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The Arkansas CURE (AR-CURE) Project is a collaborative effort between the Center for Advanced Surface Engineering (CASE) and Ouachita Baptist University (OBU). AR-CURE is a three-day workshop for faculty at higher education institutions, particularly at small and minority serving institutions, to learn how to implement research experiences in their undergraduate classrooms. 

There is growing national recognition of the need to reform undergraduate biology education in ways that allow all students to be engaged in the genomics revolution that is reshaping biological research. A major barrier is the lack of resources and opportunities for faculty training and professional development in genomics methods such as synthetic biology and bioinformatics. This is especially true at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) and community colleges (CCs), with the consequence that these minority-serving institutions (MSIs) cannot engage in needed curriculum reforms designed to reflect the genomics revolution.

The goals of the proposed project are to:  1) encourage more students to participate in research, 2) improve the quality of future research projects, and 3) make undergraduate students from universities and colleges with limited research opportunities more competitive for research-related programs and funding opportunities. The foundation for these changes is the incorporation of course-based research experiences into the undergraduate classroom.

The AR-CURE workshop is at no cost to the participants, completely supported by NSF through multiple awards and OBU. Each attending school will receive a one-year subscription to the iGEM labs program (www.igem.com) and receive a distribution kit containing over 1,600 genetic “Parts” and plasmids for use in the classroom.

More information about this program can be found on the program website.