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Undergraduate Research Opportunities

CFANS-Undergrad-Studentnews-Feb5-bbp-picThe University of Minnesota's world-class research doesn't just impact society, it helps students learn. Many professors conduct a wide array of research, and they bring their findings directly into class lectures, laboratories, and discussion sections. As a result, you learn about new findings, trends, and technologies directly from the experts. We encourage you to ask your professors about their research projects, and look for ways to get involved.

There are several ways you can get involved in research as an undergraduate student:

UROP: Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

The U of M's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides a stipend to undergraduates for special research, scholarly, or creative projects done with a faculty member. You must apply and be accepted into the UROP program. To apply, you'll develop your own research proposal, usually in partnership or with the permission of a faculty member. Applications are accepted twice a year and are judged on the quality of the proposed project, and on the educational benefit to the student.

Application materials, deadlines, and additional information about undergraduate research may be found at Also see the Everything UROP page, and explore the links on the top-right of this page.

CFANS students who have questions or need guidance with the UROP program can contact Bill Ganzlin (CFANS Student Services) at or 612-624-3047.

Work in Professors' Labs

If you're looking for a flexible, on-campus job, many professors hire students to help with research projects or to work in their labs. Wages are competitive. These positions allow you to work closely with graduate students and professors. Many students start in a lab position during their freshmen or sophomore year on simple tasks, then gradually work up to more complex responsibilities by senior year. Some lab jobs are posted on the U of M's Student Employment site or on GoldPASS. But not all such jobs are advertised. Sometimes professors will tell their students about lab positions during class. Feel free to ask.

CFANS Research Apprenticeship Program

The Research Apprenticeship Program is a 2-year program. It provides an early opportunity for students to develop their interests in formal research through faculty mentorship. This is supported by an action-oriented programmatic model encompassing the research experience from beginning to end. This Research Apprenticeship experience is meant to stimulate minds, broaden perspectives, expand intellectual and social networking, and strengthen connections in the University and global community.

Students will be selected to participate in the Research Apprenticeship Program based on their expressed interest in undergraduate research, and the academic qualifications demonstrated in their undergraduate application for admission. Students accepted into the program are awarded a $1500 scholarship and $300 for expenses.

First-Year Research Apprentices will have the opportunity to learn about the research process, meet professors who have similar research interests to their own, and develop a research proposal. During their second year, Apprentices will conduct their research and summarize their findings in a formal research paper. They will end their program by presenting their research at the annual University-wide Undergraduate Symposium.

See an overview of the Research Apprentice Program schedule for this year's incoming students (PDF).

Contact Person for CFANS Research Apprentice Program:
Bill Ganzlin, Chair, CFANS Undergraduate Research Program Committee or 612-624-3047

UROP Links & Resources

UROP Project Ideas: Spring 2014

Potential CFANS Faculty Sponsors (for UROP projects)

Getting Started on a UROP Proposal

UROP's International Scholarship Program (for study/research abroad)

Central UROP office at the U of M