What is a CURE?


Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) provide students with the opportunity to engage in research experiences that cultivate their investigative skills, sense of discovery, and interest in STEM and the social science field. 

CUREs are designed to increase student access to research by allowing a small cohort of students to address research questions and problems faced by the scientific community today.

CURE is a Research Course branch of the Brown Learning Collaborative, a collaboration between the Sheridan Center and the HHMI funded initiative, “Innovation in Gateway STEM Courses”. 

A CURE course is defined by five characteristics:

  1. Iteration – students go through cycles of experimentation and learn to move past failures.
  2. Relevance – students conduct research that has relevance to a broader community (e.g. scientific or local community).
  3. Collaboration – students work cooperatively to answer research questions.
  4. Discovery – students use data to arrive at an answer that is unknown to both students and instructor.
  5. Disciplinary practices – students learn disciplinary practices by engaging in authentic research.


Students who participate in CUREs experience gains in research skills, self-efficacy, scientific identity, and the ability to persist in science that are comparable to the gains made by students who participate in traditional research experiences. 

CURE courses make research experiences more inclusive and more accessible to students from diverse backgrounds, especially women and underrepresented minorities.  


“I learned that design and implementation of a CURE is almost by definition a dynamic process that necessitates communication and teamwork between everyone involved… Not surprisingly, it takes a village to run a laboratory course.” 

– Gerwald Jogl, Associate Professor (MCB)