What is UROP?
The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) cultivates and supports research partnerships between MIT undergraduates and faculty. One of the earliest programs of its kind in the United States, MIT’s UROP invites undergraduates to participate in research as the junior colleagues of Institute faculty. The late Margaret L. A. MacVicar, Professor of Physical Science and Dean for Undergraduate Education, created MIT’s UROP In 1969, inspired by Edwin H. Land. Land, the inventor of instant photography, believed in the power of learning by doing.
UROP offers the chance to work on cutting edge research—whether you join established research projects or pursue your own ideas. As UROPers, undergraduates participate in each phase of standard research activity: developing research plans, writing proposals, conducting research, analyzing data and presenting research results in oral and written form. UROP projects take place during the academic year, as well as over the summer, and research can be done in any academic department or interdisciplinary laboratory. Projects can last for an entire semester, and many continue for a year or more. UROP students receive academic credit, pay—either Supervisor Funding or Direct UROP Funding (if a MIT or CME student), or work on a voluntary basis. MIT students use their UROP experiences to become familiar with the faculty, learn about potential majors, and investigate areas of interest. UROPers gain practical skills and knowledge they eventually apply to careers after graduation or as graduate students. Most importantly, they become involved in exciting research!
The Benefits of UROP:
- Explore research in any academic department, interdisciplinary lab, or center at MIT.
- Learn more about your intended major/minor or explore a field you never thought of before.
- Use UROP research as a way to prepare for graduate or medical school and for your future career.
- Connect with faculty, researchers, graduate students, and other undergraduates who share similar academic and career interests.
- Apply what you learn in the classroom to actual research...learn by doing.
Essential to all UROP projects are the following:
- Research work worthy of academic credit, regardless of whether or not credit is requested.
- Active communication between the UROPer and faculty supervisor, who is responsible for guiding the intellectual course of the student's work.
- An Application, including a Research Proposal: a student-authored statement of purpose that describes the planned research.
- Evaluations of your UROP experience. Both you and your faculty supervisor are required to submit evaluations of your research collaboration to the UROP staff in the UAAP at the end of each semester and/or summer.
Among many other options, these UROP opportunities have been available to students in the past: tissue engineering, media arts and sciences, robotics, Project I-Campus, remote memory studies, cancer research, chemical synthesis, architectural studies, wireless data and mobile commerce, genetics, financial engineering, internet modeling, market research, political policy, oral history and organic chemistry.
UROP Coordinators in each department and interdisciplinary laboratory are available to offer suggestions and review your research plans.
UROP staff members in the UAAP are always prepared to answer your questions, help solve problems and help with financial support, when possible. All UROP applications must be approved first by your faculty supervisor, then the appropriate departmental UROP Coordinator, and then by the UROP office.