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UROP Program Description
The University of Minnesota's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) offers financial awards twice yearly to full-time undergraduates for research, scholarly, or creative projects undertaken in partnership with a faculty member. UROP affords undergraduates a unique educational experience of collaborating with a faculty mentor on the design and implementation of a project. At the same time, faculty have the opportunity to work closely with students and receive valuable assistance with their own research or professional activity. UROP adds a new dimension to the undergraduate experience. It also encourages students to conduct research and pursue academic interests outside of their regular courses by employing them to work on special projects. Projects are expected to contribute to the student's academic development.
UROP applications are judged on the quality of the proposed project, the strength of the collaboration with the faculty sponsor, and the educational benefit to the student. Since funding is limited, awards are granted to the strongest proposals.
AWARDS and Completing your Project
UROP stipends, which will be paid out in two separate payments, are financial aid and may impact your financial aid package.
1 - Students will receive $750 when their application is approved (to be transferred at the beginning of the semester in which the project starts). This money will be put in the student’s account through the scholarship system and will be considered part of the financial aid package.
2 - Any expense money awarded will be handled by the mentor’s department. Departments can determine what system to use to track the expenses. Departments must follow the approved expenses list for each student (provided with the award letter). Students should contact their departmental accountant with questions about the expense money. Expense money will be transferred in the amount actually spent at the end of each fiscal year.
3 - At the midpoint of the project, faculty mentors will be required to submit a Verification of Progress form for each student stating the student is on track to complete the project on time (or needs and extension). Download the form: Verification of Progress (MS Word docx)
4 - When the student has completed the project including the ending requirements of the final report, evaluation and public presentation, and the faculty mentor has signed off on the project’s satisfactory completion on the Verification of Completion form, the final $750 of the award will be put in the student’s account. Download the form: Verification of Completion (MS Word doc)
If you need extra time, if you have not completed all project work and requirements and your end date is approaching, you will need to file an extension in order to stay current with your project. This should be filled out, signed by your mentor, and returned to the UROP Office before your current ending date passes. An extension will be approved once only and for one semester only.
Once you have reached the end of your project, there are four ending requirements that must be completed in order for you to access the final $750 of your stipend and be considered done with your UROP award. These include a final report of approximately 3 pages, a completed evaluation form and some public presentation or publication of your results. For ideas on presentation options, please go to the research presentations page. The fourth requirement is that your faculty mentor must sign off on the Verification of Completion form found in the Forms Library to verify that you have completed the project satisfactorily and have completed approximately 120 hours of work. If you are graduating at the end of your project, you MUST have all requirements completed by the end of the month prior to graduation or you will forfeit the final $750 of your award. For spring graduation, all requirements must be met by April 30. For summer graduation, the final date is July 31. For fall graduation, all requirements must be met by November 30. There are no exceptions.
Any expense money awarded will be transferred to the mentor’s department at this time. Departments can determine what system to use to track the expenses, but left over expense money will not need to be returned to UROP. Because of this, expense money will be awarded stringently. Departments must follow the approved expenses list for each student (provided with the award letter).
For applications made in the spring, awards are for the approximate period of July 1st through the following December 31st. Awards made in the fall are for the approximate period of January 1st through the following June 30th.
Potential Impacts on Financial Aid
Since UROP will now pay out as scholarship money, please contact One Stop Student Services if you have questions as to how this will affect your Financial Aid award for the year.
- If your total cost of attendance is already covered by scholarships, you will not receive the UROP stipend as the U does not award financial aid over the cost of attendance. In individual cases, a student may request to raise the cost of attendance in order to accommodate a UROP award.
- If you have scholarships and loans totaling the cost of attendance, the UROP stipend will go towards reducing your loan amount.
- If you do not have total coverage for your cost of attendance, you will be able to receive the UROP stipend. Keep in mind that if you owe the U any money, the UROP award will pay this before any remaining money is given to you.
Students must be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program and be in good standing. You must be registered for at least 6 credits during the semester that you will do your research, however for summer projects this is waived as long as you are registered for at least 6 credits in both the preceding spring semester and following fall semester. Additionally you must be in good academic standing as defined by your college. Individuals on academic probation are NOT eligible.
Students working on Intersession projects cannot graduate prior to the end of the Intersession term.
Students may hold only one UROP award at a time. While past award recipients may reapply, priority will be given to first-time applicants. Past award recipients must have completed a final report and evaluation for all previous projects before they will be considered for another award. Students nearing graduation may apply only if they will complete their UROP projects, and submit a final report and evaluation of the program, before graduating from the University.
Academic credit: If you will be earning academic credit for your proposed project (e.g. for coursework, independent study, senior thesis), then you are NOT eligible for a UROP stipend. UROP is intended to supplement, not to duplicate, these credit-based educational opportunities. UROP projects, however, frequently grow out of work begun in a course, or explore in a preliminary way a topic that is later expanded into a senior thesis.