Program Information

The purpose of SPUR is to provide undergraduate students with an intensive 10-week research experience under the mentorship of a University of Utah faculty member. The program provides opportunities to gain research experience in a variety of disciplines.

SPUR 2022 will begin on May 25, 2022 and end on August 4, 2022. 

Program Emphases

SPUR emphasizes a collaborative research experience under the supervision of a University of Utah faculty member. At the time of application, students will indicate to which available projects they are applying. Final student placement will be determined by the Selection Committee. Details regarding expectations and/or requirements of the research are negotiated between the student and the faculty mentor, following program guidelines.

The program also emphasizes a cohort experience via welcome and closing receptions, peer advising, weekly education events, bi-weekly program meetings, and optional on-campus housing.

SPUR 2022 Student Eligibility

Admission to the program is competitive. Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • be a matriculated, degree-seeking undergraduate student in the Fall 2022 semester (beginning or continuing college career in Fall 2022 and not graduating before December 2022; concurrent enrollment while in high school does not meet this eligibility requirement). Applicants do not need to be a University of Utah student.
  • eligible to work in the United States:
    • If you are a University of Utah Dreamer (with or without DACA), you are eligible to participate. U Dreamers with DACA will be hired and paid through U payroll. U Dreamers without DACA who graduated from a Utah high school will be compensated via a different mechanism.
    • If you are a Dreamer from a different institution: If you have DACA, you are eligible to participate and will be hired and paid though U payroll. If you do not have DACA, you are able to participate and gain research experience, but we do not currently have a mechanism that allows us to compensate you. For more information, please contact Megan Shannahan at or 801-581-2478.
    • If you are an international student or scholar, you must either a) be a degree-seeking undergraduate student at the University of Utah, OR b) possess documentation that establishes your eligibility to work in the United States (if you hold US citizenship, it is likely you have these documents). Click here to view list of acceptable documents.
  • able to commit to approximately 35-40 hours per week of employment at the University of Utah for the entire duration of the program (May 25-August 4, 2022)
  • at least 18 years old by May 23, 2022 (required if you wish to use on-campus housing; preferred if you will not be using on-campus housing)
  • For HAPPIEST projects (Collingwood, Kirchhoff, Mendoza, VanDerslice): Applicants MUST be University of Utah students from underrepresented groups as defined by the National Institutes of Health (Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinxs, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders).

Students may not participate in SPUR more than once. Please note that no previous college coursework or previous research experience is required. 


Students participating in SPUR will receive a stipend of $5,000 (less applicable taxes) over the course of the program. Participants will be hired as short-term, temporary employees. This will allow them to receive University of Utah ID cards, providing for the ability to check out books from University Libraries, use computers on campus, receive discounts, utilize public transit for free, etc.

Travel & Housing

Participants relocating to Salt Lake City for the duration of the program may be eligible to receive a travel reimbursement up to $500 total for roundtrip travel-related expenses to/from Salt Lake City.

All participants have the option of using on-campus housing (participants pay $250; the rest of the on-campus housing expense is covered by the program). Students may check-in beginning at 2:00 PM May 24 and must check out of on-campus housing by 10:00 AM Friday, August 5, 2022.

Program Expectations

  • Time Commitment: This is a full-time program. Student participants are expected to spend 35-40 hours per week on research and program-related activities for the entire duration of the program (May 25-August 4, 2022). Details regarding expectations and/or requirements of the research will be negotiated between the student and faculty mentor.
  • Bi-Weekly Meetings: Student participants are expected to attend regular meetings in which they will practice presenting their research and participate in professional development activities.
  • Program Events: Students are expected to attend all required program meetings and events, including: orientation, opening luncheon, Grad School Mini-Expo, individual meeting with program coordinator, closing luncheon.
  • Undergraduate Research Education Series: Student participants are required to attend weekly research and professional development events.
  • Final Presentation: Student participants are required to present their work (poster format) at the Office of Undergraduate Research Summer Symposium held on Thursday, August 4, 2022.
  • Journal Submission: Student participants are required to submit a one-page summary of their experience to the University of Utah Undergraduate Research Journal upon completion of the program.
  • Final Report: Student participants are required to submit a final report that details their SPUR experience. This is collected via survey format.
  • All-Programs Socials (optional): If their schedules allow, student participants are encouraged to attend socials that are planned by other formal summer UR programs on campus.
  • UROP Proposal (optional): If eligible, University of Utah student participants are encouraged to prepare UROP proposals to allow them to continue their research in the Fall (or other future) semester. Support for UROP proposal preparation will be provided.

Previous Participants

See what other students have done in SPUR.

Ready to Apply?

Students: The 2022 student application is closed. Visit the student application webpage to apply and for more information.

Faculty: The 2022 faculty mentor application is closed. Visit the faculty application webpage for more information.