Society & Culture

UGA expands undergraduate research opportunities with pilot program

UGA expands undergraduate research opportunities with pilot program

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia will expand the reach of undergraduate research opportunities on campus through a partnership between the Honors Program’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities and the Faculty of Engineering.

The aim of the partnership is to pioneer an effective model for the growth of undergraduate research that can be adapted to expand CURO activities into other UGA academic units.

“Over the past decade, CURO has had an extraordinary impact on the undergraduate students who have taken part in its programs,” said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Jere Morehead. “With this important pilot program, administrators in the Honors Program will be working with colleagues in the Faculty of Engineering to explore ways to expand access to more students.”

CURO, which is administered by the Honors Program, was started in the late 1990s through a grant from the Fund for Improvement of Post Secondary Education.CURO supports undergraduate research through a range of activities that include:

  • Sponsoring gateway seminars that provide an introduction to undergraduate research for qualified Honors and non-Honors students;
  • Maintaining a listing of UGA faculty interested in working with undergraduate researchers;
  • Sponsoring an annual symposium that highlights undergraduate researchers and their faculty sponsors;
  • Administering a summer research fellowship program, as well as an apprentice programfor first- and second-year students.

The partnership between CURO and the Faculty of Engineering will focus on developing information sessions, gateway seminars and research courses specifically aimed at engineering majors.

“CURO has always operated on the premise that it is possible for undergraduate students and faculty members to cooperatively engage in the creation of knowledge,” said Honors Program Director David Williams. “We expect research faculty members who participate in the CURO-Engineering program to consider students partners in a learning community and to develop mentoring relationships focused on conducting research.”

Pam Kleiber, associate director of the Honors Program, will work closely with the Faculty of Engineering as the pilot program is developed.“I’m looking forward to this opportunity to expand access to the CURO program, which currently serves 500-600 students,” she said. “Members Brahm Verma and William Kisaalita and director Dale Threadgill of the Faculty of Engineering, with whom we’ve had initial discussions, have been very enthusiastic about the program and I expect it will be a good partnership.”

The Faculty of Engineering was organized in 2001 to link faculty members from various disciplines who are involved in engineering-related activities. Unlike conventional engineering schools where faculty members are appointed to an engineering department, members of the Faculty of Engineering are housed in academic units throughout campus. UGA currently offers 10 engineering degrees—five through the Faculty of Engineering and five through the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering.

More information about the UGA Honors Program and CURO is available at

More information about the Faculty of Engineering is available at