Application Process

Applying for UROP


Students must meet the following criteria to be eligible to participate in a UROP project:

  • Pursuing an undergraduate degree
  • In good academic standing
  • Eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Registered for at least 6 credits during the semester of your UROP award
    • For summer projects, this requirement is waived if you are registered for 6 credit hours in both the preceding and following semesters of your award

Students may only hold one UROP award at a time. To be considered for a second award, students must first complete all of the requirements for any past awards, including a final report, evaluation and presentation. Students may apply for a second UROP award but priority is given to first time awardees. Students nearing graduation may apply for the UROP program as long as all requirements for the UROP award are completed prior to graduation. 

Getting Started

  1. Find a Research Topic

UROP projects are centered around the research interest of the student applicant. For their proposal, students can develop their own idea, expand on an interesting topic or project that was started in class or find a faculty member with similar interests and develop a proposal that aligns with a faculty member’s current work. It is critical to determine the area of interest first in order to identify a faculty member for the UROP project. 

It may be helpful to review some examples of past SCSE UROPs projects to better formulate your thoughts and ideas. 

Biology Chemistry & Biochemistry Civil Engineering 

Mathematics & Statistics Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

  1. Find a Faculty Mentor

There are a number of ways you can find a faculty mentor for your UROP project:

  • Ask your faculty advisor or instructors for recommendations
  • Ask colleagues about recommendations or who has sponsored students in the past
  • Review your departmental or college faculty pages for research interests
  • Review the SCSE Undergraduate Research Mentors spreadsheet
  • Contact the SCSE UROP Coordinator (Rachel Ellestad: [email protected]) for suggestions

Reach out to a few faculty members for a meeting and come prepared to share your idea of what you would like to focus on for your UROP project. If the faculty member cannot commit to being your mentor, ask if they have recommendations of someone who can help you. Be persistent! Also, start this process well ahead of the proposal deadline so you are not rushing to find a mentor at the last minute. 

  1. Develop Your Proposal

Your proposal is the opportunity to explain to the review committee your plan for research during your award. Your proposal should communicate the following:

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Relevance of study based on relevant literature

In your proposal, you need to provide a review of the relevant literature that shows the relevance of the work you are proposing. This review of literature should also show a gap in the understanding of this topic that you are trying to fill with your work.

Statement of research purpose of research question

Your proposal should have a clear statement of research purpose that describes the research question you plan to answer. You should make this statement obvious to your audience. 

Methods for answering your research question

A clear discussion of the methods of your study should be included. UROP studies are required to have an analytical component and contribute to new knowledge.

Impact of your project

Your proposal should include a statement on the overall impact of your project and how it will contribute to the body of knowledge in your disciplinary area. 


As part of your proposal, you should include an itemized budget for supply requests. You may request up to $300 for supplies, travel or other expenses related to your project, noting the following:

  • Poster printing should be included in your supply cost request if you will be presenting at a poster session. 
  • Computer costs: UROP will not support the costs of mainframe computer use; funds for this purpose are generally available through the instructional time-sharing account in a faculty member's department. UROP does not support the purchase of computer hardware. Computer disks will be covered only if they are central to the project (for example, a project that includes significant programming).
  • Travel expenses: Travel costs should be computed at 50.5 cents per mile (rate subject to change). Expenses for local travel usually are not covered, though travel outside your immediate area to a research site or to a professional meeting to give a presentation on your project frequently are funded. UROP covers mileage and lodging, but not food.
  • Other: UROP students may not use their expense allowance to hire other persons to assist them. For example, students may not hire typists, transcribers, or word processors. UROP does not support the purchase of standard office supplies (e.g. file folders, paper, computer paper, pencils, ink) or books available in a library. Costs of photocopying must be fully itemized and may not exceed $50. UROP does not support the purchase of standard equipment (e.g. tape recorders, transcribers). If such equipment is unavailable, UROP may support reasonable lease fees. While UROP will support expense items such as telephone calls, postage, and literature searches (these items must be fully itemized and their relationship to your project must be clear).  Students requesting more than the following typical amounts should explain the necessity of the additional funds: postage: $50; phone: $50. 

To help guide your work, SCSE has developed a list of tips for developing a competitive proposal. You can also check out the UROP program’s tips for writing a good UROPs proposal.

It is important that you work on this proposal with the support of your faculty mentor. Develop a draft of your proposal and give plenty of time for your faculty mentor to give feedback so you can revise before submitting. 

  1. Submit Your Application and Proposal

Once your proposal is ready for submission, follow these steps:

  1. Complete the Application Form and upload your Proposal online before the deadline. 
  2. Have your faculty mentor complete a Faculty Mentor Recommendation Form online after your submission. 


SCSE Proposal Review Process

UROP proposals in SCSE are reviewed by a committee of faculty within SCSE. Each proposal is assigned three reviewers who are not faculty members in the student’s home department. Students should write their proposals to an educated and intelligent audience while keeping in mind that the reviewers will not be experts in their particular field. 

Students and mentors are encouraged to review the SCSE UROP Review Rubric and they prepare a UROP proposal and application. 

SCSE UROP Review Rubric

Special Considerations for Proposals

Special Requirements/Restrictions: Some UROP projects require special permissions before your UROP project can be approved. If your project involves Human Subjects Animal SubjectsHarmful or Dangerous Substances or involves Travel Abroad, you need to make sure you have taken the appropriate steps to get these permissions as you prepare your UROP application.