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 Stephanie Shiver (stephanie.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 Summer 2021 Undergraduate Research Leaders!

Claire Ticknor

Virtual Office Hours: Wednesdays from 11 to 12 - make a general information appointment here or via email
Liaison to: School of Dentistry, College of Engineering, College of Mines & Earth Sciences, College of Pharmacy, College of Science, and SPUR Specialist

Claire is a Junior in the Honors College majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in mathematics. Claire started research her Freshman year and has completed a semester of UROP as well as participation in SPUR. Both of these research projects focused on peripheral nerve regeneration through the Department of Surgery. From these opportunities Claire has gone on to do research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Intelligence and Space Research group with a focus on satellites and thermal modeling. Claire hopes to go on to graduate school with a focus in aerospace mechanical design and optimization.


Emmalyn Irvin


Virtual Office Hours:  Wednesdays from 1:30 to 2:30 - make a general information appointment here or via email

Liaison to: College of Architecture + Planning, School of Business, School for Cultural & Social Transformation, College of Health, Honors College, College of Humanities, College of Education, College of Fine Arts, School of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Social & Behavioral Science, School of Social Work

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.  



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.