Celebrating students at the Undergraduate Research Symposium
May 20 & 21, 2022

This year’s theme, Rising to the Challenge, symbolizes the need for our students to continue to engage and succeed despite a constantly changing environment.  Read more about the event on our Symposium webpage and join us!
Deadline to Register to Attend: Friday May 13, 2022.

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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

Aya Abdalla

Aya Abdalla—an International Studies major, with a minor in Management—has pursued a research project centered around female genital cutting in Sudan and its recent criminalization. She interviewed women, of various generations, within the Southern California Sudanese diaspora, allowing her to establish a broad context for her study. Aya credits her experience with teaching her to think like a researcher in all aspects of her life, enriching her viewpoint changing the way she interacts with and engages her professors. Aya is also one of the 2021–2022 UROP Ambassadors.

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

“Trust your own insatiable curiosity and simply start! A project of such magnitude can easily become daunting when you get caught up in all that you have to do and learn. However, trusting the process and taking things one step at a time makes research and UROP so much more doable and palpable!”

Faculty Spotlight

Professor Beth Lopour

Professor Beth Lopour conducted research as an undergraduate student and that has inspired her to give her own students the same experience. Her students benefit from applying engineering techniques to real-world problems, where the answers are not known in advance. She has also grown as a teacher and mentor as a result of working with her undergraduate students.

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

“I think the answer to both of these questions is independence. The students that do really well on their projects are able to make independent progress in between our meetings.”

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

“I often remind my students that research is difficult, and that it is completely normal for things to take a long time. The important thing is to keep the project moving—notice that I did not say moving forward!  It is important to keep pushing through these difficult periods when it seems like nothing is working. Eventually everything will coalesce and become clear, and this will give you more satisfaction than a homework assignment ever could.”