How are Undergraduate Research Apprentices selected

Faculty mentors select their own apprentices

from a pool of applicants who have applied specifically for that position through the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program. (Students may apply for two or three projects if they wish; in practice about half of the applicants apply for only one research project.)

Student eligibility

URAP is currently open to all regularly enrolled undergraduates in good standing. It is not normally open to extension or concurrent enrollment students.

Student applications and deadlines

The final day for students to apply for positions is always early in the second week of classes each term. This late application date allows students new to campus to participate and allows us to gather the largest and, we hope, best applicant pool for each research project.

Student applications are collected online via our URAP student application system. Mentors can review applications online within hours of the student deadline. The online application contains a self-reported GPA and list of relevant coursework. We instruct students to bring along an unofficial transcript should they be invited for an interview.

Please review the applications as soon as possible and use the "message board" area of your faculty portal to communicate with your applicants. You may, of course, contact the students that you wish to interview individually, but by posting the names of your selected applicants on your board, you also notify those who were not selected. (See sample messages in the faculty portal section.)

If a position receives very few applications, the deadline may be extended until a student is found who fits your needs. Call us at 643-5376 as soon as you become aware of problems.

Interview and selection

Faculty may interview (and select) as few or many students as they feel they can comfortably mentor. Your time is the main resource here. Many faculty find an economy of scale in mentoring 2 or 3 students, but resources such as bench space and research expenses will be a constraint in many fields. (Note that only one URAP grant is made to each faculty member, regardless of the number of apprentices signed on.)

We have occasionally had faculty who have agreed to mentor as many as 10 or 12 students. This has met with mixed results. Many students do best working in a well-structured team, and appreciate having peer apprentices. On the other hand, some students clearly feel less individually accountable in a larger group. The apprentice-mentor relationship may lose some of its unique appeal for both student and faculty as it begins to replicate the classroom experience. Faculty should choose according to their own needs and time availability.

Please note: The online application shows self-reported courses, grades, and GPA - many faculty ask their applicants to bring an unofficial transcript to an initial interview.

Notifying students who were not selected

Again, please remember that the posted list of students selected (or interviewed) also serves as notice to students who were not selected. Even if the successful candidates have been personally informed, please post a list at your message board so that unsuccessful candidates can end their anxious waiting. If you have chosen to notify students via e-mail, please remember to e-mail those who were not chosen.