CURE brings extra career-prep for students, rewards for faculty

October 1, 2022

By BZ Zuniga

More than 3,000 students have participated in CUREs at CSUMB. But what is CURE? 

It stands for Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience, commonly referred to as CFFP or the CURE Faculty Fellowship Program. 

Through CFFP, students can enhance their skills by working on a research project in one or more of their courses. Meanwhile their instructor offers guidance while developing and refining instructional materials, curricular activities, and evaluation methods.

Faculty participating in the CFFP receive a stipend through UROC (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center), which hosted the 2018, 2019 and 2020 cohorts. 

Those were primarily funded through the Department of Education’s Hispanic Serving Institution STEM grant, with additional support from the William M. Keck Foundation for CUREs in biology focused on genomics and bioinformatics. The 2022 cohort was primarily funded through a National Science Foundation pilot grant and Department of Education Title V funding. 

Faculty who participated received $4,000 for developing and sharing their enhanced course materials with other CSUMB instructors and designating their CURE through participation in a UROC-hosted community of practices.

After completing CURE projects, more than 80% of students participating in the CURE Program:

  • developed enhanced data analysis techniques
  • increased problem solving skills 
  • felt more comfortable in their ability to communicate science, and more prepared to conduct rigorous research projects
  • became more likely to read about and participate in scientific research
  • were more relaxed when when working with or offering constructive criticism to peers

Students participating in CUREs during the 2018 to 2020 academic school years expressed overwhelmingly positive feedback for the program.

Corin Gray, curriculum associate for UROC, and Corin Slown, associate professor in the Department of Biology and Chemistry, facilitate the CURE Faculty Fellows program. Dr. Quentin Sedlacek and Dr. Cindy Ziker also have contributed to key aspects of the CFFP including the mentorship and scaffolding aspects in biology, math, and psychology programs. NOAA's CoastWatch and OceanWatch tools and data are used by students in their CURE Research. 

“Faculty continue to revise and iterate their course design,” Soan said. “For example, Dr. Simon Titen developed an initial CURE module for clinical variants in 2019 and improves the learning experience for students by modifying his assignment design and pedagogy. CURE Faculty Fellows exemplify the commitment to student success and continuous improvement at CSUMB.” 


The application for CFFP has a Spring semester deadline. For further information, review the  

Official Program Infographic or see the description at the UROC webpage