FAQ

General Research FAQs

Expand all

Why should I get involved in undergraduate research?

You will gain hands-on experience in a topic that interests you while getting to know a faculty member on a more in-depth level. You will develop new technological and analytical skills. You will better prepare yourself for your next step - whether that’s graduate school or employment.

How do I figure out what I can research?

Inspiration for research projects can come in many forms. Talk to your professors and TAs after class to see what they’re working on. Attend speakers and events on campus. Check out some past undergraduate research projects here: (link to virtual symposium). Chances are if you’re interested in a topic, someone at the University of Minnesota is working on it.

When is the best time to do an undergraduate research project?

You can get involved with undergraduate research as soon as you step on campus. Some faculty mentors expect you to have taken some key classes first, but others want to mentor you right away.

Do I have to come up with my own project, I don’t think I know enough to get involved?

You do not need to create your own project from scratch. Many undergraduate researchers collaborate with their faculty mentor and start off with a small piece of a larger project. This is a great way to gain experience and discipline-specific skills. Of course, you can come up with your own idea and project as well. Just make sure you have a faculty mentor to guide you through the details.

How do I get started in OUR programs?

It is helpful if you spend time thinking about what you want to research and what you want to gain from the experience. Students that have clear interests and goals stand out to potential faculty mentors - and you’ll have an idea of what you want to learn throughout the experience. Then, identify which opportunity or opportunities fit your goals best. Once you have an idea about your interests and opportunity, follow our tips to find a faculty mentor and apply for your chosen program!

I am really intimidated by approaching faculty mentors, do you have any tips?

Faculty can be intimidating, but they don’t need to be. Countless faculty members have mentored students repeatedly in the past. Keep in mind, they like to interact with passionate, motivated students through undergraduate research programs. When approaching faculty, it is important to show interest in their specific research and be respectful of their other commitments.

See more tips here.

I am a transfer student and I want to get involved in research right away, can I?

Yes, you are definitely encouraged to get involved with undergraduate research right away. Even before you come on campus you can start thinking about what type of research you’d like to do, take note of program application deadlines, and start reaching out to potential faculty mentors. 

As an international student, am I eligible for undergraduate research programs?

Generally yes, but check specific program eligibility requirements. Some funding agencies limit their programs to US Citizens/permanent residents, but you’re eligible for the majority of OUR programs including UROP, IUROP, and GCUROP.

I am having difficulty working with my faculty mentor, what can I do to make undergraduate research an effective and productive experience?

Developing an effective working relationship with a faculty mentor is one of the key parts of a rewarding undergraduate research experience. Feel free to reach out to OUR or the Student Conflict Resolution Center for help if it isn’t working out.

When do I know my research project is done and what’s next?

Research is never “done” - ask any faculty mentor. Each specific OUR opportunity has their own ending requirements and ending dates. Even if you still have analysis to do, try to follow your program deadlines and guidelines. You can always apply for another opportunity and get more funding for your research after you complete your current opportunity!

UROP FAQs

Expand all

Who is eligible to participate in UROP?

All undergraduates from any University of Minnesota campus in good academic standing may participate in UROP.  Students must be registered for at least six credits during the semester they will complete the project. If students are doing projects over the summer, they must be registered for at least six credits the semester before and after the project.

Do I have to have a faculty mentor before I apply or do you match me with a faculty?

You must have a faculty mentor before you apply for a UROP. Faculty mentors often help with your proposal and must fill out a recommendation form online as part of the application process. Although we don’t officially match faculty with students, OUR can be helpful in finding a faculty mentor.

Check out our tips for finding a faculty mentor.

Who can be a faculty mentor?

Anyone with a faculty appointment at the University of Minnesota may mentor a UROP. It doesn’t have to be a faculty member in your specific major, college, or campus. You are looking for someone with expertise related to the project/field you are interested in. Graduate students cannot be faculty mentors.

Do I have to come up with my own research, scholarly, or creative project?

No, you can work with a faculty member on his/her research project. However, you are also welcome to come up with your own idea.

I am in the humanities, design, or education fields, can I apply for a UROP?

Yes! The Office of Undergraduate Research supports a wide range of scientific and creative projects. We consider research to be the production of new knowledge. Check out past projects for great examples in these fields.

Can I get a UROP for my honors thesis?

