Course-based undergraduate research experiences are a viable approach to increase access to research experiences in biology

KPW Smith, E Wadell, AN Dean, S Anandan, Susan Margaret Robertson Gurney, K Kabnick, J Little, M McDonald, J Mohan, DR Marenda, JS Stanford*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have been described as a mechanism to allow more undergraduates to engage in research experiences. To understand whether CUREs are viable to scale-up undergraduate access to research experiences, it is essential to carefully evaluate whether CUREs promote comparable self-reported outcomes for students and are less resource intensive than undergraduate research internships. In comparing student outcomes from four distinct CUREs to outcomes from students engaged in a summer research programme in the biology department at one institution, we found that students in both experiences self-report comparable gains on all items studied using the Undergraduate Research Student Self-Assessment tool. CURE students report similar levels of satisfaction with aspects of research experiences, such as amount of time spent conducting research and working with a mentor, compared with students engaged in the summer research programme. The CUREs studied here are less resource intensive than the summer research programme, and still led to comparable self-reported outcomes. These courses increased the number of biology undergraduates able to engage in research experiences, suggesting that CUREs are a viable option to expand access to research experiences that promote expected learning outcomes in a more efficient way.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)618-632
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Biological Education
Issue number3
Early online date15 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


  • Undergraduate
  • Research
  • Cure
  • Expanding access
  • Biology


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