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 $10.00 per hour and can log hours as program needs require.

The Undergraduate Research Leaders will 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

Meet our Fall 2017 Undergraduate Research Leaders!

Deanne Yugawa

Tuesdays, 12:15 - 1:15
Sill 005
 Liaison to Health, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Dentistry

Deanne is a junior completing an Honors Degree in both Biology and Economics. The College of Science’s ACCESS Program for Women in Science & Mathematics sparked her interest in research. In her freshman year, she began working in the Murtaugh Lab in the Department of Human Genetics, where she continues to study the genetics of pancreatic cancer. Deanne has expanded her exposure to scientific research through internships at Hawaii Pathologists’ Laboratory in Honolulu, HI, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY. Upon graduating, she plans to pursue an MD/Ph.D., where she can combine her interest in basic science and clinical medicine. Her goal as an Undergraduate Research Leader is to motivate others to develop a passion for research.

Stuart Loertscher

“My research experience finally became meaningful when I joined UROP. The program gave me the tools I needed to develop critical thinking skills and work ethic in research. I also learned how to elevate my research from a class assignment to something that could make a difference in the world.”
Thursdays, 11 - 12
Sill 005
 Liaison to Engineering, Mines & Earth Sciences, and Architecture + Planning

Stuart is a senior in Bioengineering at the University of Utah. His research experience began at the Moran Eye Center under the direction of Dr. Jun Yang. There, he studied how mutations in a novel protein cause blindness. Since then, Stuart has continued in research with Dr. Lucas Timmins to study cardiovascular disease. His current project is developing a computational model of a coronary artery to calculate the mechanical stresses in the vessel. In the future, he hopes to combine his interests in heart disease and medical imaging to engineer life saving devices. As an Undergraduate Research Leader, Stuart will work with students to help them discover the many resources available at this top tier research university.

James Zhao

“Research has taught me priceless skills that are unobtainable just by attending every day classes and lectures. This ranges from basic lab etiquette to presenting research at various forums. Having the ability to identify a program, develop a solution, and then execute the solution is extremely valuable and has given me confidence in my pursuit as a healthcare provider. Applying and being a part of the UROP program connected me to resources and positions that I normally wouldn’t have looked or applied for.”
Mondays 12 - 1 pm
Sill 005
 Liaison to Science, Social & Behavioral Science, and Social Work

James Zhao is a junior majoring in Biology and is completing the pre-medical course load. James started research as a Junior in high school, working in Lisa Joss-Moore’s Pediatric Neonatology lab. His most recent research investigated the effects of Postnatal Growth Restriction on elastin variants in the rat lung. James’ lab wants to understand the mechanism behind lung development so that pathways of prevention or intervention may become possible. After his undergraduate, James plans to be in medical school where he will pursue a career as a pediatric surgeon.

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 URS and UCUR. We will hold regular 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 a monthly 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; attending school full-time (at least 12 credit hours) during both semesters of participating in the program (Fall 2018 and Spring 2019); must have successfully completed at least one semester of UROP; must have presented at the University of Utah Undergraduate Research Symposium; must be willing and able to participate approximately 2 - 10 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.

How to Apply

Applications due March 30th

Click here for Application

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.