Your UROP project and your honors thesis project may be parts of a larger project but they may not overlap unless you are only applying for UROP expense money. The UROP final report and presentation must be separate and unique from your Honors thesis.

Do I have to have a certain GPA to participate in UROP?

No. You have to be in good academic standing (not on academic probation) and it helps to have a good record of course completion and success. However, UROP does not have a GPA requirement.

Can I work on a group project?

Yes, a group of applicants may apply to work together on a project. However, each one must submit a separate and unique application. Each applicant will be judged individually so there is no guarantee that all the group members will receive funding

If I am not a U.S. citizen, can I participate in UROP?

Yes. As long as you can accept a scholarship, you can participate in UROP. Many international students have participated in this program.

Is there an application deadline?

There are three UROP deadlines annually - in October for Spring semester projects, in February for Summer/fall semester projects, and in July for fall semester projects. Deadlines are firm.

I am really struggling in writing my proposal, who can help me?

Your faculty mentor is the best resource to help you write your proposal, as they know the discipline-specific language that you need. The Center for Writing is a good resource on campus as well. The Office of Undergraduate Resource also completes proposal reviews up until the Friday before each deadline.

If my UROP application gets accepted, how am I paid?

Students are paid $750 when their project begins and a second $750 when all four ending requirements are met.  The stipends are paid as financial aid so this can affect your FA package for the year. Check with One Stop if you have concerns. Expenses are paid through your department. Ask your Department Accountant questions about expenses.

What are the ending requirements and when are they due?

There are four ending requirements: a 2-3 page final report, an evaluation form, a presentation form reporting on the required public presentation, and a verification of completion signed by your mentor.  These are due by the end date listed on your award letter.

I missed the application deadline but still really want to do research, what are my options?

UROP deadlines are firm to ensure the review process goes smoothly. Be sure to apply for the next deadline! In the meantime, explore other programs in the Office of Undergraduate Research or check if Directed Study/Research is a viable option for you.

URS FAQs

Expand all

I didn’t receive a URS scholarship at admissions, can I apply for this program?

No, this program is only open to students selected during the admissions process. Look at UROP for a similar option.

I just found out I received the URS, do I need to do anything before I come to campus in the fall?

Congratulations! We will have several workshops during the fall to get started with the URS. In the meantime, students can think about what they want to research and start looking for faculty mentors. Nothing is required before you come onto campus.

Do I have to find a faculty mentor or do you match me with a faculty mentor?

You must have a faculty mentor before you start your URS. Faculty mentors often help with your proposal and must fill out a recommendation form online as part of the application process. Although we don’t officially match faculty with students, OUR can be helpful in finding a faculty mentor. Check out our tips for finding a faculty mentor.

I thought I already have the URS, why do I have to apply?

You have been selected for the URS, but we still require you to apply for approval before you start your research. This is intended to ensure your research project is doable, is considered research, and your faculty is on board with mentoring you. You will not be “denied” as part of the application process, but we may ask you to clarify your project if needed.

When is the best time to do my URS project?

There is no “best time” to complete your research as long as you finish by the end of your second year. Many students want to get started right away, while others want to get their feet wet first. It is never to early to start looking for a faculty mentor, but when you do your research project is up to you!

Is there an application deadline?

You can apply for your URS at any time. It takes about 1-3 weeks for approval.

I am really struggling in writing my proposal, who can help me?

Your faculty mentor is the best resource to help you write your proposal, as they know the discipline-specific language that you need. The Center for Writing is a good resource on campus as well. The Office of Undergraduate Resource also completes proposal consultations on an on-going basis.

I am in the humanities, design, or education fields, can I still do a URS project?

Yes! The Office of Undergraduate Research supports a wide range of scientific and creative projects. We consider research the production of new knowledge. Check out past projects for great examples in these fields.

How am I paid?

Students are paid $700 when their project begins and a second $700 when all four ending requirements are met.  The stipends are paid as financial aid so this can affect your financial aid package for the year. Check with One Stop if you have concerns. Expenses are paid through your department. Ask your Department Accountant questions about expenses.

What are the ending requirements and when are they due?

There are four ending requirements: a 2-3 page final report, an evaluation form, a presentation form reporting on the required public presentation, and a verification of completion signed by your mentor.  These are due by the end date listed on your award letter.

MSROP FAQs

Expand all

Who is the ideal MSROP candidate?

