Engaging Undergraduates in Research at Scale: What if the treatment is a CURE?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Dr. Erin Dolan

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

University of Georgia

Dr. Erin DolanHand Lab 1144, 3:30 PM.

Joint Seminar with the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology.

National calls to improve undergraduate STEM education have emphasized the importance of undergraduate research experiences. Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences, or CUREs, involve groups of students in addressing research problems or questions in the context of a class, and have been proposed as scalable ways of involving undergraduates in research. This seminar will offer a definition of CUREs, describe what makes them distinctive from other learning experiences, outline the state of knowledge about CURE effectiveness, and highlight results from a study of the Freshman Research Initiative as a unique and highly impactful CURE model.


Erin Dolan is the Georgia Athletic Association Professor of Innovative Science Education in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Department at the University of Georgia. As a graduate student in Neuroscience at University of California San Francisco, she volunteered extensively in K-12 schools, which prompted her to pursue a career in biology education. She teaches introductory biology and biochemistry, and her research group studies scalable ways of engaging students in science research and mentoring of undergraduate researchers in the life sciences. In 2014-2016, she served as founding Executive Director of the Texas Institute for Discovery Education in Sciences (TIDES), the teaching innovation initiative in the College of Natural Sciences at University of Texas Austin. She has designed and led a wide range of professional development on active learning and mentoring, including intensive sessions for faculty to develop course-based undergraduate research experiences. She is principal investigator or co-investigator on more than $10 million in grants, including one for CUREnet, a network of people and programs integrating research experiences into undergraduate courses. She is also Editor-in-Chief of the leading biology education journal, CBE – Life Sciences Education.

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