and from all corners of the academic curriculum.
Through this annual conference, NCUR creates a unique environment for the
celebration and promotion of undergraduate student achievement, provides models
of exemplary research and scholarship, and helps to improve the state of
E. Kellett, PhD, Former Dean, College of Human Ecology, Kansas State University
undergraduate research initiative exemplifies my philosophy of empowered
leadership. The College of Human Ecology at Kansas State University was one
of the first to participate in the undergraduate research initiative. Not
only does the experience of conducting, presenting, and publishing research
support the professional development of undergraduate students, it also
empowers faculty mentors to gain leadership skills. For example, one of the
students at K-State conducted a study that was presented at the KON
Conclave, which the faculty member also attended. The undergraduate research
study contributed to the studentís decision to pursue a masterís degree
Ė and the faculty mentor served as the chair of the graduate program
committee for the student. The masterís level research was published in
the professional journal of the discipline, and won the national award for
best graduate research paper that year! The student recently began a
doctoral program at another university, and aspires to become a professor.
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University: Julia Miller, Won Song Kansas State University: Virginia Moxley University of MarylandEastern Shore: Shirley Hymon-Parker Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society: Lisa W. Booth
Undergraduate Research Community for the
Human Sciences (URC)
This project will create a framework
and community to augment the scholarship of learning and teaching in preparing
students for graduate education, the workplace, and responsible citizenship. It
will serve as a catalyst for increasing the experiential content of
undergraduate education in the human sciences. In other words, this project
develops a model to advance both undergraduate student development and a
national undergraduate research agenda for the human sciences.
The mission of the Undergraduate
Research Community (URC) is a dynamic and pervasive culture of the human
sciences for developing the next generation of scholars.
In pursuit of this mission, URC will:
Assess undergraduate research
Identify priority issues for
Create a national undergraduate
research conference for the human sciences.
Sponsor a peer-reviewed electronic
publication for undergraduate research.
Establish an electronically
connected multi-campus community of undergraduate researchers.
cross-specialization undergraduate research and service learning research
projects in addition to traditional research in the specializations.
The opportunity to engage in
undergraduate research is the norm in human sciences units.
Candidates for graduate school are
positioned to engage in research.
The Participating Institutions have
each built their undergraduate research programs to a higher level.
The electronic journal selects the
best of undergraduate research once a year.
The URC Conference rivals other
professional meetings for quality.
This initiative has stimulated the
total research output and makes a measurable contribution to research.
This initiative is sponsored by the
Kappa Omicron Nu Leadership Academy in partnership with the Board on Human
Sciences, the Council of Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences, the
Higher Education Unit of the American Association of Family and Consumer
Sciences, and the 1890 Council of Administrators. The human ecology programs at
Michigan State University, Kansas State University, and University of
Maryland-Eastern Shore are Institutional Founders and members of the planning
Criteria for institutions to qualify as
Participating Institutions follow:
The unit has an ongoing
undergraduate research program or is interested in developing one.
The unit will develop a
comprehensive plan for faculty development in mentoring undergraduate
The unit will commit a faculty
mentor(s) to a planning conference and share planning tasks, with authorization
to make decisions on behalf of the unit.
The unit will commit (or
reallocate) resources to support students and faculty for the planning
conference, the research conference, and the ongoing Undergraduate Research
Community and assessment program.
The First URC Planning Conference
was held in Chicago, Illinois, January 15-16, 2001.
The first URC Research Conference
was held in conjunction with the Kappa Omicron Nu Leadership Conclave at the
Grosvenor Resort, Orlando, Florida, August 2-5, 2001. The deadline for
submission of undergraduate research papers is June 1 each year.
Institutions may apply for
participation in the URC at the beginning of each academic year.
Human sciences units are hereby
invited to apply for status as a Participating Institution of the Undergraduate
Research Community for the Human Sciences. Affiliation offers institutions the
opportunity to participate in the development of the national structure for
building a cadre of undergraduate researchers that will bring credibility to
the profession and among the disciplines.
To affiliate with the URC, each unit
shall submit a one- or two-page letter
of commitment that responds to the criteria for institutions to qualify as a
Participating Institution and includes the following:
Name of Coordinator, including
address, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address.
Sign-off by the Dean and the
Brief description of present
vision and unit plan for implementation of undergraduate research