Every year, the OUR offers a wide range of programs to support students
and faculty to collaborate in research. Some of the programs trace back to the before the beginning of the Office of Undergraduate Research and others have been developed in recent years. We are always looking for ways to foster undergraduate research activities at UWM, so if you have ideas, let us know them!
The primary programs offered by the OUR are listed below. Follow the links for more information.
- The Support for Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURF) program.Three
times a year, faculty and students co-write proposals for funding that
are then reviewed by a faculty committee. The awards are limited to
$1,500 per semester during the academic year and $3,000 in the summer.
The awards are paid out as student hourly salaries in the $10-$12/
hour range. In 2018, over 480 awards (totaling about $790,000) were
awarded to faculty/student teams across campus.
- The UR@UWM Summer Research Program for Incoming Students: The OUR manages a highly successful residential program for incoming freshmen and transfer students who work as research assistants in the summer before starting at UWM. The program typically works with about twenty students/year (there were 27 in 2018) and is a highly competitive program. Students are provided room and board on campus and given a modest stipend for participation. This is an excellent way to jump start undergraduate studies at UWM.
- The UWM Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program began in 2000 as a pilot program in the College of Letters and Science. The success of the program led to the opening of the Office of Undergraduate Research in 2008. The Office continues to offer the UROP for small cohorts of first- and second-year students. Students in the UROP are paired with a faculty research mentor in their field and participate in a weekly seminar with other
students in the program.
- Course-Based Research Projects (formerly FYRE) is the newest initiative of the OUR. High-achieving first year students are recruited for the program after applying to the university. Students will take part in small, research-focused seminars in departments from across the campus. Pilots of the project ran in 2015 through a grant from the UW-System.
- The Senior Excellence in Research Award (SERA) goes to four or five seniors who have been significantly active in undergraduate research during their time at UWM and who propose a research plan for their senior year. Applications are due April 1, 2020 for the following academic year. The SERA award recipients meet monthly to discuss their research progress and will share their outcomes with an oral presentation at a colloquium in the spring. They also serve as ambassadors for undergraduate research in various ways including class visits and media interviews.
- The OUR provides support for overseas and domestic travel for students. The Overseas Undergraduate Research Awards are a collaboration between the OUR and the Center for International Education on campus. The awards are typically for advanced researchers. For the summer of 2016, for example, the OUR provided funds for nine students to complete research in Malawi (2), Cyprus (1), Australia (3), and South Africa (3). The OUR also offers Undergraduate Research Travel Grants for conference travel. Applications are co-written by faculty and students and the awards (up to $500) are intended to defray travel expenses UWM undergraduate students presenting at domestic US disciplinary conferences. In 2018, the OUR gave out 24 awards to students presenting at conferences like the American Society of Human Genetics and the Society for Neuroscience annual meetings.
- UWM Undergraduate Research Symposium: May 1, 2020. Every year since 2008-2009, the OUR has organized a spring campus-wide undergraduate research symposium. The event is coordinated with smaller disciplinary symposia across the campus. A hallmark of the campus event is the participation of campus faculty and staff as judges (as many as 200).
- NCUR and WiSCUR: The OUR covers all the expenses for delegations of UWM undergraduates to participate in the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) and the UW System Symposium on Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity. The office typically sends about 40-50 students to NCUR and about 20 students to the UW System Symposium organized by the Wisconsin Council on Undergraduate Research (WisCUR). In 2014 and 2015, the OUR hosted the WisCUR event and had record numbers (over 700 participants in 2015).
- UW System Research in the Rotunda: UWM joins other UW-System schools every year for a legislative outreach event at the state capitol: Research in the Rotunda. The OUR organizes UWM’s delegation comprised of leading undergraduate researchers from across the campus. Students are invited to participate by the OUR. This year’s event will take place on March 11, 2020. Here is a video of Rosetta Washington at the Rotunda event in 2016: