Celebrating students at the Undergraduate Research Symposium

Each year in May, UROP hosts the UCI Undergraduate Research Symposium, an event that offers hundreds of undergraduates the opportunity to present the results of their research or creative activities in a professional setting. Learn more.

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What is UROP?

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), housed within the Office of the Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning, assists undergraduate students from ANY academic discipline to find research and creative on-campus opportunities with UCI faculty, or off-campus opportunities with industrial partners, national labs, and other universities. We also provide grants to support UCI faculty-mentored undergraduate research projects and creative activities during the academic year and summer.

Getting Started

 New to UROP?  It’s easy to get started by doing the following:

1. Attend a Workshop or watch the workshop recording to learn about your options.  Then use these tools to help you choose:

2. Review the UROP Opportunities webpage

3. Stop by Drop-In Hours or come to the office if you have specific questions.

Meet with an Advisor

Completed the steps above and still need help?  

Schedule an appointment with one of our UROP Advisors today!

What kind of research can I engage in? Do I have to be a certain major?

Students from ALL majors are highly encouraged to get involved in research! The most common types of research UCI students engage in include:

  • Individual & Group Projects
  • Laboratory, Design, or Artistic Projects
  • Senior Theses/Literature Review
  • Scholarly Work in Humanities/Social Sciences
  • Surveys/Interviews/Psychology Experiments/Observational Studies
How much of a time commitment is required?

Generally, 10-15 hours per week during the academic year. Most faculty mentors would like a commitment of one year.  Summer commitments vary and are typically more hours per week.

Can I get academic credit?

For the most part, yes. Many students take a 199 or other Independent Study courses. However, it can vary, and you will need to discuss this with your faculty mentor.

How can I sign-up for UROP research?

UROP does not offer research projects to “sign-up” for.  Our role is to advise you on how you can work on UCI faculty-mentored research projects.  UROP Advisors will coach you on how to discover your research interests, seek out the guidance of a faculty mentor, and apply for funding to help you reach your goals.

What if I have more questions?

We will be adding more FAQs, but in the meantime, follow the steps under “Getting Started” so that we can assist you!

Ready to get started?

Student Spotlight

Kaylen Glory Suryajaya

Kaylen Suryajaya—a Human Biology major—has researched the effects of heavy metals on neurodegenerative diseases under the mentorship of Professor Jefferson Chan. This experience has given her a new approach to her classwork, focusing more on concepts and how they tie together instead of merely memorizing information. Kaylen credits her research with helping her prepare to reach her goals by giving her the opportunity to sharpen her basic laboratory techniques, conduct her own independent research project, and gain a greater understanding of the scientific process, all while developing a strong relationship with her mentor and his research associates. She also has helped other students to undergraduate research, serving as a 2021–2022 UROP Ambassador.

What advice would you give to a student interested in pursuing a faculty-mentored undergraduate research project or creative activity?

“Find a topic that gets you really excited, and it doesn’t have to be related to your major! Find professors who share your interests and email them. Your upperclassmen peers are also a great resource and those who are graduating may have a space opening up in their lab, so you should definitely ask about joining if what they’re researching interests you.”

Faculty Spotlight

Professor Rainer Doemer

Rainer Doemer, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has always been interested in education and mentoring curious students who are eager to learn something new and contribute to a project. He recommends research to undergraduates as a way to gain experience in applying course knowledge to actual projects.

What do you look for and what are your expectations of undergraduates you select to conduct research under your guidance?

“Good candidates have a natural curiosity in finding out how things work and how to make them better. Good researchers will also have to show both independence and teamwork skills.”

What recommendations and advice would you give students embarking on undergraduate research or creative projects?

“Be curious, approach faculty in office hours, and clearly communicate the skills you could provide and what you would like to do. During your individual research, be open about the problems you encounter and don’t hesitate to ask questions.”