What is a research university?
All FSU students have the advantage of attending a world-class research university that is also focused on providing an excellent liberal education for its undergraduates. At a research university like Florida State, your professors are not only teaching classes, but are also experts in their fields: they conduct research, publish papers, write books, and attend conferences to share the new knowledge they are constantly uncovering and generating in their fields. As a UROP assistant, you will get to participate in this crucial process.
What is inquiry-based learning?
Inquiry-based learning is a form of active learning in which you learn by doing, and it is the kind of learning you will do throughout your experience in UROP. While learning from classroom participation and engagement with texts and authorities is important, the hands-on application of principles offered by UROP will take your education a step further.
Do all research universities have UROP?
No; in fact, Florida State is the only university in Florida that offers such a program. Our program is partly based on a similar and highly successful model at the University of Michigan.
How much of a time commitment is UROP?
This will vary by individual, but we expect the average time commitment to be roughly five to ten hours weekly. You will participate in a 75 minute Colloquium every other week, and the rest of your schedule will be worked out between you and your Research Sponsor. The work load and time commitment will likely be lighter in the beginning of the Fall semester as you are getting acquainted with the program and selecting a project, and will likely be heavier in the middle of the Spring semester as you prepare for the Undergraduate Research Symposium. When selecting a project and a Sponsor, you should discuss what kind of time commitment the Sponsor expects and take it into consideration in making your decision.
When is my application due?
Admission to the program is highly competitive. The application deadline for current FSU 1st year students is May 1st, and for current high school seniors coming to FSU in the fall is May 1st. The deadline for transfer students is July 1st.
What is the minimum GPA?
There is no minimum GPA for application to or participation in UROP. While we take into account GPA and test scores, admission to UROP also considers extracurricular activities, your short essay response, and other factors, so we encourage all interested first- and second-year students to apply.
What majors can participate in UROP?
First- and second-year students from every college and every major at FSU are eligible to participate in UROP. We aim to have a diverse group of students representing all majors and departments at FSU.
What kind of activities will I do as a research assistant?
Research activities will differ by discipline. Here are some examples:
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
Will I be paid as a research assistant?
Students eligible for Federal Work-Study can earn their Work-Study funds through participation in UROP, but will have to meet the hour requirements designated in their Work-Study agreement. Other students generally will not be paid for the assistantship, but instead will be compensated through academic credit, resume-building opportunities, and recommendations.
Will I earn academic credit for participating in UROP?
In the Fall semester you will earn one credit hour for participation in and successful completion of the UROP Colloquium. In the Spring semester you may elect to participate in up to three hours of DIS credit for your UROP assistantship, or you may continue on an extracurricular or volunteer basis.
Are all UROP Colloquium classes the same?
UROP Colloquia are divided between STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; the "hard sciences"), Social Science, and Arts and Humanities disciplines, and you will be placed in a Colloquium corresponding to one of these divisions. Research methods differ starkly between these broad disciplinary areas, and your Colloquium will focus on research within that general area, but you will learn much more about your specific discipline or field of research from working with your Research Sponsor.
Do I have to do research in my major?
No. UROP is open to Exploratory, interdisciplinary, and double major students, and all students are encouraged to pursue research in the field they find most interesting.
What if I am not interested in any of the available projects?
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.
If you do not feel that one of the available faculty projects matches your talents and interests, you will also have the option to work with a professor of your choosing by asking him or her to list a research project for you to work on. Consult your UROP Leader if you are interested in pursuing this option.
What if I want to drop UROP?
The application process is made competitive so that we can retain the best students in UROP, and we have many support measures in place to ensure that you have a positive experience with continuous guidance and reinforcement. However, should irresoluble circumstances come up that lead you to desire withdrawal from UROP, consult your UROP Leader.
When can I view the available faculty projects?
Your UROP Leader will share the list of projects with you early in the Fall semester, at which point you will begin exploring projects and choosing faculty members you might be interested in working with. All UROP students will receive this list at the same time, and your UROP Leader will help you in finding the best project for you.
For questions regarding UROP, please contact Alicia Batailles, Assistant Director, Center for Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement.