Frequently Asked Questions for UROP Research Sponsors
(Since UROP started in Fall 2012, we have adapted some of the Frequently Asked Questions from the University of Michigan’s model here.)
What is the role of a first or second year undergraduate student in a research project?
UROP provides students with an opportunity to undertake inquiry-based learning. Undergraduate students are available to assist faculty in conducting their ongoing research and creative projects or in starting a new project. Sample student research assistant tasks include:
Conduct library research, transcribe interviews, assist in book and/or course development (e.g., indexing a manuscript before publication), conduct laboratory/survey research, participate in community-based research, assist with performance art, and/or apply computer technology skills to a project, among other tasks.
What are some advantages of working with an undergraduate student on my project?
Faculty are busy and can often use extra help on their research. Through UROP, faculty have an opportunity to introduce a diverse group of students to their academic discipline and in so doing open academic and career possibilities for students. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the many roles faculty undertake. UROP students bring enthusiasm and a fresh viewpoint to the project.
What are reasonable expectations of an undergraduate researcher?
With training, undergraduate student researchers can make significant contributions to the research project. Initially, the first or second year student will need close supervision, but over time, the student will be able to increase his/her level of participation and become a more independent worker.
How many hours per week are students available to work on the research project?
Students will be expected to work 5 to 10 hours per week, or up to 15 in the case of some Federal Work-Study students.
How much time is involved in mentoring a student?
The amount of time involved will vary depending on the nature of the project. At a minimum, during the first month of hire, you or a research team member will need to work closely with the student to provide an orientation to and training for the project. Students should be given background information, an explanation about the project’s methods and procedures, and be told about the role they will play. Faculty are encouraged to meet one on one with students to review their progress and, when appropriate and possible, to include student assistants in the research team meetings.
How do I hire a student to work with me?
Students will look through a list of available faculty research projects and select the projects they want to apply for. They are responsible for contacting the faculty sponsor to set up an interview. From these student inquiries, faculty select students to interview and then determine which student(s) they want to hire. The student(s) will ask you to sign a contract and then the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) will take care of the necessary paperwork. The faculty sponsor is responsible for setting a time and date for the student to begin to work.
What if I need to be away from the University while I am mentoring a student?
Faculty are often involved in activities which require short trips away from campus. Students can continue to work on their project during the faculty sponsor’s absence. We recommend that you inform your student about your upcoming absence and provide the student with another staff member who can be consulted, if necessary, in your absence. If you know in advance of accepting a student that you will be gone on a number of trips or an extended leave in which you will be relatively unavailable to the student, you may want to postpone participation in UROP until the next academic year.
How is UROP funded?
UROP is funded by the Office of Undergraduate Research, the FSU Student Foundation, and Federal Work-Study funds.
Does my research project need to be funded to participate in UROP?
No. The Office of Undergraduate Research supports all UROP students through their experience, and they are compensated through Federal Work Study and academic credit.
What is the role of the UROP Leader?
Each UROP student is assigned to a UROP Leader who helps them navigate through the program and serves as a program liaison to you. These UROP Leaders are current juniors and seniors with extensive experience in research in their disciplinary areas. UROP Leaders meet individually with each of their students while also facilitating bi-weekly colloquium. UROP Leaders will support their students while also acting as liaisons between students and Research Sponsors when needed.
What is covered by the UROP Colloquium?
The UROP Colloquium is one of the three main parts of students’ participation in UROP. The Colloquium will be instructed by UROP Leaders, serving as a support system for students in preparing for, selecting, participating in, and finally presenting faculty research projects. It will cover such topics as the definition of research and its role in the world; literature review and critical analysis of peer-reviewed articles; ethical concerns regarding research integrity and responsibility; and exposure to techniques, methods, and concepts that will aid the student in presenting research and participating in the academic/research culture.
What if I experience a problem with my student?
In some cases, the student-faculty relationship or work performance experiences problems. Given the rigorous application and interview process, we expect these cases to be very few, but UROP does have measures in place should such issues arise. Student UROP Leaders will serve as liaisons between faculty and UROP students, and can be contacted regarding such issues. Also feel free to contact the Office of Undergraduate Research at (850) 645-8118 or e-mail Associate Director Dr. Joe O’Shea at firstname.lastname@example.org if you experience performance or communication issues with your student.
How will students be evaluated?
UROP Leaders will assign students an S/U grade for their work in the colloquium, and Research Sponsors will fill out an evaluation form at the end of the assistantship. Additionally, students may elect to participate in DIS credit hours in the Spring semester, for which their Research Sponsor will assign a grade.
Does UROP offer any training assistance?
UROP offers a variety of skill building workshops for students in Fall and Spring term, many of which are hosted or supported by FSU Libraries. Additionally, part of the objective of the UROP colloquium is to introduce students to the practice and basic concepts of research.
By participating in UROP, can I receive supplementary funding for my research project?
Yes. Faculty may apply for supplementary research funding of up to $500. Funds are typically used for purchasing equipment or supplies students will be using to conduct research and/or student transportation to and from an off campus research site. Use the Supplementary Research Funding Application to request these funds.
What is the possibility of keeping a student after they complete their UROP year?
UROP students will be enthusiastically encouraged to continue working with their Research Sponsors after their UROP assistantship. Students may continue acting as research assistants as volunteers or for DIS credit, Work-Study funding, funding made available by faculty members or their departments.
Should I assign different tasks to Work Study students than students participating in UROP for academic credit?
No, we have the same expectations and goals for all UROP students regardless of how they are compensated for their work.
Does UROP offer any opportunities for presentation of research?
Yes. All students participating in UROP will participate in the Spring Research Symposium by presenting a poster on the Research Sponsor’s project and their contributions to it.
For questions regarding UROP, please contact Dr. Joe O'Shea, Director, Office of Undergraduate Research, at email@example.com.