The UCI Undergraduate Research Symposium, held in May of each year, is an exciting opportunity for undergraduate students from all disciplines to present their research and celebrate their achievements. 

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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 to learn about your options.  

2. Stop by Drop-In Hours if you have specific questions.

3. Review the Opportunities navigation bar above.

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

Lilyana Pham

Lilyana Pham got involved in research during her freshman year, and has continued since then. Her work in the lab has given her the opportunity to apply knowledge from her coursework to real-life situations, giving her more insight into the knowledge presented in her classes. Lilyana also credits her research experience with opening her eyes to the many options she sees as potential academic and career directions when she graduates. UROP is pleased to recognize Lilyana for the passion she has brought to her pursuit of undergraduate research.

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

“I say to try it out! You never know until you try it and don’t be afraid to look at multiple labs. I would recommend looking at the UCI faculty research profiles to see all the different professors and not just the ones that are teaching the courses you’re taking. Don’t feel discouraged if professors don’t respond to your email. I would also say to pick something that interests you since most labs would like to have you around for the long run.”

Faculty Spotlight

Professor Mohammad Abdullah Al Faruque

Professor Mohammad Abdullah Al Faruque feels a responsibility to mentor undergraduates in his lab. He assigns each undergraduate to one of his graduate students and incorporates them fully into his research projects. As much as anything, Professor Al Faruque looks for students who are passionate about their research interests. He has seen students who might have struggled with their GPA blossom when exposed to the research environment. UROP is pleased to recognize Professor Al Faruque for his dedication to the undergraduate research he mentors.

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

“Talk to the professors and get engaged in their research as early as possible during your undergraduate studies. Sometimes, I have seen that students are shy to talk to professors if their GPA is low. I have seen very good undergraduate researchers with lower GPAs who eventually did great in their senior year and ended up going for a Ph.D.”