We are looking for motivated individuals from a wide variety of academic disciplines who intend to apply to a research-based graduate program. We seek students who want to take advantage of a variety of resources  

How will I know if my application is recieved?

We will send you a confirmation email; however, it is your responsibility to make sure your application is complete. If you are unsure, send an e-mail to [email protected].

How many students are accepted into MSROP?

10-15 students (based on funding)

How will I be contacted?

You are contacted primarily by e-mail. Be sure the e-mail you put on your application is one you check regularly.

Is there a scholarship or stipend for participating in the program?

Yes, each student will receive a $4,000 stipend for personal and research expenses. An additional research stipend is assigned to the faculty mentor for use by the student.

The personal stipend is received in installments over the ten-week period into your student account.

Grand Challenge UROP FAQs

Expand all

Who is eligible to participate in a GC UROP?

All undergraduates from the Twin Cities campus in good standing may participate in a GC UROP.  It is up to the faculty teams for each grant to determine which students will work on a particular project.

Can I work on a GC UROP more than one time?

Yes.  If a faculty team wants to continue your participation in a project, they may ask you to apply a second time for a GC UROP.

How do I connect with a faculty mentor?

Look through the list of projects to find one or two you are interested in.  Contact Vicky Munro ([email protected]) to see if the mentors are still looking for students.  OUR will connect you with faculty mentors with open spots on their projects.  Once the mentor approves you, you must submit the application to OUR.

Is there an application deadline for GC UROPs?

No.  Students may express interest in a project at any time.  Space may vary throughout the year on each project so it will be up to each team of faculty to determine when they have space for additional students.

How am I paid, and does this affect my financial aid?

Students are paid $750 when their project begins and a second $750 when all four ending requirements are met.  The stipends are paid as financial aid so this can affect your FA package for the year. Check with One Stop if you have concerns.

What are the ending requirements and when are they due?

There are four ending requirements: a 2-3 page final report, an evaluation form, a presentation form reporting on the required public presentation, and a verification of completion signed by your mentor.  These are due by the end date listed on your award letter

International UROP FAQs

Expand all

Who is eligible to participate in an IUROP?

Students must be degree seeking undergraduates in good academic standing enrolled for at least 13 credits (or what constitutes full time status according to your program abroad) from the Twin Cities or Rochester campuses.

Who is my primary contact for questions about IUROP?

The Learning Abroad Center is your first point of contact.  Once you have gone through their application process and have been accepted and are in your country, you will be contacted by the Office of Undergraduate Research to turn in the specific application describing your project.

When is my specific application due to OUR?

Once you have been in the country for a short time, you will receive an email from OUR with information and forms to apply for your specific project.  These are due approximately a month after your semester abroad begins (you will be given an exact date along with the forms).

How am I paid, and does this affect my financial aid?

IUROP recipients get an award of $2,000 which is posted into their UMN account at the beginning of the semester abroad.  This payment is a scholarship and may affect your FA package so check with One Stop if you have concerns

Is there an application deadline for IUROPs?

Yes.  Deadlines are typically in early May and late October for the following semester abroad.  Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on the deadline date; late applications will not be accepted.

What are the ending requirements and when are they due?

There are four ending requirements: a 2-3 page final report, an evaluation form, a presentation form reporting on the required public presentation, and a verification of completion signed by your mentor in the country where you did your research.  These are due within two weeks of the end of your program abroad

FAQs for Accountants

Expand all

Do students with a UROP, URS or GC UROP receive payments through Student Employment?

No.  Students with awards in these programs receive their stipend payments through Financial Aid.  These are paid as scholarships and do not run through departmental accounting. Students who receive a UROP, URS or GC UROP award should not be on payroll at the same time.

How are expenses paid for UROP and URS awards?

Unlike stipends, expenses run through the mentor’s department.  The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) sets up the BPELs for each student.  The mentor’s department is responsible for setting up a chart string for each student’s expenses.  Students may only spend money on the items approved in their award letter (copied to the departmental accountant).

(GC UROP awards have no awarded expenses)

What is a typical chartstring for a UROP award or URS award?

1000-Dept ID-20083-EmplId

How are departments reimbursed for UROP and URS expenses?

At the end of each fiscal year, OUR will send a chart out to departmental accountants listing the students in the department with awards.  Accountants need to fill out the amount of expenses spent for each student (within the limits stipulated in each award letter) and return the chart to OUR with one chartstring for reimbursement