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Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) Proposal

Details

  1. Class: Unspecified
  2. This template is published for use.
  1. Step 1: Understand the process. Look at past projects.
    Percent time spent on this step: 10%

    Instructions

    The goal of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) is to help you become involved in research, scholarly or creative activity under the guidance of a Faculty Mentor.
  2. Step 2: Explore project ideas and identify possible mentors.
    Percent time spent on this step: 10%

    Instructions

    You don't have to have a fully formed, independent idea for research -- instead, you can work with a faculty mentor on an idea for the proposal.  In fact, many students who participate in UROPs assist faculty members with their existing projects. 
    • Look at the list of recent mentors and projects.  
    • Identify a few faculty members whose research you are interested in (from classes you have taken, articles you have read, etc.). 
    • Contact potential mentors by email and then talk with them in person.  Be persistent.  If you do not get a response via email, catch them after class or during their office hours. Prepare for meeting with potential mentors, developing questions to ask and information to share about yourself and your interests.
    • Contact Vicky Munro (612-625-3853,  munro001@umn.eduin the UROP office with questions. She can assist you in finding a faculty mentor.
  3. Step 3: Select a mentor and finalize the relationship.
    Percent time spent on this step: 10%

    Instructions

    • Once a faculty mentor has agreed to work with you, finalize the relationship by clearly specifying what your role in the project will be, the work schedule you will follow, and the ways in which the two of you will maintain regular communication.
      • Questions include: When can you work? How often will you meet? Are there specific outcomes that you need to accomplish by specific dates? Will you mostly work by yourself or with other people? What is the process for you to get paid?
    • Open communication is crucial in any collaborative research project. In most cases, it's your responsibility to keep in touch with your mentor. You should schedule regular meetings and supplement them by email or a quick telephone call.  Faculty members are generally multitasking, so you often need to ask explicitly in order to get an answer. If you don't understand something, have concerns, or don't know what to expect, go ahead and ask.
  4. Step 4: Determine whether you need any special approval for your project.
    Percent time spent on this step: 5%

    Instructions

    All research and creative activities at the University of Minnesota are subject to federal and state laws and regulations. Some UROP projects require special permissions before your project is approved. You should consult with your faculty mentor regarding University and other regulations relevant to your project. You can direct questions to Vicky Munro at 612-625-3853 or munro001@umn.edu.
    • Human Subjects: All research involving human subjects (including interviews and observations) requires Institutional Review Board approval. For most UROP projects, this approval can be expedited, but the appropriate process must still be followed. 
  5. Step 5: Read the proposal application.
    Percent time spent on this step: 10%

    Instructions

    Be aware that the UROP application/proposal consists of three parts, all of which should be submitted electronically:
    1. The Proposal (maximum of three pages) [View Tips on a Successful UROP Proposal]
    2. The completed Faculty Mentor Recommendation Form
    3. The Application
    Plan ahead now!  Do not procrastinate!  Give yourself plenty of time to revise, and give others, particularly your faculty mentor, plenty of time to read an initial draft and provide  you with feedback. 
  6. Step 6: Develop the first draft of the research proposal
    Percent time spent on this step: 20%

    Instructions

    Based on earlier conversations with your faculty mentor, develop the proposal.  You do not have to have a complete understanding of your project to write your first draft.  Proposal writing is a process, and your mentor will be happy to help you with appropriate modifications.  Consider the following questions as you work with you mentor:
    • Describe the intellectual merit of your proposed research or creative activity. What is the context for this project? Why is it important? What goals will it accomplish or what questions will it answer? For creative activities, what aesthetic are you addressing? Why is your proposed creative activity unique? For a science or technology proposal, you should describe a hypothesis that your research will test.
    • Describe the broader impacts of your proposed research. Does this research have practical application or public policy implications? Will it contribute to better understanding of questions important to human knowledge or culture? Is your research particularly relevant to certain groups of people, such as K-12 school children or particular ethnic or cultural groups?
    • Describe as specifically as possible what you will do during your UROP research or creative activity. What comes first? What is next? How do subsequent steps depend on earlier steps? Why is your plan realistic and achievable? What contingency plans do you have if this does not work out as expected?
    • Describe the outcome of your research or creative activity. For a science or technology proposal, at what level of confidence will your research test the hypothesis that you have described? What will you and others know after your research that was not known before? What questions will be answered? What questions might arise for further study? How will you share your new knowledge. For creative activity, what will you produce? How will you present the results of your creative activity?
  7. Step 7: Find research to support your proposal
    Percent time spent on this step: 10%

    Instructions

    Section "H" of the application asks for references to previous research that supports your proposal. To find journal articles, books and other academic research: 
    • Start with the Libraries homepage, using the search boxes in the "Books" tab and "Articles and Databases" tab to find relevant resources.
    • Learn more about finding specific types of sources on How to Find.
    • If you have questions or need help getting started,
  8. Step 8: Get feedback on your draft proposal and revise
    Percent time spent on this step: 15%

    Instructions

    • Ask for feedback on your draft
      • Send your proposal to your Faculty Mentor.  You may also contact your college UROP coordinator or the UROP Office for comments.
    • Revise your proposal 
  9. Step 9: Submit all forms
    Percent time spent on this step: 10%
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