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The Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) program invites faculty, research staff and dissertators to become a URS mentor

The URS program is currently accepting in-person and remote project listings from faculty members, post-doctoral fellows, academic staff, and dissertators who would like to mentor a first- or second-year undergraduate student as a research or creative practice assistant during the 2021-2022 academic year. The majority of Undergraduate Research Scholars are members of historically underrepresented groups on campus: BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) students, women in science and engineering, LGBTQ+ students, and/or first-generation college students.

URS Scholars earn credit through URS for participating in a year-long (two semesters) course of study that includes a seminar on issues in research and creative practice and hands-on experience with a Mentor’s research project or creative endeavor. The URS program promotes undergraduate research and intellectually creative engagement in all academic disciplines.

The Benefits
For Mentors, the benefits of working with a URS Scholar include the satisfaction of fostering the development of independent inquiry skills with a bright and eager student, acquiring valuable research or creative practice assistance, supporting an undergraduate’s exploration of academic and career interests, and connecting directly with the experiences of undergraduates on campus. This is a great service opportunity, and many URS students stay with their original URS Mentors throughout their undergraduate careers. You can see URS students speaking about their experiences in a short video here. Our students have established an impressive record of conference presentations and academic publications that support their post-graduation endeavors. Some of this work is featured in the College of Letters & Science’s “Fueling Discovery” supplement in the Wisconsin State Journal that you can find here and here.

How to Become a URS Mentor
Complete the online form at https://urs.ls.wisc.edu/mentor-project-form and your project will be listed in our 2021-2022 offerings. Our brief application should take no more than five to ten minutes of your time and asks you to list the tasks you anticipate students will conduct in person and/or remotely. Interested students will contact you through email beginning the second week in September and continuing throughout the month. After you interview prospective students, you may elect to have one or more work with you for the academic year.

URS Scholars register for Inter-LS 250 and earn 1-3 credits per semester through our program. (You do not need to find another way to compensate them for their work with you.) At the end of each semester, we will ask you to grade the student’s work on their project; then we will assign the student a final grade reflecting your grade and the student’s work in the URS seminar.

We urge you to submit your research or creative practice opportunity as soon as possible (and especially before Tues., Sept. 7, 2021). URS students will start looking for research or creative practice placement on the first day of classes (Sept. 8).

Where to Go for More Information
If you have questions about becoming a URS Mentor, please check out our website: https://urs.ls.wisc.edu/current-mentors. If questions remain, please contact URS Director Hannah Bailey (hannah.bailey@wisc.edu, 608-262-5884, Microsoft Teams—phone and Microsoft Teams will elicit the fastest responses).