The University of Arizona's Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP) is a full-time educational summer program designed to teach students science by involving them in biologically related research. Students are paid for their time in the lab where they develop an understanding of scientific method and receive a realistic view of biological research. They also acquire the tools necessary to be successful in post-graduate studies should they choose careers related to biology or biomedical research.
Interested students access the online application by creating an account via the UBRP home page; the electronic application for the summer positions is posted October 1 each year and the deadline is February 1. A committee composed of scientists from several departments that participate in the program evaluate all of the applicants and select those who appear to be able to benefit most from this experience. These students are sent acceptance letters instructing them that their participation in the program is contingent upon finding a faculty mentor with whom to work. Students set up interviews with potential mentors and by the end of March the mentor/student matches are made. Payroll meetings are done in April and UBRP orientation occurs in May.
Orientation & Training:
Once students finish the day-long UBRP orientation, they conduct research for 12 weeks, full time, during the summer. Because the summer is roughly 14 weeks long, students can take a break and still fulfill program expectations. In addition to their research, students meet weekly during the summer for small group discussions, where they learn to present their work to their peers every other week. On the alternate weeks they attend scientific lectures and workshops with all UBRP students. Additional optional activities such as hikes and picnics supplement the research experience and build community among undergraduate researchers.
Presentation and Next Steps:
Mentor evaluations and evaluations by participating students are done at the end of July. Students may apply to continue their participation in UBRP during the academic year; the number of positions offered is based on available funding.
All UBRP students are expected to present their experimental results at the annual UBRP Conference, held in January. In addition to discussing science, the Conference provides a forum for recognition of Outstanding UBRP mentors.