Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP)
The University of Minnesota's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program offers financial awards twice yearly to full time undergraduates for research, scholarly, or creative projects undertaken in partnership with a faculty member. It encourages students to conduct research and pursue academic interests outside of their regular courses by employing them to work on special research projects. CEHSP students are eligible and encouraged to apply.
Awards include up to $1400 in a stipend for hours worked and up to $300 for project related expenses.
How to Apply
Eligibility: In order to do a UROP project, you must be in an undergraduate degree program, in good academic standing, eligible to work in the U.S. and registered for at least 6 credits during the semesters that you will do your research (for summer projects, this is waived if you are registered for at least 6 credits in both the preceding and following semesters).
Students may hold only one UROP award at a time. While past award recipients may reapply, priority will be given to first‑time applicants. Past award recipients must have completed a final report, evaluation and presentation for all previous projects before they will be considered for another award. Students nearing graduation may apply only if they will complete their UROP projects, and submit a final report and evaluation and complete the presentation requirement before graduating from the University.
Getting Started: Your first goal is to determine your area(s) of research interest. UROP projects can either be based on a student's idea or can be centered around a faculty member's already existing project. You need to decide where your interests lie in order to find the appropriate mentor.
Find a Faculty Mentor: If you need some ideas on where to find a faculty mentor, look here. Some important things to keep in mind are: approach specific faculty members with some idea of what their research is about (you can find this on departmental web sites) so that you show them you are serious about working with them; be persistent - if someone says "no," ask them for a recommendation of others you might approach; start the process well before the deadline so you are not rushing a potential mentor.
Complete the Application: Once you have a mentor, and the two of you have discussed what your project will entail:
- Download and complete the Application Form.
- Have your faculty mentor complete online a Faculty Mentor Recommendation Form.
- A written proposal. There is NO pre-made form for this. You should prepare your proposal according to the instructions appearing below, using a word processing or page layout program, such as Microsoft Word or Powerpoint. If you wish to include tables, diagrams or figures, they must all fit within a three page limit. The page margins must be at least one inch on the top and bottom and both sides. The type must be at least 12 points in size. You should use double line spacing, and not have more than 3 lines per vertical inch.
Specific Proposal Steps:
- Develop an idea for your project and identify your faculty sponsor. Ideas for projects come from a variety of sources. They may be suggested by a course you have taken or by the research, scholarly, or creative interests of a faculty member, or you may have an idea of your own that challenges you to further exploration. You may work either within or outside your major field or on an interdisciplinary topic. Your sponsor may be a faculty member in any college or campus of the University. If you are not already acquainted with a faculty member with whom you would like to work, consult directors of undergraduate studies or the UROP coordinator for your college:
- Consult with your faculty sponsor. Contact the faculty member you have identified, explain the general idea for your project and discuss working together through UROP. Your discussion should lead to agreement on the nature and scope of your project, your method of inquiry and expected outcome; your budget for stipend and expense allowance; the timetable for completing the project; your access to supplies, equipment, facilities; the frequency of your consultations during the project; and your educational goals. Often faculty are able to supplement the salary and expense allowances of UROP students enabling them to undertake a more extensive project or continue working after their UROP award expires. Check with your faculty sponsor to see if additional funds are available through grants or other sources.
- Proposal content.
- Describe the intellectual merit of your proposed research or creative activity. What is the context for this project? Why is it important? What goals will it accomplish or what questions will it answer? For creative activities, what aesthetic are you addressing? Why is your proposed creative activity unique? For a science or technology proposal, you should describe a hypothesis that your research will test.
- Describe the broader impacts of your proposed research. Does this research have practical application or public policy implications? Will it contribute to better understanding of questions important to human knowledge or culture? Is your research particularly relevant to certain groups of people, such as K-12 school children or particular ethnic or cultural groups?
- Describe as specifically as possible what you will do during your UROP research or creative activity. What comes first? What is next? How do subsequent steps depend on earlier steps? Why is your plan realistic and achievable? What contingency plans do you have if things do not work out as expected?
- Describe the outcome of your research or creative activity. For a science or technology proposal, at what level of confidence will your research test the hypothesis that you have described. What will you and others know after your research that was not known before? What questions will be answered? What questions might arise for further study? How will you disseminate your new knowledge? For creative activity, what will you produce? How will you present the results of your creative activity?
- Prepare an itemized budget. You may request
funds up to a maximum of $300 for supplies, travel and expenses
directly relating to your project. List each item and its cost,
explaining its importance to your project. Non-itemized expenses will
not be funded.
- Computer costs: UROP will not support the costs of mainframe computer use; funds for this purpose are generally available through the instructional time-sharing account in a faculty member's department. UROP does not support the purchase of computer hardware. Computer disks will be covered only if they are central to the project (for example, a project that includes significant programming).
- Travel expenses: Travel costs should be computed at 50.5 cents per mile (rate subject to change). Expenses for local travel usually are not covered, though travel outside your immediate area to a research site or to a professional meeting to give a presentation on your project frequently are funded. UROP covers mileage and lodging, but not food.
- Other: UROP students may not use their expense allowance to hire other persons to assist them. For example, students may not hire typists, transcribers or word processors. UROP does not support the purchase of standard office supplies (e.g. file folders, paper, computer paper, pencils, ink) or books available in a library. Costs of photocopying must be fully itemized and may not exceed $50. UROP does not support the purchase of standard equipment (e.g. tape recorders, transcribers). If such equipment is unavailable, UROP may support reasonable lease fees. While UROP will support expense items such as telephone calls, postage, and literature searches (these items must be fully itemized and their relationship to your project must be clear), students requesting more than the following typical amounts should explain the necessity of the additional funds: postage: $50; phone: $50.
Special Requirements/Restrictions: Some UROP projects require special permissions before your UROP project can be approved. If your project involves Human Subjects , Animal Subjects, Harmful or Dangerous Substances or involves Travel Abroad, you need to make sure you have taken the appropriate steps to get these permissions as you prepare your UROP application.
Once your application, proposal and faculty mentor recommendation are complete, they are submitted through the links below.
Submitting Your UROP Proposal
SUBMISSION DEADLINE FOR THE SPRING ROUND IS NOW PAST
Use this link to submit a UROP Application Form.
Use this link to submit a UROP Proposal.
Use this link to submit a Faculty Mentor Recommendation Form.
For Students With Approved UROPS
How to Access Your Money: All UROP funds are handled through your faculty mentor's department. Your award letter will list the contact person in that department. Contact this person to set up your payroll account, get time sheets and to access any approved expense money. Your department will keep track of how many hours you have worked but please keep your own records as well.
At the End of Your Project: Once you have reached the end of your project, there are two ending requirements that must be completed in order for you to be considered done with your UROP award. These include a final report and student evaluation.
Departments will be responsible for any fund discrepancies on a student's account.
National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR)
UMD Undergraduate Research/Artistic Showcase - April 18, 2013 - Register here