Participating on a research project through one of UROP's programs can open up all sorts of career and academic opportunities, but making the decision on which program to apply to, can be a bit daunting. Sometimes having too many options can be stressing. Below are a couple of thoughts to keep in mind before you apply to one of our programs.
The first question you should ask yourself is "How much time do I want to spend on a research project?"
If your answer is not "not a lot," then the Fall-Winter Programs might not be right for you. All students in our Fall-Winter programs are required to spend an entire year (with a minimum of 6 hours a week) on a research project AND another hour and a half in a biweekly seminar. If you think this might be too much for you, then you may want to consider applying to one of our summer fellowship programs instead. Summer Fellowships last only 10 weeks and are full-time, which means you can't take Spring/Summer courses. That way you can focus only on the research project and not worry about anything else.
"Are you just looking to pad resume to apply for medical school (or grad school in general) or do you actually have an overwhelming interest in a particular research topic?
You should be well aware that if you want to do research, you will need to spend a lot of time getting educated on background material regarding the research project you eventually wind up working on, regardless of the field. So it’s crucial that it interests you strongly enough. In addition, working on a research project will take time, patience, and lots of academic learning even before you get any “hands-on” work. Potential UROP students, particularly those in the biomedical sciences, need to know they may not get any "patient contact" until they get lots of background training and especially during the Fall semester when first starting a project. If you are just looking for an opportunity to "pad your resume" doing research may not be right for you, since you will be required to choose a research field, get training and to a lot of other background work. In addition, each of our programs has different requirements and components. If you are not sure, talk to your academic advisor or concentration advisor before applying.
"Traditional UROP" may be just what you are looking for!
The "Traditional UROP" is a program designed for undergraduate students seeking their FIRST research experience. Our seminars and workshops are designed to teach students who have never done research how to develop a research question, find and be able to read research and scholarly articles, learn about the various campus resources available to students doing research in different fields, and in for some students how to do basic statistical analysis. Everyone who participates in UROP must attend the seminars, regardless if they are doing it for academic credit or work-study. Students who are already working on a research project and want to go through UROP as a way to get financially compensated, should look at other funding sources rather than UROP and/or consider asking their sponsor directly.
If you decide that research is for you, then you’ll want to think about what type of field you may want to participate in. Take a look at some of our previous research projects and student accomplishments through our Sample Projects to learn more about what’s available through us.
A research project, particularly in the humanities, can be quite lonely as you may find yourself working in libraries or in archives. Even in the sciences where you are more likely to be working in a group with other students and post doctoral students you may have to spend long hours in the laboratory to complete your experiments. You need to be motivated to finish your work to submit it for examination by your sponsor.
Whatever type of research you decide on doing, if you are not sure, apply to our "Traditional Program" to get you started. Or if you don't have the time, look out for our Entering Research Program. It's a new pilot program geared on getting students interested in research, but not in any specific are of specialization; rather the seminars are focused on "Topics". Click on the link to the right for more information.
Committing yourself to research can be exciting and challenging, even life-changing. Successful students reap the benefits in both personal growth and career development. With the guidance of UROP, research allows you to unlock your full intellectual potential. Let UROP help you take hold of yoUR OPportunity!