SPUR Student Application

Acceptance is highly competitive and applicants must complete the application process by the deadline to be considered. NOTE: While we are hoping for an in-person SPUR experience, given the structure of SPUR (many participants are not U students and/or are not local to Salt Lake City) and depending on U policy for summer 2021 (on-campus research and/or U-related travel restrictions), we are prepared to offer a fully remote SPUR experience should events necessitate the transition. 

The deadline to apply to SPUR 2021 has passed. Final notifications have been sent to all applicants. Questions? Contact Megan Shannahan at megan.shannahan@utah.edu.

Congratulations to our SPUR 2021 participants!


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

  • be a matriculated, degree-seeking undergraduate student in the Fall 2021 semester (beginning or continuing college career in Fall 2021 and not graduating before December 2021; 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
    • If you are a Dreamer from a different institution: If you have DACA, you are eligible to participate. If you do not have DACA, you are able to participate and gain research experience, but might not be able to be compensated. For more information, please contact Megan Shannahan at megan.shannahan@utah.edu or 801-581-2478.
    • If you are an international student or scholar, you must either a) be a degree-seeking undergraduate student at an American institution of higher education and verify with your institution’s international center that your visa allows you to participate in this program, 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 documentation.
  • 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 26-August 5, 2021)
  • at least 18 years old by May 24, 2021 (required if you wish to use on-campus housing; preferred if you will not be using on-campus housing)

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


The deadline to submit an application is 11:59 PM (Mountain Time) on Sunday, January 31, 2021. Your application is not considered complete until both letters of recommendation have been submitted (deadline for letters is 11:59 PM (Mountain Time) on Wednesday, February 3, 2021). Accepted and waitlisted applicants will receive notification of the Selection Committee's decision via email in early to mid-March. Final notifications will be sent to remaining applicants at the beginning of April.

Application Procedures

  1. Review list of available projects. Think about which projects you would like to officially apply to through the application form.
  2. Complete the online application form and submit by the application deadline (the form must be completed in one sitting - you cannot save your progress and return to it later). The application form includes the following sections:
    • Your contact information
    • Optional demographic information
    • Academic information
    • Personal statement: In approximately 500 words or less (3,500 characters), please describe your reason for applying to SPUR (for example, how your participation in SPUR would contribute to your educational/professional goals), what you hope to gain from this program, the research you are interested in conducting (should be related to project choices), any technical skills you possess, and any previous research experience.
    • Project list: indicate up to three available projects to which you are applying
    • Resume/CV (Uploaded via the form. Must be .pdf.)
    • Transcript (Uploaded via the form. May be either official or unofficial. Make sure the institution name appears on the transcript. If you have not completed any college work, please upload your high school transcripts. Must be a .pdf.)
    • Two letters of recommendation (Uploaded by recommenders by 11:59 PM (Mountain Time) on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 (a link is sent to them via email once you submit your application)). Preferably, letters of recommendation are written by faculty members who can attest to your suitability for research, motivation, and classroom performance. It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure the recommenders receive the link and submit their letters on time.
    • Application conditions
    • Application certification
  3. Once the application is submitted, you should receive a confirmation email to the email address provided in the form. If you do not receive the email within a few minutes, and it is not in your junk/spam folder, please email our@utah.edu to confirm that we have record of the correct email address.
  4. After the application deadline, all applications will be reviewed by the Selection Committee.
  5. Accepted and waitlisted applicants will receive notification of the Selection Committee's decision via email in early to mid-March. Final notifications will be sent to remaining applicants at the beginning of April.

Contact Information

If you would like additional information, please contact Megan Shannahan at megan.shannahan@utah.edu or 801-581-2478.