The Importance of Undergraduate Research Positions & UROP’s

By: Christopher

Undergraduate research positions

These positions that are posted periodically in the UMD employment website allow students to work with professors on projects in their particular area of expertise. Here is an outline of what this kind of work entails.

Provide expanded experience in coursework already taken: If you have a desire to work in research or are genuinely interested in certain topics, this is a great opportunity to explore your field.  Naturally when you take a research position in your discipline you will be going more in depth into classes you’ve already taken.

Allow you to develop self-discipline and organization: Typically the professor you work with will give you an assignment and you will complete it on a deadline in order to get the research done in a timely manner. This will give you skills on how to manage your time between work and play, which is vital if you want to succeed.

Get to know a professor: Professors are people too and they are here to help you in your career, so working with them is a great way to understand how they got to where they are today and possibly find some connections to what you want to do in the future after you graduate.


For some of you who may not know what a UROP is it’s an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. This is a program that allows students to conduct their own research on a specific topic in their discipline.  Here are some of the aspects of a UROP.

Work independently: If blazing your own trail is more how you live your life then this is a wonderful opportunity to craft how your research will turn out. With the guidance of a professor you choose to advise on your project, you can develop meaningful analysis that drives your discipline.

Explore a topic that truly interests you: Although you will have to get your topic approved by UMD, as long as your topic is relevant and provides meaningful discussion in your field, the sky is the limit.

Get funding from department: Did I mention you get money to do this? Depending on the length of the project the University of Minnesota Duluth will compensate you for your hard work.

Present topic: One great opportunity to showcase your accomplishment is presenting your results. Students who complete their research project are able to present in front of the National Conference of Undergraduate Research as well as the UMD Undergraduate Research/Artistic Showcase. Although this is not required it is a great skill to be able to present in front of your colleagues.

Add to your resume: Beefing up you resume is important and completing a project like this shows a lot of great qualities to employers.

Both Undergraduate Research Positions and UROP’s create a new area of learning that you should definitely take advantage of in the future.  From developing skills that may help you in your career to learning about something that interests you these programs can help shape your college career.

Read Chris’s other posts

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