By Juliana Poquette (story); Glen Mabie (video)
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has been recognized both in the UW System and nationally for its strong tradition of providing undergraduate research opportunities to its students. In the spring of 2023, the university will be a focal point for undergraduate research worldwide when it hosts more than 4,000 students and their faculty mentors for the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR).
The Council on Undergraduate Research, NCUR’s founding organization, recently announced UW-Eau Claire’s selection as host of the conference, to be held April 13-15, 2023.
During NCUR, university students from around the globe share the findings of research projects on which they have collaborated with faculty mentors. Their research topics come from all academic disciplines. Additional students, faculty and staff from any university as well as K-12 students and other community members can attend the conference and learn from the researchers about their findings.
“The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s strong commitment to diverse opportunities in undergraduate research, scholarship and creative inquiry will provide an outstanding environment for NCUR attendees," said CUR Executive Officer Lindsay Currie in a news release. “The area’s many amenities will offer a congenial locale for NCUR 2023.”
CUR’s designation of UW-Eau Claire as the number one master’s-level university for undergraduate research in the country in 2017 “speaks volumes about our tradition of excellence” in undergraduate research, said Dr. Catherine Chan, executive director of UW-Eau Claire’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.
“Our team is thrilled to bring thousands of students, mentors and fans of collaborative research to Eau Claire in 2023,” Chan said. “While 2023 may seem like a long way away, our team is already preparing to create a memorable experience for all who will join us for the national conference.”
UW-Eau Claire’s successful bid to host NCUR 2023 was accomplished with support from campus and community.
“I could not be more proud that UW-Eau Claire was selected to host this amazing event,” said UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt. “Undergraduate research has been an integral part of our university for more than 50 years, and the fact that we were selected to host this national conference is a testament to the phenomenal commitment that our faculty and students have made to scholarly research. We share this honor with our partners in Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley.”
Among UW-Eau Claire’s partners in the planning for NCUR 2023 are UW-Eau Claire – Barron County, Mayo Clinic Health System, Chippewa Valley Technical College, the city of Eau Claire, Visit Eau Claire, the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, the Pablo Center at the Confluence, and state and local leaders.
"Like so many big projects in Eau Claire, our successful NCUR 2023 bid is the result of our campus and community leaders coming together with open doors and a shared vision," said Kyran Hamill, camps and conferences manager for University Centers at UW-Eau Claire and a member of the team that created the proposal for hosting the conference. "We look forward to working across campus and throughout the community to welcome over 4,000 NCUR attendees to the Chippewa Valley."
Terry Weld, Eau Claire City Council president, agreed that over time, local partners coming together have enabled the success of programs that enhance the quality of life enjoyed by community members.
“As city council president, I am very pleased to see the ongoing mutually beneficial relationship between the university and the city of Eau Claire,” Weld said. “Hosting NCUR 2023 is yet another example of UW-Eau Claire’s community-focused efforts to fulfill its mission while demonstrating our city’s collaborative spirit.”
More than 700 universities are eligible to be considered to host NCUR each year, Schmidt said.
“Thanks to the strong partnerships and world-class facilities and a rich tradition of collaboration in our community, our university will be in the spotlight in 2023,” Schmidt said.
Chan said she looks forward to the conference bringing undergraduate research to light for a broad audience:
“This is a rare opportunity and I know everyone in our community will come together to celebrate students, their mentors and the invaluable research that helps us all better understand the world around us.”