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How to Apply
Eligibility: In order to do a UROP project, you must be in an undergraduate degree program, in good academic standing, eligible to work in the U.S., and registered for at least 6 credits during the semesters that you will do your research (for summer projects, this is waived if you are registered for at least 6 credits in both the preceding and following semesters).
Students may hold only one UROP award at a time. While past award recipients may reapply, priority will be given to first‑time applicants. Past award recipients must have completed a final report, evaluation, and presentation for all previous projects before they will be considered for another award. Students nearing graduation may apply only if they will complete their UROP projects, and submit a final report and evaluation and complete the presentation requirement before graduating from the University. UROP will no longer fund more than two awards for any individual student so if you have already received two UROP awards, you may not apply for a third.
Getting Started: Your first goal is to determine your area(s) of research interest. UROP projects can either be based on a student's idea or can be centered around a faculty member's already existing project. You need to decide where your interests lie in order to find the appropriate mentor.
Find a Faculty Mentor: If you need some ideas on where to find a faculty mentor, ask your professors, TAs or academic advisor for names of faculty members working on research in your interest area. Some important things to keep in mind are: approach specific faculty members with some idea of what their research is about (you can find this on departmental web sites) so that you show them you are serious about working with them; be persistent - if someone says "no," ask them for a recommendation of others you might approach; start the process well before the deadline so you are not rushing a potential mentor.
NOTES: If more than one student in a given faculty member’s research group is applying for UROP funds to work on a closely related project, each student must complete their own application addressing both the project as a whole and their individual contribution to that work. If both students will be working on the same project, each application must make this clear and describe the individual applicant’s role in the project. You may not submit identical or near-identical applications.
Because UROP funding is limited and because the UROP Selection Committee would like to engage as many faculty and students as possible in the UROP application process, it is recommended that each faculty sponsor limit their mentorship to no more than two students during any call for UROP applications. Although exceptions may be made, faculty sponsors should be aware that the selection committee will include this criteria in their ranking of UROP proposals for approval.
Complete the Application and submit your proposal: Once you have a mentor, and the two of you have discussed what your project will entail:
- The proposal is the most important part of the UROP application process. This is your opportunity to explain what your research question, methodology and plan are, and what your expected outcome will be.
Before you write your proposal, read over these tips for writing a good UROP proposal.
- 3 pages in length
- Double-spaced, 12-point font, Times New Roman, 1-inch margins
- Must contain an answerable research question
- Make it clear what you are researching and the methods you will use to find an answer. Be sure to describe the intellectual merit of your research.
- For sciences and technology (the medical sciences in particular), please make sure you have a clear hypothesis and explain the scientific merit of your proposed research.
Write a draft, have it reviewed by your faculty mentor, and leave time to revise it before the deadline.
Specific Proposal Steps:
- Develop an idea for your project and identify your faculty sponsor. Ideas for projects come from a variety of sources. They may be suggested by a course you have taken or by the research, scholarly, or creative interests of a faculty member, or you may have an idea of your own that challenges you to further exploration. You may work either within or outside your major field or on an interdisciplinary topic. Your sponsor may be a faculty member in any college or campus of the University. If you are not already acquainted with a faculty member with whom you would like to work, consult directors of undergraduate studies or the UROP coordinator for your college:
- Consult with your faculty sponsor. Contact the faculty member you have identified, explain the general idea for your project, and discuss working together through UROP. Your discussion should lead to agreement on the nature and scope of your project; your method of inquiry and expected outcome; your budget for stipend and expense allowance; the timetable for completing the project; your access to supplies, equipment, facilities; the frequency of your consultations during the project; and your educational goals. Often faculty are able to supplement the salary and expense allowances of UROP students enabling them to undertake a more extensive project or continue working after their UROP award expires. Check with your faculty sponsor to see if additional funds are available through grants or other sources.
- Prepare an itemized budget. You may request funds up to a maximum of $300 for supplies, travel, and expenses directly relating to your project. List each item and its cost, explaining its importance to your project. Non-itemized expenses will not be funded.
- Computer costs: UROP will not support the costs of mainframe computer use; funds for this purpose are generally available through the instructional time-sharing account in a faculty member's department. UROP does not support the purchase of computer hardware. Computer disks will be covered only if they are central to the project (for example, a project that includes significant programming).
- Travel expenses: Travel costs should be computed at 50.5 cents per mile (rate subject to change). Expenses for local travel usually are not covered, though travel outside your immediate area to a research site or to a professional meeting to give a presentation on your project frequently are funded. UROP covers mileage and lodging, but not food.
- Other: UROP students may not use their expense allowance to hire other persons to assist them. For example, students may not hire typists, transcribers, or word processors. UROP does not support the purchase of standard office supplies (e.g. file folders, paper, computer paper, pencils, ink) or books available in a library. Costs of photocopying must be fully itemized and may not exceed $50. UROP does not support the purchase of standard equipment (e.g. tape recorders, transcribers). If such equipment is unavailable, UROP may support reasonable lease fees. While UROP will support expense items such as telephone calls, postage, and literature searches (these items must be fully itemized and their relationship to your project must be clear). Students requesting more than the following typical amounts should explain the necessity of the additional funds: postage: $50; phone: $50.
Special Requirements/Restrictions: Some UROP projects require special permissions before your UROP project can be approved. If your project involves Human Subjects , Animal Subjects, Harmful or Dangerous Substances or involves Travel Abroad, you need to make sure you have taken the appropriate steps to get these permissions as you prepare your UROP application.