Find a Mentor

Finding a faculty member to work with you on a project can seem like a daunting task but there is help along the way!  The University is full of faculty members in all fields and disciplines working on many exciting projects, and they are usually eager to add an undergraduate to their research teams.  Here are some suggestions for finding a mentor:

You can:
  • look through the list of former UROP mentors (coming soon),
  • search the Experts@UMN database,
  • ask one of your professors or a TA for suggestions,
  • visit the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUGS) in a department of interest,
  • look at faculty pages on departmental websites for a good idea of what their research is about,
  • or contact the UROP office for guidance.

Connect with Your Faculty Mentor

After you narrow down possible faculty mentors, familiarize yourself with their work. Send them an email introducing yourself and asking about participating in their research.

In your email:
  • Describe yourself (full name, major, year in school, relevant coursework, experience or skills, if any) in a formal and professional manner.
  • Tell them how you got interested in their work and offer the project area you'd like to explore.
  • Ask whether they have an opening for an undergraduate in their research group in the coming semester.
  • Request a meeting to discuss possibilities.
  • Finally, thank them for their consideration.

Don't give up until you find a position! It takes persistence but you will find one; ask the UROP office for help if you get stuck.