Information for Faculty Mentors
All faculty of the University of Minnesota, whatever their college, rank, or nature of appointment, may serve as a mentor for UROP students. Although faculty occasionally sponsor more than one student at a time, especially on team projects, it may be necessary during some award periods to limit the number of UROP students per individual faculty member in order to distribute research assistance to as many faculty as possible.
Benefits for Faculty Sponsors
UROP offers financial awards to undergraduates for research, scholarly or creative projects undertaken in partnership with a faculty member. While providing students with a unique educational experience, faculty advance their own professional work with the able assistance of a qualified undergraduate. This may be particularly helpful for faculty lacking funding for research assistance from other sources.
Blending UROP Awards with Other Funds
In cases where faculty have additional funds for research assistance through grants or other sources, they are encouraged to blend those funds with the student's UROP award. By providing a supplement to the student's salary and/or expenses, faculty can retain the services of the student after the UROP award expires. The student benefits by being able to undertake a more extensive project or to pursue later, more advanced stages of the work begun through UROP.
Role of a Faculty Sponsor
Although collaboration between student and faculty member will vary with the nature of the student's project, sponsoring a UROP student typically requires the following:
- Consulting with the student on the design of the project and reviewing a draft of the student's proposal. The faculty sponsor may not write the proposal; this is the student's responsibility. For a complete description of what the proposal must include, please see the UROP guidelines.
- Ensuring that the student completes any necessary processes for approval for projects dealing with human subjects, animal subjects, and any hazardous or controlled substances. Students must comply with all University regulations.
- Overseeing the student's work on the project, consulting at appropriate intervals, and encouraging responsible and timely completion of the project. Even if a student's project is contributing substantially to the research of the faculty sponsor, the student should participate fully and have primary responsibility for his/her own project. Extensive contact between the faculty mentor and the student should be expected and built into the project design. The award is given to the student, and the student is expected to complete the project as laid out in the proposal. Faculty sponsors may not use the student's UROP time for non-project related work. Inappropriate use of the student's time may result in a sponsor being ineligible for participating in UROP for a three-year period.
- Maintaining accurate timecards for the student and monitoring all expenditures to ensure that the student's requests are appropriate (funds may only be used for expenses approved on the UROP application) and within budget. Stipend funds and expense funds may not be mixed or substituted for one another.
- Overseeing the student's completion of the project, final report and evaluation. The Twin Cities UROP Office will contact the student and request these documents one month before the scheduled completion date.
- Completing a brief faculty evaluation of UROP at the conclusion of the student's project.
Processing Student Awards
Both the student and faculty sponsor will be notified of the award decision. Due to limited funds, the program is competitive and awards are based on the merit of proposals.
We hope that your experience in sponsoring a UROP student will be personally rewarding and beneficial in terms of your professional work. Please feel free to contact the UROP Coordinator in your college or the Twin Cities UROP Office if you have any questions about the program.