Newswise — The Undergraduate Research Definition Task Force of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) announced an updated definition for undergraduate research, reflecting the broadened scope for undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry as well as attention to equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

The updated definition is the following: 

Undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry is fundamentally a pedagogical approach to teaching and learning. With an emphasis on process, CUR defines undergraduate research as:  

A mentored investigation or creative inquiry conducted by undergraduates that seeks to make a scholarly or artistic contribution to knowledge. 

Said Jeanne Mekolichick (Radford University), CUR president and chair of the task force, “The updated definition seeks to reflect the inspiring expansion in undergraduate research that encompasses various types of projects, mentors and mentees in diverse fields, institution types and settings, and mentors and students from a range of academic and personal backgrounds. Undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry enriches undergraduate education and helps students achieve their academic and career goals through the critical skills they gain and sharpen through these experiences.” 

 Said Lindsay Currie, CUR executive officer, “The work of the task force reflects CUR’s strategic goal on diversity, equity, and inclusion at many levels, involving mentors, mentees, academic disciplines, and institutions. It is hoped that the updated definition may assist individuals and institutions as they establish new undergraduate research programs or contemplate enhancements to their existing programs.”  


The Council on Undergraduate Research supports faculty development for high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. More than 700 institutions and nearly 13,000 individuals belong to CUR. CUR believes that the best way to capture student interest and create enthusiasm for a discipline is through research in close collaboration with faculty members.