Characteristics of Excellence In Undergraduate Research (COEUR)

The mission of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is to support and promote high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. CUR defines undergraduate research as an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline. Undergraduate research— a term that encompasses scholarship and creative activity—is recognized as a high-impact educational practice that has the ability to capture student interest and create enthusiasm for and engagement in an area of study.

CUR, as the leading voice in undergraduate research, has more than 30 years of experience working with faculty and institutions to build and sustain undergraduate research and with evaluating undergraduate research programs. This document represents a compilation of the experience of CUR in building and evaluating undergraduate research programs at all types of institutions, including public and private, primarily undergraduate through research intensive. This document is intended as a guide for those who oversee undergraduate research and those who wish to build, evaluate, and maintain robust, productive, meaningful, and sustainable undergraduate research programs. Institutions, programs, academic departments, faculty, and administrators should find this document valuable as they work to develop and enhance their undergraduate research enterprise.

Characteristics of Excellence in Undergraduate Research (COEUR) is a summary of best practices that support and sustain highly effective undergraduate research environments. This document is organized in sections that correspond to various functions or units of a typical college or university campus. In CUR’s experience, successful programs exhibit many of the characteristics enumerated in this document. Further, many of the characteristics described in this document overlap and are important elements in an integrated, synergistic approach to enhancing undergraduate research.

Characteristics of Excellence In Undergraduate Research - PDF

Undergraduate Research Programs

The Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education has prepared standards for undergraduate research programs in higher education programs and services "to enhance the quality of student learning and development" (ACHS, 2014).

Undergraduate Research Programs