The Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) survey grew out of a creative collaboration of faculty from Grinnell College, Hope College, Harvey Mudd College, and Wellesley College, funded by HHMI. The CURE may be used as a pretest-posttest or posttest-only survey to measure student experiences in "research-like" or other science courses.

Each survey takes about 10-15 minutes. The surveys are hosted by a commercial site, Vovici. Students arrange to complete the survey either anonymously or not, depending on their arrangement with you and your institutional review board. (We suggest the surveys not be anonymous, as having the student names facilitates matching the pre-course to the post-course surveys.) The data are analyzed by Prof. Lopatto and Ms. Leslie Jaworski, Electronic Survey Data Analyst for the project. We report aggregate data for an institution or program to the designated faculty liaison or program director. Please contact Prof. Lopatto (lopatto[at]grinnell[dot]edu) if you are interested in using this approach to your course assessment.

Pretest questions include:

  • Demographic questions
  • Reasons for taking the course
  • Level of experience on various course elements
  • Science attitude questions
  • Learning style questions

The posttest survey is parallel to the pretest. Questions include:

  • Estimate of learning gains in the course elements
  • Estimates of learning benefits that parallel questions in the SURE surveys
  • Overall evaluation of the experience
  • Science attitude questions

The CURE survey has three components:

1) A brief survey for the course or lab instructor in which the instructor indicates which common activities are emphasized in the course.

Access the CURE instructor form here.

2) A pre-course survey to be completed by the students in the course or lab.

Access the CURE pre-course survey here.

3) A post-course survey to be completed by the student in the course or lab.

Access the CURE post-course survey here.


Published examples of CURE results in support of science education programs include:

  • Denofrio, L.A., Russell, B., Lopatto, D., & Lu, Y. (2007). Linking student interests to science curricula. Science, 318, 1872-1873.
  • Lopatto, D., et al. (2008). Genomics Education Partnership. Science, 322, 684-685.

In accordance with the US Department of Health & Human Services and the Grinnell Institutional Review Board, permission is required by parents or guardians and assent by participants under the age of 18 years. It is the responsibility of the institution providing the research experience or the institution requesting participation in these assessment tools to follow the requirements established by the US Department of Health & Human Services.