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UROP Deadline Next Friday

By Sam Hartman
Staff Reporter

Guidelines for Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program proposals have been tightened in order to give all students a fair chance at being funded in spite of a UROP budget crunch, UROP director Norma McGavern said.

All proposals for UROP funding must be turned in by Sept. 15. The UROP office must wait until all proposals are turned in before deciding which proposals should be funded with UROP money. "We don't want it to be a race for the first proposal to be turned in," McGavern said. "We want people to feel free [to] bring in their proposals during a limited period of time," McGavern said.

The Sept. 15 deadline allows the UROP office to review all the proposals at once, rather than having to allocate funds with the knowledge that more proposals may come in later. "What we're really asking is for people to get a bit better organized so we can do things more equitably and fairly," McGavern said.

According to a UROP press release, the UROP office will accept proposals for faculty-funded research after Sep. 15. As in previous years, the UROP office will review and approve these proposals. However, these proposals must be received by Nov. 15.

"Anyone who begins [the UROP application process] that late has been kind of sloppy," McGavern said. She said that either they have already been working on research that they haven't written a proposal for, or they are doing something close enough to the end of the term that they could easily do it at the beginning of the next cycle.

Summer UROP participation encouraging

UROP Administrator Debbie H. Shoap said in the press release that 750 students had paid UROP projects this summer - at least 300 more students than the UROP office had expected.

McGavern said that the UROP office expected a large decrease in paid UROP positions because of regulations requiring UROP funding to pay for indirect costs and employee benefits.

UROP availability was very discouraging during the fall 1994 term, right after these regulations went into effect, McGavern said.The UROP staff was not sure what the low number of funded UROPs for the fall would mean for this past summer, she said.

"We have no basis for comparison. We threw together some percentages and we came up with a possible drop between 40 and 60 percent, but in retrospect, that was somewhat pessimistic," she said

One of the newer ways of seeking UROP funding is the Undergraduate Corporate Research Fellows program begun last spring. The program offers students "guaranteed funding available at $8 per hour. For the faculty member it offers funded students and some small amount of money for material and services," McGavern said.

McGavern said that while several companies have expressed interest, the program is getting off to a slow start. In addition, the UROP office is also seeking donations to the UROP endowment.