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SPUR Mentor Application

Application Process & Deadline

Thank you for your interest in serving as a Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) 2024 mentor. The program emphasizes a collaborative research experience under the supervision of a University of Utah faculty member. Selection of SPUR mentors is a competitive process. Applications are scored according to the strength of the information provided in each section, with emphasis on the "Student learning outcomes and benefits" and the "Mentoring philosophy and specific mentoring activities" sections (see "Application Information" below). We recommend applicants provide as much detailed information as possible in their applications to help reviewers evaluate the potential success of the experience for the student.

The application for SPUR 2024 Mentors is now closed. The deadline to apply was October 6th, 2023 5 PM (MT). 

 If you are interested in having a student participate in SPUR 2024, we do offer faculty the option to "purchase" a spot in the program for a student by transferring funds equal to the cost of one student spot (ranges from $5,685 to $7,935) to the Office of Undergraduate Research. This would allow you to take advantage of the administrative and programmatic structure of SPUR, meaning the Office of Undergraduate Research will: hire and pay your student, integrate your student into SPUR programming where they participate in all SPUR activities in addition to conducting research with you full-time during the course of the program, and providing advising to all SPUR participants. If you are interested in this option, or would like more information, please contact Angie Leiva at or 801-581-2478. Deadline to purchase a spot is March 1. 


Have questions on how to become a SPUR faculty mentor? Watch the meeting recording of the SPUR faculty mentor info session. 

Questions? Contact the Office of Undergraduate Research at or 801-581-8070 for more information.

Program Information

SPUR 2024 will begin on May 22 and end on August 1. Students should begin research on May 23 after the SPUR Opening Lunch and end on July 31. Students are expected to spend 35-40 hours per week on research and program-related activities. Students are not expected to work on University holidays (May 27, June 19, July 4, and July 24) and do not need to make those hours up (so they should expect to work a modified number of hours those weeks).

Project Parameters

You may submit a project application for one student. Projects should provide students with a hands-on research experience that will require they spend 35-40 hours per week between research and program-related activities for the duration of the program. Faculty mentors must also commit to program expectations (see "Faculty Expectations" section below). Please note: if your project is selected, the information in the "Project Information" section of the application will be made publicly available on our website and the OUR research opportunities database.

Application Information

The application requires the following information:

  • Your information
    • All current University of Utah faculty (both tenure-track and career-line) are eligible to serve as mentors.
  • Project name
  • Applicable photo: This photo will accompany your project description listed on our website. It can be a picture of you, your research lab, undergraduate researchers in action, etc. See how we use photos here.
  • Project background: What is the research and why is it important? Please limit your response to approximately 250 words (1750 characters).
  • Student role: What would the student be working on if accepted for this project? Help the student imagine what the experience would look like for them. Please limit your response to approximately 250 words (1750 characters).
  • Student learning outcomes and benefits: How will this particular experience prepare a student for their future? Please limit your response to approximately 250 words (1750 characters).
  • Mentoring philosophy and specific mentoring activities: What kind of mentoring experience will you offer? What kind of support should the student expect from you? Please limit your response to approximately 250 words (1750 characters).
  • Mentor expectations: Review and agree to program expectations.
Mentor Expectations

If your project is selected for SPUR, mentors will be held to the following expectations:

  • I understand that SPUR primarily serves University of Utah students, but students outside of the U are also welcome to apply. I may solicit applications for my project as widely as I choose.
  • I understand that I may encourage specific students to apply, but all student applications will receive equal consideration by the student application recommendation committee.
  • I will serve on the student application recommendation committee, which means I will review applications will submit recommendation rankings via online form by February 23, 2024. Final student selections and offers will be made by the Office of Undergraduate Research.
  • I will provide the student with a hands-on research experience as described above that will require the student to spend 35-40 hours per week between research and program-related activities for the duration of the program.
  • I will clearly describe my specific research and work expectations with the student at the beginning of the program.
  • I will be honest and straightforward with the student about their work.
  • I understand that it is my responsibility to ensure that the student is certified as needed for, e.g., Human Subject Research, Animal Research, Laboratory and other Environmental Health, HIPAA, etc.
  • I will support the student in completing all programmatic aspects of SPUR, including attending bi-weekly meetings and weekly URES events, presenting at the Summer URS, and publishing an abstract in Range: Undergraduate Research Journal.
  • I will participate in SPUR activities to the extent my schedule allows (attending the opening luncheon (May 23),and the Summer URS (August 1)).
Summer Programs Partnership

Are you the PI or program coordinator for a summer undergraduate research program? Please let us know so we can invite you to join the Summer Programs Partnership, a collaboration of summer research program coordinators from across our campus.

How OUR supports faculty research

Being a SPUR mentor not only affords faculty members an opportunity to mentor the next generation of researchers and support your own research teams/projects. The Office of Undergraduate Research provides the following to students selected to work with a mentor's project:

  • Connects the student to dynamic summer programming, educational series, and a research community
  • Coordinates opportunities for SPUR mentees to present their research
  • Coordinates the hiring of the student with HR
  • Covers the students stipend
  • Covers the students travel to SPUR (out-of-state students)
  • Provides undergraduate research advising

The benefits of being a SPUR mentor: your student has a program and activities wrapped around them to foster their success, create an intellectual community, and strengthen their network.