An update of recent CURE-related research, opportunities, and resources.

CUREnet Newsletter - June 2022

Recent Publications

Enthusiastic but Inconsistent: Graduate Teaching Assistants' Perceptions of Their Role in the CURE Classroom

CUREs across the country, especially at the introductory level, involve graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) as instructors. Relatively little is know about their experiences teaching CUREs, including the kinds of preparation GTAs need to successful facilitate student engagement and success in CUREs. In this interview study, Goodwin and colleagues characterize how GTAs envision their roles as CURE instructors and how this might influence their teaching and students' learning and development.

Synthesis and Biological Assay of Small-Molecule Quorum Sensing Inhibitors: A Three-Week Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience

In this paper, Dorn and colleagues describe a short, medicinal chemistry research project in which students synthesize small molecules and assay their effects on quorum sensing with the aim of generating a compound library for drug discovery.

A Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) in Biology: Developing Systems Thinking through Field Experiences in Restoration Ecology 

This article from Stanfield and colleagues present a field-based ecological research CURE taught at the introductory level. They also provide evidence that students who participate in the CURE make gains in their systems thinking, analysis, and writing skills, and that Latinx students earned more As and Bs after the CURE was integrated into the curriculum.

Special Announcements from CUREnet

Peer review of CURE entries

In order to provide the community with high quality examples of CUREs, CUREnet has developed and pilot tested a peer review process for entries in the CURE collection. During the pilot review, seven reviewers representing different institution types, disciplines, and perspectives tested, refined, and finalized a review process and set of criteria, available here. A subset of CUREs in the collection have now been reviewed - see for example two exemplary CUREs from the collection: Exploring the Structure-Function Relationship in RNA Biochemistry from Megan Filbin and A Bioinformatic Look at Iron Uptake in Insects from Emily Ragan, both at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Additional entries will be reviewed in August 2022. Please consider submitting your CURE for review or volunteering to serve as a reviewer! Details below.

Submit your CURE to the Collection

Over the past several years, more than 300 educators and researchers have joined the CUREnet community through CURE Institutes, during which designs and implementation plans for CUREs were drafted. CUREnet seeks to make all of this great work available to the undergraduate STEM education community. To encourage members of the CUREnet community to complete their CURE entries, CUREnet is offering 80 CURE Author stipend of $500 each during summer 2022. To earn a fellowship, entries must be submitted on CUREnet by July 31 and must include all of the following components: (1) abstract, (2) research and student goals aligned with objectives, (3) instructional materials, (4) assessments, (5) advice for implementation, (6) information about how students engage in iterative work, and (7) information about how the scientific results students generate is being shared with stakeholders outside of the course. The CURE entry form provides detailed guidance about how to complete each of these elements. Questions? Want more information or need help? Please contact Erin Dolan.

CUREnet is seeking reviewers for the CUREnet collection

Are you interested in participating in peer review of entries in the CURE collection? Now that CUREnet has established a peer review process, there will be periodic "review camps" to carry out peer review of CUREs in the collection. CUREnet aims to host one or more review camps during the first two weeks of August 2022. Reviewers will be asked to review 10-15 CURE entries and to participate in a one-day, online discussion of the CUREs they reviewed (~1.5 day commitment total). As compensation, reviewers will receive a $500 stipend. Interested in serving as a reviewer? Please use this form to indicate your interest and to provide information about the expertise you bring to the CURE review process.

Announcements and Opportunities

Seeking instructor partners! 

The Center for Chemical Currencies of a Microbial Planet (C-CoMP) is a newly-funded National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center that seeks to develop a deeper understanding of the chemicals and chemical processes that underpin ocean ecosystems and the global carbon cycle, and to broaden participation in research by engaging instructors and their students as partners in this research. As a first step in accomplishing this, C-CoMP is seeking instructors interested in collaborating to develop and teach CUREs that involve students in characterizing interactions among ocean microbes and identifying ocean microbes that vary in their metabolite uptake and processing. These research foci could fit in introductory biology, microbiology, marine science, environmental science, and related courses. Instructor partners would receive a $2,000 stipend as compensation for their time and would also have funds available for some materials, supplies, and travel if needed for developing and implementing the CURE. Interested or want to learn more? Please contact Erin Dolan.

How to stay up to date on current developments in CURE instruction? 

Be sure to keep an eye on the CUREnet News page, follow @CUREnet1 on Twitter, and join the Adding Research to a Class Facebook group to keep up up with the latest goings on related to CURE instruction.

Sustaining CURE instruction

Please visit the CUREnet site to learn more about how others have sustained their CUREs and CURE initiatives beyond the end of grant funding.

Voices from the CURE community

We are interested in collecting narratives from individuals who have implemented CUREs and are willing to share their experience and advice with the rest of the CUREnet community. If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming issue of the CUREnet newsletter, please email Erin Dolan.

Have news to share?

Use this page on the CUREnet website to submit publications, announcements, and job posts to be featured in the next installment of the CUREnet newsletter. For additional news and announcements, follow CUREnet on Twitter (@CUREnet1).