Creighton University has announced the formation of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (CURAS). The center will serve as a centralized area for information on available undergraduate research and scholarship opportunities with an interdisciplinary approach across campus. The purpose of the center is to increase support for faculty and students involved in undergraduate research projects, coordinate existing scholarship programs that support undergraduate research, and communicate outstanding undergraduate research and scholarly activity to the community.
Undergraduate students involved in research will collaborate personally with faculty members in the discovery of new knowledge in a way that would be difficult at larger universities. Upon graduation from Creighton, students will have completed a portfolio of achievement for use in graduate or professional school applications, or interviews with potential employers.
The director of the center, Creighton chemistry professor Juliane Strauss-Soukup, Ph.D., is a champion for undergraduate research and has continually advocated for increased support for students involved in faculty-led scholarship. Strauss-Soukup, who received a bachelor of science degree from Creighton in 1993, has mentored 60 undergraduate research students who have given hundreds of presentations on their research projects. Her students have been co-authors on publications that appeared in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology and Chemistry & Biology.
Strauss-Soukup has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) INBRE program for 11 years and an NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award Program R15 grant for six years. Both granting programs are focused on providing undergraduates with research experiences in the sciences.