The Science Education Alliance Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience (SEA CURE) pre-course survey is an instrument for student assessment of their experience with the National Genomics Research Initiative (NGRI) funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Students in this program are participating in a inquiry-based introductory biology course modeled from the work of Dr. Graham Hatfull (e.g., Hatfull, et al. 2006). The outcomes include both new knowledge and, as Hatfull et al. wrote, “The thrill of discovering new viruses and previously unidentified genes, coupled with ownership of individual phage projects, provides strong motivations for students to engage in and pursue scientific careers.” This “phage hunting” was adopted as the first vehicle for promoting undergraduate science education by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s program, the Science Education Alliance (SEA).

You should employ SEA CURE if your college or university has been taking part in this national experiment in research and education that revolves around a research course in Genomics for undergraduate students. The goal of the National Genomics Research Initiative (NGRI) is to bring inquiry-based experiences to beginning undergraduates by developing a laboratory course that involves authentic discovery, and to connect participating students in a common experiment on a national scale. You are helping to facilitate your institution’s participation in this initiative.

By taking part, you are contributing to a ground breaking nation-wide study designed to inform development of a radically new approach to undergraduate science education. Student participation entails completing one survey (SEA CURE pre-course survey) at the beginning of the academic year and one survey (SEA CURE post-course survey) at the end of the academic year.

It is important that student participants know the following:

Voluntary: Your participation is voluntary; your decision to participate or not, and your survey answers, will have no bearing on your academic assessment in this course or on your academic standing in general.

Right to opt out: You will have the right to opt out of the surveys at any time you wish, or not answer any question you feel uncomfortable answering. There will be no ramifications for opting out.

Confidentiality: Your participation and your survey answers or performance on the diagnostic will be confidential. Only aggregate data will be reported so no individual data will be available to anybody. Your name will never be used or reported. Your professors will not know who has participated or what his/her individual results were. While your participation is confidential, it is not completely anonymous. Your email address will be used to match your Pre- and Post- course Survey responses. This information is not shared with your course instructor.

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.


Hatfull, G.F., et al. (2006). Exploring the Mycobacteriophage Metaproteome: Phage Genomics as an Educational Platform. PLoS Genetics Jun 2(6): e92.