UROP Research Mentors are faculty and post-doc researchers who provide undergraduate student researchers an opportunity to engage in research activities that help them learn about the pursuit of knowledge within an academic discipline. This early exposure to research fosters a valuable academic experience for students. Through this collaboration, students gain research skills and mentorship that lead to academic retention, a more positive undergraduate experience and paths to graduate school.
In addition, Research Mentors gain significant contributions and creative insights to their research work through this unique teaching opportunity.
Welcome to UROP
Thank you for your interest in working with UROP students! Our program would not be possible without your participation. UROP Research Mentors provide undergraduate student researchers an opportunity to engage in research activities that help students learn about the pursuit of knowledge within an academic discipline and beyond. This early exposure to research fosters a valuable academic experience for students. Through this collaboration, students gain research skills and mentorship that lead to academic retention, a more positive undergraduate experience and paths to graduate and professional schools. In addition, Research Mentors gain significant contributions and creative insights to their research work through this unique teaching opportunity.
Research Mentor Eligibility
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor campus faculty, research scientists, postdoctoral fellows, librarians and academic administrators in all schools and colleges may submit an application to be a UROP Research Mentor. Current mentors are also encouraged to identify colleagues who may wish to sponsor a student(s). All faculty and research scientists/fellows new to the University of Michigan will be sent an invitation to sponsor a UROP student.
UROP in a Nutshell:
- You interview and select your student(s) from our UROP applicant pool.
- Students will work with you for 6-12 hours per week for the entire academic year.
- UROP offers numerous research skill-building workshops to help students help you (Example topics include:GIS, Endnote, Matlab, SPSS, STATA, Using Scholarly Resources in the Library)
- Supplementary funding of up to $500 per student or up to $1500 per research project when 3 or more students are hired.
- There is no monetary cost for research mentors; UROP provides small funds for materials and covers any student salary costs if the student participates for work-study compensation.
What UROP Students do:
- Conduct research 6-12 hours on average, per week, for the full academic year (both Fall & Winter Terms).
- Attend bi-weekly research seminars on Tuesdays from 4:00 - 5:30pm. These are interdisciplinary in focus and include guest speakers, field trips, and discussions designed to introduce students to research issues such as research methodology and research ethics.
- Complete journal writing assignments, read assigned texts, and present a poster at the annual Research Symposium.
- Meet with a UROP Peer Facilitator once per month.
We Do This To:
- Introduce first and second year students to various fields of research.
- Partner students with a research mentor.
- Help students identify academic and career interests.
- Connect real world applications and classroom materials.
- Help students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.
- Help students develop research skills useful in their courses.
- Help students meet great people and participate in diverse research teams.
- Help students stretch themselves intellectually — and learn to think in creative and innovative ways.
Once you have hired a student, UROP asks you to orient the student to the project and provide training. While you may have a graduate student or research assistant working with the UROP student on a day to day basis, UROP Mentors are expected to assume the primary responsibility for insuring that the student has a quality experience.
Supervision of UROP students include:
- Schedule their time and provide a minimum of 6 hours per of work each week
- Orient them to the research project
- Provide background readings and discuss the development of the current project
- Monitor their work and sign time sheets every two weeksInclude them in research group meetings
- Meet with them on a regular basis to discuss their progress and performance on the project
- Engage them in conversations about their current academic experiences and their career interests
- Provide midterm progress reports and final grades and evaluations.
Every year UROP provides an orientation and additional training for sponsors who would like to learn how to make the best of their mentorship relationship with their undergraduate research assistant.
Creating Effective Student/Research Mentor Partnerships
We know from years of experience that there are several keys to establishing an effective student/research mentor partnership. The following is our top ten list of what makes a good experience for everyone.
- Make sure you choose students who are enthusiastic about the content of the project. It isn’t always the student with the best grades or test scores who make the best UROP student. Time and again sponsors tell us the most successful UROP student was the one who seemed most excited about the project and/or had some personal connection to the content.
- In most cases UROP students will be working on a very small part of your overall project. The more the student knows about the goals of the project, the role their part plays in the overall project, and the background information for the project, the more invested they will be in the work.
- Set clear expectations for the project and what tasks you will be giving the student and why. Also be clear about what it takes to be given increasing responsibility on the project and what the student needs to do to be given more complex and high level tasks as they progress.
- Establish your policies about schedules, when and where you expect the student to be, what they should do if they are not able to come in or realize they have an exam or other conflict. How much in advance do you expect to be notified? Through what means, email, a phone call, etc., who should they contact?
- Set up regular meeting times with your student to touch base, review progress and performance, answer questions, etc.
- Orient the student to the project through background readings to help the student understand the context of the project, introducing the student to the others working on the project and their roles, specify what training the student will need and what UROP skill building workshops they must attend, who will be supervising them etc.
- Make sure you are clear about your policies regarding question asking (e.g. you would rather have the student ask something more than once than make a mistake, there are no stupid questions), note taking, the best way to communicate with you. Good communication is the key to a successful partnership.
- Spend a minute every now and then asking the student a question about their classes, campus life, it is invaluable to the student.
- If the student is doing something wrong, give them feedback right away. In most cases it should be something they can fix if they understand what they are doing wrong.
- Contact the UROP office right away if there is a problem, our goal is to help you resolve the issue quickly.
UROP Mentor Application and Requirements
Fall - Winter project applications open at the end of April, those projects submitted by July 31st will have the largest pool of applicants.
Summer project applications open in February and close the end of April.
Our short and easy to complete application asks you to provide a half page description of the overall project (goals, objectives, and methodology), student tasks and responsibilities, minimum qualifications, number of hours per week, and contact information for setting up interviews in the fall. You will interview candidates in September.
Designing A Project
Your project should be designed to be completed by UROP student(s) working on the project 6 - 12 hours a week during the academic year (September - April). It can be part of a larger project, a pilot project, or be designed to provide preliminary data for future research, scholarly or creative projects. To help you get a pool of applicants who would be a good fit for your project, we recommend that you be specific in describing the student tasks, responsibilities and necessary qualifications. UROP offers skill-building workshops to all UROP students so a student who does not possess a specific skill at the beginning of the semester has the opportunity to learn it while working on your project. The application includes a list of workshops.
Student tasks and responsibilities
Minimum qualifications of UROP student
What skills or knowledge the student will be gaining from the experience
Any required or recommended training UROP can provide for the student
How many hours per week they would need to work.
UROP provides small research grants to mentors to cover the expense of low-cost equipment and materials, such as lab supplies, photocopying, telephone calls, etc. needed to support UROP student research activity.
To apply for these funds fill out Supplementary Research Funding Application Form with the following information (IMPORTANT: Please make sure you acquire the appropriate financial information from your department administrator):
- UROP mentor name
- Umich email
- Department and zip
- Phone Number
- Project name
- Mentoring plan
- UROP student name(s)
- Department ID
- Project grant
- Administrator name
- Administrator email
If approved, funds will be transferred into the requesting sponsor's University account, usually a discretionary account. This account may not be a federally-funded account. You will be sent a memo indicating the approval of transfer of funds and the amount of the transfer.
For the complete Supplementary Research Funding Guidelines and the Application Form please click the links below.
Questions? Contact Michelle Ferrez at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (734) 615-9000.