2) The Assistantship:
With the help of your UROP Leader, you will select a faculty project to work on. In this assistantship with your Research Sponsor, you will have duties that vary by discipline and specific project, but may include tasks like preparing samples, collecting data, conducting interviews, or compiling sources. This assistantship lasts for two semesters.
The UROP assistantship functions on inquiry-based learning. Traditionally, you learn through reading about topics and theories in the classroom, but here you will learn actively by combining this theory with practice, much in the same way that your faculty is learning every day.
To see the research projects which UROP students worked on this year, view the Undergraduate Research Symposium page.
Some examples of the research you could do in your assistantship include:
In the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields: lab research, testing and working with equipment, sample preparation, data collection and entry, experimentation, bench work, running assays, working with model organisms, collecting data, learning laboratory techniques
In the Social Sciences: community-based research, conducting and transcribing interviews, surveys, data collection, analysis and organization, bibliographic work, editing, indexing, assembling sources, reading for and preparing literature reviews, descriptive and analytical statistics, participant observation, content analysis, visual interpretations, incorporating theoretical perspectives
In the Arts and Humanities: library research, bibliography, compiling sources, archival research, literature reviews, writing summaries and abstracts, indexing, manuscript preparation, Special Collections research, digital retrieval of primary sources (books, manuscripts, paintings, videos, etc.), assistance with performance art, fact-checking, writing for permissions, database research
UROP students will apply and interview for faculty projects they are interested in participating in, and faculty Research Sponsors will select their assistants. Your UROP Leader will facilitate this process by helping you identify your own strengths and interests and guiding you to projects and faculty members that best fit you.
Working with your Research Sponsor
Once you have been selected to assist a Research Sponsor, they will outline your role in the project and their expectations. Together, you and your Research Sponsor will develop a schedule, find background readings and resources, discuss the broader theoretical frameworks of the project, and discuss the purpose and goals of the project and your contribution to it. Once you are familiarized with your Research Sponsor and the project, you will be responsible for contributing to the project in keeping with your Research Sponsor's expectations and established schedule. This will likely include your involvement in research team meetings and regular and continuous feedback on your performance.
One of the greatest advantages of participating in UROP is the relationship you build with your Research Sponsor, and we encourage you to actively nurture that relationship by doing your best work during your UROP assistantship and continuing to work with your Sponsor once your UROP experience is over.