UROP is a paid employment scheme designed to give undergraduate students an opportunity to experience real-life biomedical research. Most research positions available through the UROP scheme are laboratory-based, but UROP also offers biomedical research projects for computational science and mathematics students.
During semester time, UROP participants work ~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. Most laboratories require attendance during usual daytime business hours in order for appropriate supervision to occur. Participants are not expected to work during swot-vac and exam periods.
During vacation periods, students would usually work in the laboratory full-time for a total of at least 6 weeks (4 weeks during the summer and 2 weeks during the winter recess).
The start date of UROP placements is negotiated between the supervisor and the participant based on both parties’ availability allowing for 2 weeks full time employment for those accepted into the winter vacation and 4 weeks full time employment for those accepted into the summer vacation. It is required that students commence their project during the vacation period, so they can integrate into the laboratory before semester recommences.
UROP is not responsible for arranging the employment contact or any other aspects of the employment relationship. This is managed by the employing organisation/institute. UROP notifies the nominated Human Resources contact once the placement is finalised so that employment paperwork can be initiated.
After appointment, there is a probation period of 3 months for a 12 month placement. Once the probation period is successfully completed, the minimum expected duration of the UROP placement is 6 months, inclusive of the probation period. Participants can continue in the UROP scheme while they are undergraduates, as long as their academic performance is maintained to a satisfactory standard. Participants are not eligible for UROP once they commence an Honours year. Sometimes circumstances arise in the laboratory or with the participant that may mean the position may be terminated. In this case, two weeks notice must be given by either party.
Pay & Conditions
UROPs receive an hourly casual rate of pay for the time they work on their project, approximately equivalent to Higher Education Worker (HEW) 2 Casual (~$34/hour). They are required to fill out time sheets to confirm their attendance. Payment is managed through each research institution’s Human Resources unit. UROPs receive full safety training upon induction into the research institution. In the time that they are present in the research institution, they are covered by all regulations and conditions governing the organisation, including occupational health and safety, good scientific practice, ethics, intellectual property and confidentiality.
UROP Participants’ Responsibilities
Participants are required to:
- Work in a manner that complies with codes of good scientific practice, animal and human ethics regulations and occupational health and safety procedures.
- Sign the Intellectual Property and Confidentiality agreements of the research institution (if applicable).
- Work in a cooperative manner with other members of the research team, sharing results and meeting regularly with their supervisor.
- Keep to the hours of work agreed to between the student and supervisor and give reasonable notice if they need to suspend work on their project in order to concentrate on their studies. Note that the students’ performance in their undergraduate course must come first and academic performance will be monitored to ensure it is not detrimentally affected by participation in UROP.
- Provide the UROP office with an up to date contact email at all times and respond to annual calls for feedback when it is required.
- Present at the annual UROP Conference Day at least once
- Join the UROP Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages
Management of UROP
UROP is a program of Biomedical Research Victoria. The UROP team provides the recruitment service only and does not directly employ UROP students. Students placed in the scheme are employed by the hosting organisation or institution. No research is conducted at Biomedical Research Victoria premises. All placements are made in the participating institutions and university laboratories and the participant’s employment contract is with the organisation in which they are placed.