Undergraduate Research Leaders

The Office of Undergraduate Research launched the Undergraduate Research Leaders program in 2015. Each year, we select a small cohort of students to serve as ambassadors for our office. Students selected will be hired as hourly employees of the Office of Undergraduate Research at the rate of $15 per hour and work an average of 2 - 5 hours per week. This program is open to Dreamers (with and without DACA).  Please contact Shiver (s.shiver@utah.edu) for more information.

The Undergraduate Research Leaders assist the office and promote undergraduate student research through several activities:

  • Office outreach on campus
  • Student recruitment
  • Student engagement
  • Peer advising
  • Program development
  • Small & Travel Grant Reviews

Additionally, we have several specialist positions including

  • Institutional Review Board (IRB) Specialist - sits on an IRB panel and acts as a liaison between the IRB and OUR students
  • Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Specialist - attends SPUR meetings and advises students about summer research programs

CLICK HERE to listen to the Office of Undergraduate Research Podcast >>

Meet our 2021 - 2022 Undergraduate Research Leaders!

Claire Ticknor

Virtual Office Hours: Thursdays from 3:30-4:30 - make a general information appointment here or via email
Liaison to: College of Engineering, College of Mines & Earth Sciences, and SPUR Specialist

Claire is a Senior in the Honors College majoring in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in Robotics and Controls. Claire started research her freshman year, completing SPUR working on a project focused on designing conduits for peripheral nerve regeneration through the Departments of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering. She went on to complete her first semester of UROP in this same lab. From this, Claire has gone on to do research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Intelligence and Space Research group with a focus on small satellites and thermal modeling. Currently Claire works in the Laser Based Manufacturing Lab through the Department of Mechanical Engineering on a project looking at 3D printed functionally graded materials. Through this she has completed her second semester of UROP and is working on writing her thesis. Claire hopes to go on to graduate school with a focus in sustainable manufacturing and design.


Daniel Anderson


Virtual Office Hours:  Tuesdays from 9:30 - 10:30 am - make a general information appointment here or via email

Liaison to:  School for and Cultural & Social Transformation, College of Education, College of Social & Behavioral Science, and Social Media Specialist

Daniel Anderson is a senior at the University of Utah finishing up his Psychology and Environmental Studies degrees. Daniel started his research in 2017, looking at breeding and foraging characteristics of bumble bees. Since then, he has worked in the Social Cognition and Intergroup Perception Lab (SCIP) and the Applied Cognition Lab at the University of Utah. With this, he is working on his undergraduate thesis on how nature affects stress physiology. Daniel is extremely grateful for all the research opportunities he has been a part of and plans to use these experiences in an environmental justice-based graduate school program.



Henry Ponce-Orellana


Virtual Office Hours:  Fridays from 12:30 - 1:30 pm - make a general information appointment here or via email

Liaison to:  School of Business, College of Law, College of Science, and SPUR Specialist

Henry is a Senior in the Honors College pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Chemistry. He began doing research in 2018 and has participated in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR), and the Chemistry Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) throughout his undergraduate career at the University of Utah. Currently, he is working on studying antimicrobial activity displayed by understudied methane-oxidizing bacterial communities in the Puri group. Henry plans to attend graduate school in order to pursue a Biochemical Engineering Ph.D..



Emmalyn Irvin


Virtual Office Hours:  Wednesdays from 9 - 10 am - make a general information appointment here or via email

Liaison to:  School of Dentistry, College of Health, School of Medicine, and College of Pharmacy

Emmalyn is a senior pursuing a degree in Health, Society, and Policy with a minor in Chemistry. She began her research in 2018 in Dr. Vetter's Lab studying microglia resistance to CSF1R inhibition in the brain and presented her findings in the UROP symposium later that spring. Currently, Emmalyn still works in the Vetter Lab switching her focus from microglia resistance in the brain to the retina. What she enjoys most about conducting research in her undergrad, is being given the opportunity to apply concepts taught in the classroom to real life situations. She is also extremely grateful for the meaningful connections and relationships she has formed while being in research. Emmalyn plans to apply to medical school next year to continue her education and become a physician. As a physician, she plans to continue conducting research throughout her career.  



Gauri Garg


Virtual Office Hours:  Tuesdays from 3:45 - 4:45pm - make a general information appointment here or via email

Liaison to: Honors College, College of Nursing, College of Social Work, and IRB specialist

Gauri is a Junior in the Honors College, pursuing a major in Biology with minors in chemistry and pediatric clinical research. She started undergraduate research in early 2020 in Dr. de Havenon's Lab studying the effects of diet and exercise on white matter hyperintensities. She has completed 2 semesters of UROP and presented her research in the UROP symposium in the spring of 2021. Gauri is still working in the de Havenon lab as well as continuing to branch into other areas of clinical research. She recently started research with the gastroenterology team at the University of Utah Health and will present at the American College of Gastroenterology in the fall. Continuing in this field, she will be interning at the National Institute of Health as a summer researcher under the leadership of the deputy chief of thoracic and GI Malignancies. She is also excited to start the pediatric clinical research minor at Primary Children's in the fall to get more clinical research experience. Gauri plans to apply to medical school in two years and will continue being a researcher throughout her medical career.   



Kalli Glauser


Virtual Office Hours: Tuesdays 9:30 - 10:30 am - make a general information appointment here or via email

Liaison to: College of Architecture + Planning, College of Humanities, College of Fine Arts, and IRB specialist

Kalli is a Senior majoring in Honors History and Economics. Kallin started doing research her freshman year on gendered representations of World War II nurses in film and presented her findings at the University of Utah’s History Conference. She completed two semesters of UROP and a third with funding from the Dee Scholarship researching Utah women’s attitudes toward contraception during the 1960s and ‘70s and wrote her honors thesis on the same topic. Kalli plans to work in the public sphere on economic policy focused on underserved communities.



Represent the OUR! Be influential on campus! Develop professional and leadership skills!

Participants in the Undergraduate Research Leaders program are absolutely crucial to the overall success and structure of the program and the OUR. Leaders will have many opportunities to represent the OUR both at campus events and in the classroom. Leaders will provide peer advising for students looking to get into any OUR programs and will be able to propose new outreach possibilities, as well as design and host additional events when beneficial to the program. UR Leaders will help with OUR events such as the URS. We will hold monthly meetings to remain up to date on Leader efforts and achievements and to reflect on how to build/re-structure the program as necessary. Hours of participation are varied and flexible, depending on the demands of campus events. There are many opportunities to develop professional and leadership skills through participation in the program. The program offers Leaders professional development training based on direct feedback from current Leaders and the Leaders participate directly in the design and implementation of OUR programs.

Requirements for Undergraduate Research Leaders Applicants

Applicants must be matriculated University of Utah undergraduate students, not on academic probation, disciplinary probation, or suspension; enrolled (part-time or full-time) during both semesters of participating in the program (Fall 2021 and Spring 2022); must have successfully completed at least one semester of UROP or SPUR; must have presented at the University of Utah Undergraduate Research Symposium; must be willing and able to participate approximately 2 - 5 hours a week, with more hours during special campus events; must be personable and thoughtful; must be comfortable with public speaking and willing to attend campus events for the OUR. Students who are a University of Utah Dreamer (with or without DACA) are eligible.

How to Apply

Application for 2021-2022 is closed.  Please check back Spring 2022. 

Our Undergraduate Research Leaders Program was influenced by a program of the same name at the University of Washington. We are grateful to our colleagues at the University of Washington for inspiring us in the development of this program.