FAQs about undergraduate research
FAQ’s about the OUR/UROP
Our programs are open to students in any subject or field of interest. For example, our students work in chemistry labs, conduct archaeological field work, create works of art, choreography, write novels, and any other kind of research and creative work you can imagine. Our programs are also open to multi-disciplinary projects. You just need a faculty mentor for whatever project you choose. Check out our Undergraduate Research Journal for examples of research by undergraduate students.
FAQ’s about the UROP Review Process
Overall quality of the proposed research or creative work and effective written presentation of the project.
- Is the proposed research or creative work timely and well-developed?
- Does the student exhibit a strong understanding of the project?
- Is the proposal well-written? Has it been carefully edited? Is the presentation professional?
Plan and timeline
Specific activities to be undertaken and a concrete, realistic timeline for completion of the work.
- Does the student present a concrete timeline detailing specific activities to be undertaken?
- Is the timeline realistic for completion of the project?
Quality of the mentoring relationship
Relationship of the proposed work to the expertise of the faculty mentor, familiarity of the faculty mentor with the student and his/her/their skills and goals, and impact of the proposed mentoring activities. A UROP scholar’s success depends critically on high-quality mentoring. Please consider this aspect of the application very carefully.
- Does the student demonstrate familiarity with the faculty mentor’s scholarship? Is the proposed work sufficiently related to the expertise of the faculty mentor?
- Are the faculty mentor and the student well-acquainted? Do they already have an established collaborative/mentoring relationship?
- What is the impact of the mentor’s proposed mentoring activities?
- Is the mentor prepared to personally provide high-quality mentoring to this student?
Impact on the Student’s Education
Potential of the UROP experience to substantially enhance the student’s ability to meet educational and/or professional goals.
- Do the proposal and mentor reference make the case that the UROP experience will substantially enhance the student’s ability to meet educational and/or professional goals?
Other Helpful Information
- Things to think about in regard to your potential mentor
- What research experience does your mentor have in the area of interest to you?
- What is your mentor’s reputation at the university and in the greater academic community in scholarship, teaching, and mentoring?
- Has your mentor worked with undergraduate students in the past?
- What is your mentor’s preferred communication style? Are you comfortable with it?
- How often does your mentor expect you to communicate with him/her?
- Will your mentor be available on a regular basis to provide advice and assistance?
- Does this mentor seem genuinely interested in you as a student?
- What space, equipment, and instrumentation does your mentor have available for your projects?
- What is your mentor’s publication record with undergraduates?
- Does your mentor take undergraduates to conferences to present their work? Does your mentor’s department provide financial support for these experiences?
- Questions to ask your potential mentor
- How many hours each week will you expect me to work on the research?
- How many weeks or months will you expect me to work?
- What form of compensation are you able to offer me for my contributions to this research?
- What will my specific role be on the project?
- Who will be my immediate supervisor on the project?
- What training can I expect to receive?
- What skills can I expect to develop over the course of my participation in this project? With what instrumentation will I gain experience?
- How will you measure my progress on the project?
- Are there any regular group activities that you will expect me to attend?
- Will my research be likely to result in publication and/or presentation of this work? If so, what are your rules for authorship?
- How likely are you to be able to write me a letter of recommendation in 5 years?