Undergraduate Research Assistantships

As an undergraduate research assistant, you’ll interact closely with a faculty advisor to conduct research on a topic you propose. Together, you and your faculty advisor will draft a research abstract, outlining the expectations the faculty advisor has of you while you hold the assistantship.

The Undergraduate Research Agreement will allow you and your faculty research advisor to discuss how progress will be made on the research, and how that progress will be assessed.

UCARE programing will supplement your research with a number of workshops and seminars on Planning & Preparing to Go to Graduate School, Writing a Research Proposal, and Constructing a Research Poster.

UCARE Program Structure

Summer

  • A ten-week summer research opportunity from June - August.
  • Requires a 20-hour commitment per week.
  • Conduct research under the oversight of your faculty research advisor.
  • Receive a stipend of $2,400.

Academic Year

  • An academic year research opportunity from September - April.
  • Requires a 10-hour commitment per week.
  • Conduct research under the oversight of your faculty research advisor.
  • Receive a stipend of $2,400 ($1,200/semester).

Team Proposals

  • If you will be working in a lab with other students, ask your faculty advisor about a team UCARE application.
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Applying for UCARE?

If you're interested in applying for UCARE, you're responsible for identifying a faculty research advisor who will supervise your research. To find a faculty advisor:

  • Check the list of opportunities.
  • Speak with professors whose classes you've enjoyed, and look at departmental websites to consider current research. (See: Find a Research Advisor)
  • Make appointments to speak with the faculty members to learn more about their research and if they'd consider working with you as a UCARE undergraduate researcher.

Once you've found a faculty advisor to supervise your research, you'll be responsible for completing the proposal. Consult with your faculty research advisor along the way. You may work on an independent project or on a small project that plays a role in your faculty research advisor's larger research project. The UCARE proposal and the requirements can be found here.

Your Responsibilities as an Undergraduate Research Assistant

If you apply for an undergraduate research assistantship and your proposed project is funded, you are expected to:

  • Maintain high academic standards.
  • Complete Responsible Conduct of Research training.
  • Demonstrate research progress across the course of the research term (academic year or summer).
  • Show progress through benchmarks established by their faculty research advisor.
  • Participate in at least two UCARE sponsored events during the award.
  • Present work at either the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in August (Summer Award) or the annual Undergraduate Research Conference in April (Academic Year Award).

UCARE undergraduate research assistants are required to meet specific expectations, listed on our website and also included in the Undergraduate Research Agreement. An award may only be applied to research with the faculty member identified in the UCARE application, with the exception of when a faculty advisor leaves the university and another faculty member agrees to advise the student. In that event, a new Undergraduate Research Agreement must be drafted and filed with both the UCARE office and the department.

Assistantship Stipend

As a UCARE undergraduate research assistant funded through the Pepsi Endowment, you'll receive your award stipend on a bimonthly basis. Awards are overseen by the UCARE office. You should plan to use your stipend to pay for any necessary research materials, travel costs, and to print your research poster to present at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Your faculty research advisor will determine whether you've satisfied the expectations outlined in the Undergraduate Research Agreement.

Failure to meet these expectations will end your UCARE funding.

Remember, research requires a major investment from both yourself and your research advisor. Be sure to check in with your advisor on a regular basis, set manageable goals, and discuss your project's progress. Learn more about how to have a rewarding mentor/mentee relationship.

lab research

Departmental Financial Contact

The departmental financial contact files paperwork for the UCARE undergraduate researcher. Listed here are the contacts for your department and applicable contact information.