About CURE

The Coulter Undergraduate Research Excellence Program (CURE) was developed to pair undergraduate students with a faculty mentor in order to cultivate and strive for research success.

Being a part of the CURE program ensures that throughout their undergraduate experience, students participate actively to develop research in preparation for life after graduation. Whether the student chooses to make research a part of their career plans, the program will help sharpen and hone the critical thinking and communication skill set that is invaluable to any professional goal.

Program Overview

The program is a three level process for learning research skills and working side-by-side with faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and research scientists in the laboratory setting.


Entry-level undergraduate student with no previous research experience. Two semesters of shadowing, training, attending research meetings, and familiarizing themselves with the laboratory setting.


Mid-level undergraduate student who has completed the yearlong trainee phase or has previous experience volunteering in a research laboratory setting that is equivalent to trainee level work. The researcher will complete two semesters of directly assisting in the research lab, analyzing data, and maintaining lab records under the supervision of lab mentors. During the researcher phase, students will be paid a stipend of $150 a week for working at least 15 hours per week.


Top-level undergraduate student who has completed the researcher phase of the CURE program. As a fellow, the student will conduct independent research and work closely with mentors on completing their own research studies. The fellow will complete two semesters of work in the laboratory. During the fellow phase, students will be paid $180 a week for working at least 15 hours per week.

Application Requirements

For a list of faculty mentors and research projects, click here.

For a list of student profiles, click here.


“While working with Dr. McPherson, I have learned more than I could have ever imagined. I have expanded my vocabulary and understanding of the neuronal motor-sensory pathways, nervous system anatomy and so much more. I plan on pursuing a medical degree, so working on an extracurricular project has widened my perspective of the biomedical engineering field and its applications to medicine. I would recommend this program to students who are looking to apply the knowledge they have gained from their courses and want to learn about a specific area of interest they might have outside the usual classroom setting.” – Valentina Melero

“After completing my undergraduate studies at FIU, I plan on attending medical school and becoming a physician. I truly feel my gradual involvement in research has allowed me to improve my critical thinking, creativity, organization, and many other skills needed to be a successful healthcare professional. I have progressively learned how to read and analyze medical literature, which is critical in remaining up-to-date on medical discoveries that can be implemented in the clinical setting. Furthermore, being in a research setting exposes me to the usage of a Flex-cell machine, cell culturing, and other techniques that will enhance my comprehension of underlying causes of disease, which will considerably aid me in understanding the needs of my patients as a future physician.” – Michael Orduz

“For several months, I have been working with a neurological event called Cortical Spreading Depression. This is a neurophysiological condition typically observed in migraine aura characterized by a wave of complete neuronal depolarization leading to a silencing of neuronal activity that spreads throughout the cortex of the brain. I have been able to perform intracranial recordings on rats and with the data I have collected, I have been able to present in state and national conferences where I have met faculty from several distinguished graduate school programs. This has been an opportunity I highly value because of my interest in obtaining a PhD in neuroscience. I would highly recommend the CURE program to others because of the exposure to research and networking with distinguished faculty.” – Daniel Rivera

Applications are now open!

For more information about the program, contact Dr. Joshua Hutcheson at 305.438.0157 or at jhutches@fiu.edu.