News & Events

CUNY selected for NSF-funded Workshop Program on Institutionalizing Undergraduate Research

November 15, 2011

The City University of New York has been selected by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) to participate in an NSF-funded program designed to improve the quality of undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education at college and university systems and consortia.

After a highly competitive national selection process, CUR announced on November 7 that three systems were chosen to participate in workshops targeted at institutionalizing undergraduate research: CUNY, the Great Lakes Colleges Association, and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

All of the awardees will work to build and enhance a culture that supports undergraduate research at both the institutional and system-wide level. The workshops will help participants articulate and set goals for institutionalizing undergraduate research, as well as assist in developing strategies for achieving these goals on each campus. Mitch Malachowski, Professor of Chemistry at the University of San Diego and Co-Principal Investigator on the grant added, “Undergraduate research is one of the most powerful educational experiences students can have. It helps move them from studying a subject to becoming an active participant. Our goal is to support campuses that are committed to achieving more active forms of learning.”

The CUNY team will be overseen by Associate University Dean for Research, Dr. Avrom Caplan.  Teams comprised of faculty and administrators from all eleven senior colleges will participate in an intensive workshop scheduled for Spring 2012 in which they will create a roadmap for accomplishing CUNY’s long-term goals for institutionalizing undergraduate research.  The University aims to broaden participation in undergraduate research in STEM fields, and to create an institutional culture that recognizes the importance of undergraduate research by integrating it into current pedagogical practices. It is anticipated that accomplishing these goals will lead to increased retention and graduation rates and greater student academic success overall.

Gillian Small, Vice Chancellor for Research, stated that, “enriching the undergraduate research experience at CUNY is fundamental to student success and we are delighted to have received this award to help us to achieve our goals.” Avrom Caplan echoes the excitement noting that he is “proud that CUNY is being recognized by CUR for its initial programmatic and curricular efforts to embed a culture of undergraduate research across its complex urban university system. We anticipate that the Workshop Program for State Systems and Consortia will help CUNY to develop a system-wide integrated approach to increasing the number of students who commit to careers in STEM fields.”