What is UROP?

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) was established in 1997 to facilitate participation by Boston University undergraduates in faculty-mentored research. Since 1997, we have supported the research efforts of approximately 1500 Boston University students. Our support comes from the University, individual faculty grants, alumni and corporate donations, and  government agencies and private foundations.

What does UROP do?

UROP helps students connect with faculty members who want to involve undergraduates in their research. UROP also provides financial support for the following:

  • summer research stipends
  • academic year research stipends
  • research supplies
  • travel for research purposes
  • travel to professional meetings

Grant proposals are reviewed in mid-September for the fall semester, in mid-December for the spring semester, and in early March for the summer session. Depending on the availability of funding and the size of the applicant pool, we normally fund between 55-70% of the applications received.

What counts as research?

Research projects may be undertaken in any academic area, and can take place at either the Charles River Campus or the Medical Campus. The Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR) defines such endeavors as “an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline”. As such, we consider undergraduate research to be any scientific or scholarly activity that leads to:

  • the production of new knowledge
  • increased problem-solving capabilities (including design and analysis of a research project)
  • original critical or historical theory and interpretation

How does UROP work?

Research through UROP must take place under the guidance of a BU faculty mentor. The collaboration between an undergraduate and a faculty research mentor is a hallmark of our program, and normally results in an extremely beneficial experience for both. Students can either contribute to a larger research project, or design their own individual project. In either case, the hands-on training provides an opportunity to experience real-world application of material learned in the classroom. This can be valuable to students planning to continue studies in the field and to those students who are uncertain about their post-graduate career path. We often see tangible evidence of our student productivity in their authorship on publications and meeting abstracts.

Students can do research on a volunteer basis, for academic credit, through the work-study program, as a mentor-funded assistant, or through a UROP grant. To be eligible for UROP funding, students are expected to devote approximately 15-20 hours per week during the academic year. During the summer, UROP-supported students perform research full-time (~40 hours per week) for a ten-week period and participate in a series of weekly enrichment activities. Students may arrange to earn two credits for research performed over the summer, but otherwise academic credit and stipend awards cannot be received for the same research in the same semester.

Who can I talk to?

The UROP staff is available to answer questions on finding a student, finding a mentor, and preparing research proposals, or any other matters related to undergraduate research. In addition, we maintain information on current opportunities across campus and summer research opportunities across the nation. Feel free to contact us by phone (617-353-2020), email (urop@bu.edu), or in person. The office is located at 143 Bay State Road. We look forward to meeting you!