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Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

How to Apply

The UROP Application/Proposal deadline date is 11:59 pm Monday October 6, 2014 for spring 2015 semester projects and 11:59 pm the last Monday in February for summer projects and fall semester projects. Please check back close to the deadline dates for the exact date.  All UMD UROP applications must be submitted electronically through the University of Minnesota Twin Cities web site.

 

The application package has THREE parts:

  1. Download and complete the Application Form.
  2. Have your faculty mentor complete online a Faculty Mentor Recommendation Form. 
  3. 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.

Both the Application Form and the Faculty Mentor Recommendation Form can found on the UROP Forms page under UROP. 

Submitting Your Application:

All three parts of the application, your application form, the faculty mentor recommendation form, and your proposal must be submitted electronically through the following link: http://www.urop.umn.edu/urop.html

 

Specific Proposal Steps:

  1. 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:
  2. 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.
  3. Proposal content.
    1. 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.
    2. 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?
    3. 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?
    4. 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?
  4. 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.
    1. 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).
    2. 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.
    3. 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.

Complete Your Application Form:

  1. Calculating your stipend: UROP supports students for actual time spent working on a project up to approximately 120 hours of work (a maximum of $1,400) calculated at the hourly student employment rate of $11.50/hr. This rate is subject to change.
  2. The scope of your project should be such that it can be completed within the time funded by UROP. If your faculty sponsor can provide additional support for later phases of your project, clearly indicate which part is supported by UROP and which part by resources from the faculty member.
  3. Projects dealing with the use of human subjects: Projects that deal with the use of human subjects in any way must be approved by the University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board (IRB). This approval would include projects dealing with questionnaires, surveys, interviews, observation, and secondary use of data such as medical charts. Please consult the following for complete information: http://www.research.umn.edu/irb/. If possible, a copy of the committee's decision should be included with your UROP application. UROP funds cannot be released until the committee's approval is verified. Projects in sociology, psychology, child psychology, political science, and journalism often require approval.
  4. Other required approval: For all new projects that deal in any way with animals, an Animal Usage Form (available at http://www.research.umn.edu/subjects/) must be submitted to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), MMC 820, 420 Delaware St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55454 (612-626-5654). All projects that deal with recombinant DNA, artificial gene transfer, infectious agents, and biologically derived toxins must be reviewed and approved by the University of Minnesota's Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC). Information is available at http://www.research.umn.edu/ibc/. The Department of Environmental Health and Safety must also be contacted for safety training for projects that deal with any of the following: ionizing or nonionizing radioactive sources; highly toxic, flammable, or reactive chemicals; biologically hazardous (viable) agents; and potent human or animal carcinogenic substances (http://www.dehs.umn.edu/ or 612-626-6002).
  5. If the nature of your project is such that exception to any UROP policy is required, contact your UROP Coordinator to discuss the feasibility of this exemption prior to submitting your proposal.

 

Other Information:

  1. Applications are reviewed by the Coordinators and/or faculty committees within each college. Recommendations from the coordinators are then reviewed on a campus level. Final recommendations are finally forwarded to the UROP Office in the Twin Cities for final review and processing.
  2. If you receive a UROP award, your notification letter will explain UROP hiring procedures (for stipends) and the transfer of funds from UROP to your faculty sponsor's department for payment to you. All charges against your UROP account for payroll, supplies and expenses will be handled by that academic department. Students may not be paid for time worked or be reimbursed for expenses accrued prior to the specified date on the approved application.
  3. You may receive notice your award is on hold awaiting either IRB or IACUC approval. For information and to apply for approval please see the Institution Review Board at http://www.research.umn.edu/irb/forms.html or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at http://cflegacy.research.umn.edu/iacuc/about/
  4. While working on a UROP project, students must maintain eligibility for Student Employment, which includes current registration at the University. Projects must be completed prior to graduation (Student Employment will not allow you to be paid as an undergraduate researcher once you have graduated).
  5. Upon completion of the project, UROP students must file final reports on their projects, complete an evaluation of the program (faculty sponsors will also be requested to complete an evaluation) and give a presentation of your results.  Students are strongly encouraged to present at the UMD Research and Artistic Showcase held each April (http://www.d.umn.edu/urop/showcase_signup.html)   You may also submit your poster or paper to UMD d-Commons which gives you a permanent and searchable copy of your project. You can find the forms you need to submit your work at http://d-commons.d.umn.edu/handle/10792/391 Any significant change in your project must be approved by the Twin Cities UROP Office.
  6. UROP participants are urged to apply during fall semester (deadlines are usually in early November) to present their research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) that takes place each spring. The University of Minnesota provides full funding for a group of students and faculty sponsors to attend this conference. Funding for students is contingent on acceptance for presentation by the conference. For more information on this exciting opportunity, contact your college UROP coordinator.
  7. The Learning Commons is here to provide support to you and your faculty mentor to make the most of the UROP experience. With Learning Commons assistance, you can build upon your faculty guidance to create a work that can be a source of pride far into the future.

    The Learning Commons can provide:

    • Writing assistance with the application, the project, or final report

    • Research assistance from Reference Librarians

    • Resources from the library, or from other institutions via interlibrary loan

    • Equipment like cameras and microphones for creating projects

    • Subject-specific tutors and peer support

    • On-going preservation of your final report or poster in the library’s d-Commons


    Learn more about the Learning Commons, including hours and contact information, here: http://www.d.umn.edu/commons/


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Last modified on 04/22/14 11:54 AM
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