- Why should I conduct a research
or creative activity?
- Who is eligible to conduct an
undergraduate research project or creative activity?
- What are research or creative
opportunities? What are some examples?
- When should I start and how long
should I do research?
- I am a transfer student; do I
have time to do a research or creative project?
- How do I know if I have enough
time to commit to a project?
- How many hours should I spend
a week on a project?
- Who can be a faculty mentor?
- Can I have more than one mentor?
- How do I know if I am ready to
meet with a potential faculty mentor?
- Are all of the on-campus opportunities
listed on the UROP Web site?
- Can I sign up for academic
- Does the project have to
be conducted on the UCI campus?
- What if I want to discontinue
Why should I conduct a research
or creative activity?
There are numerous benefits to research, including but not limited
- Drawing conclusions, critical analysis, and problem solving
- Developing communication skills and working independently
- Understanding and applying research methods, ethics, and
- Understanding the link between academics and other careers
- Learning to use technology and computer programs
- Learning to think in innovative and creative ways
- Working successfully with a diverse group of people
Who is eligible to conduct an undergraduate research
project or creative activity?
Any undergraduate from any discipline and any level can pursue a
research or creative project. It's never too early or too late to
get involved with research.
What are research or creative opportunities?
What are some examples?
Research and creative projects are diligent and studious searches
for new discoveries or innovative interpretations. Research takes
many forms, and can be conducted in any discipline, no matter if
your interest is art, dance, music, biology, medicine, composition,
social science, etc. Students need to identify their area
of interest and then explore the opportunities that
are available in that area. Here are some examples:
- Laboratory Projects
- Literature Review and Analysis
- Artistic Projects or Performances
- Design Projects
- Experiential/Field Studies
- Scholarly Work in Humanities/Social Sciences
- Senior Thesis/Term Papers
- Clinical Projects
- Surveys/Psychology Experiments
When should I start and how long should I do
There really is no right time—it’s whenever you have
an interest. Be sure you have done your homework, you have the time,
and a faculty member is willing to mentor your project. Typically
a research project lasts one year, but some students spend more
than two years working on a project.
I am a transfer student; do I have time to do
a research or creative project?
Yes! We look forward to welcoming you to UCI and strongly encourage
all transfer students to conduct research or creative activities.
We recommend that you start by identifying your interests and searching
for potential faculty mentors before you arrive at UCI. As a transfer
student, your time at UCI is limited so it is important that you
see a UROP Undergraduate Research Counselor as soon as possible
so that she/he can guide you in finding the right opportunity and
faculty mentor. Also, since one of the requirements to participate
in one of our summer
programs is that you must be a returning student, if you will only
be here for two years, your only chance to participate in a summer
program will be the summer
first and second year at UCI. Taking this into consideration, it
is important that you start identifying a project and a faculty
mentor as soon as possible.
How do I know if I have enough time to commit
to a project?
Be realistic with your commitments, taking into consideration your
coursework, leisure activities, and possible employment. Remember
that some projects can be more intensive than others, so you should
seek an opportunity that complements your interests and time schedule
without overextending yourself.
How many hours should I spend a week on a
Discuss this with your mentor. Typically, for every unit of
an independent research course you are enrolled in, you would be
expected to spend about three to four hours a week. Once you commit
to a project, make sure you give it the time it deserves.
Who can be a faculty mentor?
Faculty mentors must be members of the UCI
Can I have more than one mentor?
Yes. Make sure they are aware of each other and that you have discussed
this arrangement with both.
How do I know if I am ready to meet
with a potential faculty mentor?
Make sure you are well prepared. Once you have some topics in mind
and have identified a potential faculty mentor or you have found
a project of interest in our on-campus
opportunities listings, contact the professor by e-mail. Make
sure you are familiar with the professor’s work before you
compose the e-mail. For example, read their faculty profile and
articles they have written in journals or find out what they have
written or performed. If possible, attend one of their lectures,
performances, or productions. This will give you an idea of the
type of research they have done. This will also show the faculty
member how committed you are to research in general. We have provided
a sample e-mail to
use as a guide; personalize it to highlight your own strengths and
weaknesses. When you meet your potential faculty mentor in person,
be on time, dress properly, answer questions honestly, have questions
ready for them, and thank them for their time. It is between you
and the potential faculty mentor to decide if your interests match
for a research or creative project. After the initial visit, it
is also up to you and your faculty mentor to discuss project details
and related expectations.
Are all of the on-campus opportunities
listed on the UROP Web site?
No. The opportunities listed in the Web site have been submitted
by faculty to UROP. We recommend that you still review the faculty
and contact your faculty of choice.
Can I sign up for academic credit?
Yes. Discuss this option with your faculty mentor.
Does the project have to
be on the UCI campus?
No. There are many off-campus
opportunities, available at other campuses, with corporations
and institutions, and even abroad.
What if I want
to discontinue my project?
Meet and discuss this with your faculty mentor first. If the project
is supported by SURP/UROP, then send an e-mail to Said
Shokair, UROP Director, and explain your situation in detail.
For any other questions, please contact the UROP