Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)
The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) is a scheme designed to give undergraduate students an early opportunity to experience real life in a research laboratory and gain insight into careers in biomedical research.
Who manages UROP?
The Program was started by two Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs), the Gene CRC and the CRC for Cellular Growth Factors in 1999. The management of UROP has been transferred to the Bio21 Cluster.
How does UROP work?
Students undertake a project which is part of the research program of a biomedical research laboratory. They are supervised by a research scientist in a mentoring role and work alongside other research staff and students in the team. The project can be experimental and based in a laboratory, bioinformatical or statistical.
While the scheme is not a formal part of undergraduate coursework, it is supported by universities because it aims to provide a vertical integration of practical research into the undergraduate years. Students will be able to practise the knowledge and skills obtained in undergraduate science-based courses in this program and vice versa.
What are the benefits of participating in UROP?
There are many benefits to participating in UROP. As a student, you will:
- be part of the excitement of being a researcher in an internationally competitive laboratory
- experience being part of a research team
- develop expertise in laboratory techniques and experimental design
- potentially contribute to scientific publications, patents and presentations
- create future job and post-graduate opportunities through networking
- benefit from workshops in scientific and career development
How much time does participation require?
In general, the students are expected to spend 8 hours per week on their project. The times are arranged between supervisors and students to fit in with both the students and supervisors commitments. During vacation periods, students would usually work in the laboratory full-time for a total of at least six weeks (four weeks during the summer and two weeks during the winter recess). It is desirable that students commence their project during the vacation period, so they can integrate into the laboratory before semester recommences.
Who can apply?
The scheme is open to any undergraduate in any Victorian tertiary institution. Students can join the Program from the second year onwards of their undergraduate course onwards (or third year onwards in the case of double degrees). Students currently in the first year of their course (or first two years in the case of double degrees) or in their final semester are not eligible to apply.
The scheme appeals particularly to Science, Biomedical Science and combined-Science degree students, including those studying the biomedical sciences, genetics, molecular biology, bioinformatics, mathematics and statistics. Students from non-scientific courses are welcome to apply but will need to demonstrate their particular interest in biomedical research.
How to apply and further information
For more information about the UROP scheme, including how to apply, go to the Bio21 Cluster website.