Grand Challenge UROP

The Grand Challenges Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (GC UROP) provides opportunities for undergraduates to partner with a cross-disciplinary team of faculty member on one of the Grand Challenges research grants.

    Program Details

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    Research Grants

    Advancing Health through Tailored Solutions

    • Clinical Precision Medicine Based on Single Cell Analysis
    • Improving Health and Well-Being with Personalized, Pervasive Technology
    • Toward Pharmacogenomics-Enabled Healthcare at Statewide Scale: Implementing Precision Medicine 

    Intersection of Enhancing Individual and Community Capacity for a Changing World and Feeding the World Sustainably

    • Developing Effective, Scalable Strategies to Address Hunger on Post-Secondary Campuses

    Enhancing Individual and Community Capacity for a Changing World

    • Back to Indigenous Futures: Cultural Revitalization and Sustainability through Trans-Indigenous Partnerships, Participatory Design, and Embodied Computing
    • The Minnesota Model: Building Interdisciplinary Capacity to Defend Human Rights in Challenging Times


    Program Structure

    Research: This is a research mentorship program of 120 hours of research on one of the Grand Challenge research grants

    Mentorship: Each faculty team may receive 2-3 undergraduate GC UROP awards each year of the grant to provide assistance with the research.

    Presentations: At the conclusion of the program, each student who received a GC UROP award must present their research in a public forum.

    Program Expectations

    To be considered for a GC UROP award, it is expected that...

    • you have been accepted by the faculty members of one of the Grand Challenge research grants.
    • you will not start the research until the application is approved.
    • if applicable, you will begin the approval process or training needed if the project involves special permissions (animal or human subjects).
    • you are NOT receiving course credit for the project.
    • you agree to complete the four GC UROP Program ending requirements.

    Application Process

    Steps to Apply

    1. Select the list of GC research grants to find one you're interested in
    2. Email Vicky Munro ([email protected]) to get more information about the grant and faculty mentors.  
    3. The Office of Undergraduate Research will forward contact information to you if there is a space in the project.
    4. Contact the faculty member to discuss the project and get approval.
    5. Upon approval, fill out the application form and submit it via email along with a three page proposal to [email protected] (no application deadline).  Your mentor must submit the recommendation form.

    Funding Details

    A GC UROP award includes a research scholarship of $1,500 for 120 hours of research.  

    The stipend is paid through financial aid; the first $750 will be awarded at the beginning of your project and the final $750 will be awarded once all four ending requirements are met.  

    There is no expense money provided with a GC UROP award; expenses will be paid by the Grand Challenges research grant itself.

    Ending Requirements

    Once you have reached the end of your 120-hour project, you must complete a final report, evaluation form, final presentation, and verification of completion form in order for you to complete your GC UROP and receive the final $750 of your scholarship.

    Final Report
    Each student must submit a 2 to 3-page final report about the research that was conducted.

    Evaluation Form
    Each student must fill out a program evaluation about their experience.

    Final Presentation
    Each student must present their work in public or have it published in some way, and fill out the verification of presentation form. 

    Verification of Completion Form
    Each student must have their faculty mentor sign the verification of completion form.

    Grand Challenge UROP FAQs

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    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

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