The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) is an initiative by the Office of Undergraduate Research to engage more underclassmen in the academic culture of research and offer help to faculty members. Started in Fall 2012, UROP students participate in a colloquium introducing them to the practice of research, work as research assistants to faculty members and postdocs, and present their Research
Sponsors’ projects and their contribution to it at the annual undergraduate research symposium.
As UROP Research Sponsors, faculty members and postdocs will have the opportunity to hire student research assistants for a year-long period. A large body of scholarship suggests that programs like UROP have a profound impact on undergraduate education, retention, GPA, and graduation rates.
Selecting a student(s)
UROP students will be given faculty project listings in the beginning of the Fall semester, and with the help of their UROP Leader will select projects to apply to. Research Sponsors will then conduct interviews to select the student(s) they will hire.
Once Research Sponsors have selected their UROP assistants, they will be responsible for outlining students’ roles on the project and delineating their expectations. Sponsors should develop a schedule, direct students to background readings and resources, discuss the disciplinary approach to the project, and discuss the purpose and goals of the project and the student’s contribution to it.
Working with students
Once students are familiarized with their Research Sponsor and the project, they will work to contribute to the project in keeping with the Research Sponsor’s expectations and their established schedule. To facilitate this process, Research Sponsors should include UROP assistants in research team meetings, supervise students’ work on the project, and meet with them regularly to provide direction and feedback.
The purpose and outcomes of UROP go beyond providing assistance to faculty or introducing students to research. By engaging students and faculty in the university’s main missions—teaching and research—in a way that gives students one-on-one access to faculty and gives faculty access to the next generation of researchers, the entire university culture benefits.
A large body of research suggests that UROP and programs like it increase recruitment, retention, and reputation of the university by strengthening one of its core components: undergraduate education. Interestingly, 22.5% of our university’s ranking in U.S. News and World Report is based on the peer reputation of our undergraduate programs. UROP believes that one effective way to increase this reputation is to have our students engaged with research and out presenting at conferences as representatives of FSU. For more information on the impact of undergraduate research programs, please see the “Impact on the University” page.
To view our faculty recruitment flyer, click here.