When are applications open?
There are two rounds of UROP intakes per year to coincide with the winter and summer vacations. Applications for the winter round are open in March and applications for the summer round are open in August. There are no exceptions for late applications.
How do I connect with other UROP students?
There is a UROP Facebook page. There is some material posted on the Facebook page that is not provided through any other media and it is recommended that all UROP students “like” the page.
Is UROP a vacation program?
No. While participants commence their placement during either the winter or summer vacation periods and can work during subsequent vacation periods, UROP continues during the academic semester. Participants who complete their degrees at the end of the academic year are not be eligible to apply for the Summer intake.
I am not studying biomedical sciences – can I still apply?
Yes, there are a variety of skills required in biomedical research and various projects are offered, this includes mathematics, statistics and computing. The applicant would have to demonstrate a strong interest in pursuing biomedical research or a related field.
Is UROP looking for participants with exceptional academic results or is interest in research more crucial?
Entry into the scheme is very competitive. Academic marks are certainly taken into account but we are looking for participants who demonstrate a flair and real passion for scientific research and who will benefit the most from exposure to actual novel research.
Does the participant choose the research area or laboratory they wish to work in?
Participants may indicate a particular interest in a research area or laboratory in their application or at interview. Every attempt is made to match participants to projects that will interest them or will complement their course but no guarantee can be made that a participant will be placed in a particular laboratory.
How can I find out more about the types of projects offered through the program?
There is a wide variety of projects included in the UROP scheme including basic biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and signal transduction, physiology and bioinformatics. The selection of projects differs with each intake as different supervisors offer projects each time.
Are outlines of projects available?
No. A variety of projects are offered in each round and they are different each time. Participants who get through the selection process are matched to relevant projects according to their expressed interests or subject major where possible. You can make contact with present and past UROP participants on the Facebook page regarding their projects.
Can I hold another part-time job as well as UROP?
UROP was conceived because it was recognised that participants often need to work part-time to support themselves throughout their studies. UROP participants are therefore paid as casual employees. As long as the time commitments of UROP can be met, participants may hold another part-time job. However, it is a condition of the UROP placement that the participant’s academic standards be maintained. If coursework standards decline as a result of too much outside work, participants may be required to terminate their UROP placement.
I am an international student, would I need to obtain a work visa?
Often, international participants are given a visa that allows them to study only. However, most international participants are entitled to work part-time. If you have a study-only visa, it will be necessary to have it altered. Information on visas is available from the Department of Immigration or from your university.
Should referees be university lecturers?
Not necessarily. If you have a lecturer whom you know, you may wish to ask them to be a referee. Alternatively, your tutors or demonstrators may know you better. If you have had some practical experience in a laboratory outside your coursework, you may wish to approach your supervisor from that experience.
Are medicine participants eligible?
MBBS/BMedSc is considered an undergraduate degree and is not considered a double degree. MBBS participants are eligible to apply but like all UROP participants must be available 8 hours per week during the semester and for 2 weeks full time during the winter vacation period and 4 weeks during the summer vacation period. MD is considered a graduate degree and therefore students of this degree are not eligible to apply for UROP.
I am doing a concurrent diploma as well as my undergraduate degree, is this considered a double degree?
No, it is not and you are eligible to apply for UROP if you meet the other requirements.
How should I prepare for the interview?
We will be looking for people who are enthusiastic about biomedical research so you might want to think beforehand about:
- Experiences or people that have inspired you
- What you think you could bring to the position
- Your motivation in applying for UROP
- What subjects you really enjoy in your course
- Any areas of biomedical research that are of particular interest to you
How long does it take to be notified of the outcome of the application?
All applicants will be notified by email of the status of their application (university e-mail account preferred). It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide a valid email address. Please add the UROP email addresses (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com) to your contacts so that email we send you does not go to your junk mail/spam.
Interviews are held 2-6 weeks after the close of applications. There may be late interviews which is why participants who do not appear to have been successful in gaining an interview are not notified that they are unsuccessful until after the interview process has commenced.
All applicants will be notified of the status of their application once final decisions are made. It may take up to 8 weeks following the close of applications to receive an email regarding your application. Please do not contact us regarding the status of your application before then.
How long does the process take before a placement is made?
Successful applicants are introduced to supervisors after the interviews. Depending on the availability of supervisors, the match between the participant and the supervisor and the participant’s exam timetable, the final placement may occur within two weeks or may not be made until two months after the initial interview.
Are study abroad and exchange participants eligible to apply?
The participants tenure in the scheme is expected to be at least six months so the exchange would have to be a long enough duration. They would have to be here to apply when the round is open and to attend an interview if successful. Out of session interviews will not be conducted. Many participants go on to do postgraduate work after their UROP placement so being able to stay on would be looked upon favourably.