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UROP to Increase Direct Funding Wage to $8 per hr.

By Karen E. Robinson

The wage rate for direct Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program funding will rise to $8 per hour beginning next fall, the UROP office announced. The rate has been $7.50 since 1996, according to UROP Program Administrator Michael Bergren.

The UROP office wage rate is also the minimum wage for faculty-funded student research projects. The average wage in projects not funded through the UROP office was slightly more than $8 in the fiscal year 1998, Bergren said. He said that he expects this average to rise and gradually adjust due to the new wage rate.

In 1998 approximately 80 percent of student projects were funded independently of the UROP office, and approximately $5 million of faculty funds were allocated for student research.

The last raise in UROP funding was in 1996, from $7.25 to $7.50. This change was preceded by an increase in institute minimum wage for students to $7.25. UROP hourly wage is now significantly more than campus minimum wage, although minimum wage, too, will eventually rise, Bergren said.

UROP’s endowment has been gradually increasing for several years, especially since the establishment of the Paul Gray ’54 UROP fund in 1996.

Changes in pay will take place next fall, but Bergren said he does not expect this to significantly decrease the number of UROPs that can be funded. Eight dollars was chosen as a “comfortable, reasonable figure” because the UROP program’s endowment is expected to continue to grow.

In addition to raising UROP pay, the UROP program is also sponsoring 25 more projects this summer than last summer.