LS&As Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), designed to bring together first- and second-year students with faculty researchers, has received a $127,000 grant from the state of Michigan Department of Educations Office of Minority Equity for the fourth consecutive year.
This is especially nice since the Office rarely funds any program for more than three years, says UROP Director Sandra R. Gregerman.
Originally created to improve the retention rate of underrepresented minority students, UROP now includes students of all races and ethnic backgrounds but maintains an enrollment emphasis on minorities and women in science.
In many cases students dont have a chance to participate in reseach projects until they are at the upper-class or graduate levels. We feel that lower-division students can benefit from the wealth of research activity taking place at the University and perhaps foster more interest in research-related or academic careers, Gregerman says.
UROP places approximately 500 students with more than 350 participating faculty members in the humanities, engineering, behavioral, physical, environmental and social sciences. For either work-study pay or academic credit, students work an average of 10 hours per week for one year, complete a final paper or project and attend bi-monthly research support groups.
Gregerman stresses that students gain invaluable critical thinking, analytical and library research skills through UROP. Additional funding will provide opportunities for more University students to become involved in the future, she adds.