Up until 1989, no higher education institution was providing early access to undergraduate research. Access to undergraduate research was restricted to traditional metrics (3.5 GPA, Honors student, and STEM to name a few). Initially piloted during 1988-1989 at U-M, the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) started with 14 faculty and 14 underrepresented students. Over the next 35 years, UROP evolved to the framework that exists today (research seminars and training, peer facilitators, summer fellowship programs, travel and student grants, and access to research in all academic areas). Based on UROP’s own published research studies, students who participate in UROP are the recipients of several benefits. These benefits include an increased awareness and appreciation of the entire research process, improved analytical and critical thinking skills, self-confidence, writing and communication, social development, and the advancement of professional skills.
Your Gifts at Work
“Engaging in research and the research and professional training was central to my success as an undergraduate researcher and student. I learned skills that are not covered in classes and it really helped to hone in my ability to analyze data, question assumptions, communicate with a very diverse team of professionals, and communicate my research to multiple audiences” (UROP student)
“UROP advanced my knowledge and skills in areas I want to grow in. The overall research experience with the training leveraged me for other opportunities (research and internships) and when I interviewed for those opportunities, companies honed in on the training and experience I had through UROP” (UROP student)
“UROP showed me the vastness of career opportunities and what the possibilities are. Most students don’t know, hear, or learn what those possibilities are and when you engage in research, you are exposed to so many different thoughts, ideas, methods and avenues to pursue. As an alumni who is now a Physician, I attribute all my basic training to UROP and the research mentor I worked with who really deepened my understanding of the healthcare industry” (UROP alumni)
“I’m an engineering faculty member and I can assure you that research is critical in one’s education no matter what. I’m a research mentor for UROP and have been so for 20+ years because I never had this type of mentorship or opportunity when I was an undergraduate student. Now that I am a faculty member engaging my UROP students, I see the difference it makes in their education and their abilities, along with the students’ confidence” (UROP Research Mentor)
“If there is anything a student should know about it is how to enter an undergraduate research experience. It will teach you so many skills, provide excellent career preparation, but also expose you to topics a student may never hear about. In research, as a UROP mentor, I see the epiphany in a student's eyes and in some cases, I see and hear how the experience shaped the students’ knowledge” (UROP Research Mentor)
Research is central to the mission of the University of Michigan and the world at large. UROP works across all campus divisions and schools by supporting over 1,500 undergraduate students on research projects. Through research, when ideas collide, students are exposed to different ways of thinking (observational, analytic, aesthetic, teamwork, etc.). Students gain critical professional skills and they engage in areas of knowledge they have never studied before and/or don’t know enough about.
UROP has served as the informal Center of Undergraduate Research at U-M for 35 years. First in the nation to provide early access to students in such high-impact learning experiences. Currently, UROP is transitioning to a full-fledged Undergraduate Research & Scholarly Center. Our vision and priorities are to expand the opportunities for any or all undergraduate students to have an undergraduate research experience at any point in their undergraduate education.
- Funding would be focused on supporting student scholarships and stipends and research training.
- Mentor funding to support any U-M undergraduate student researcher.
- Travel funds to support student publication costs, attendance to national and international professional conferences, and summer research experiences at local, national and international research labs and research organizations.
Thank you for supporting UROP!