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UROP Deadline Is Extended to 27th

By Hyun Soo Kim
News Editor

The deadline to submit summer Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program proposals has been extended from today to Wednesday, April 27. The deadline extension will give faculty and students more time to compile proposals in light of the recent decision for allocating the $1 million infusion to UROP, according to UROP Administrator Debbie H. Shoap.

Students must also complete a new form specifying which weeks they would work; these are due by 5 p.m. Wednesday. The UROP office encourages students to work as many weeks as possible before July 1, before a federal regulation eliminates waivers for overhead costs and employee benefits of UROP projects, making UROPs more expensive to fund.

Still, there is no penalty in the evaluation process for students who can not start work on their summer UROPs in mid-May.

Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs Travis R. Merritt said, "If enough students are able to front-load working weeks so that there won't be overhead charges on those weeks, it is possible that the $1 million will cover all the summer UROPs."

The faculty received a memo yesterday that stated the deadline extension and the allocation plan of the $1 million. Merritt said that clarification about the allocation may make professors more willing to accept UROPs.

The $1 million infusion will first be used to cover overhead and employee benefit costs of projects that receive sponsored research money. Then the rest will be used fund projects and employee benefit costs on projects that receive no outside funding.

This year, the quality of UROPs will be examined more closely, as they are no longer accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. "What we're hoping is that the million dollars will stretch enough so that comparative judgements will not have to be made," Merritt said. The applications will be evaluated on the quality of research by the UROP office and department coordinators, Merritt added.

Students will be notified about funding by about May 2, according to Shoap.

Faculty, students concerned

Both faculty and students have been concerned about UROP funding and how far the $1 million commitment to UROP by the Provost will stretch.

Jennifer L. Daigle '96, who applied for a summer UROP, said, "Definitely, there was confusion. I was confused, my supervisor was confused." However, she added that her supervisor "was pretty willing to find a way to get me funding."

"I think a lot of faculty members in the Physics Department had cut down on the number of UROPs they planned to have for the summer," said Professor David E. Pritchard, the Department of Physics UROP supervisor, "though I think that the [$1 million] infusion definitely caused them to hire more UROPs, especially to students in their group who had been working for pay."

Shoap added, "The $1 million infusion is literally a Band-Aid to get through the summer. The [funding situation] will come up again."

At the least, the deadline extension will give more time for students to find a UROP. Daigle said, "It's good especially for me, because I was running a little bit late. I'm trying to get UROP office funding, but if that doesn't work, I can get probably get funding from the department."

Cecilia J. Song '95 said, "Finding a UROP wasn't that hard, but funding was a problem." She said that getting full UROP funding was essential. "If I don't get [full funding], there's no UROP."

Daigle said that starting her summer UROP right after her final exams would not be a problem. Song disagreed, "I would rather take a break and come back in June, since there is no penalty for starting later it's too much to continue right after finals."