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UROP Pay Up by 25 Per Hour

By Jessica Schirmer

MIT’s research-driven undergraduates are moving up in the world with a 25 cent per hour raise.

The pay hike brings the maximum term-time stipend from $1,200 to $1,250, and raises the summer stipend from $4,150 to $4,275.

The last increase was in 2001, when the rate jumped from $8 to $8.75 per hour.

The hourly wages are dictated by balancing “how much we can pay with how many students we can fund,” said Michael Bergren, assistant dean of Academic Research Initiatives. This year’s budget for research funded through the UROP office, set at $1.4 million for the academic year, is the same as last.

Melissa Martin-Greene, Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program coordinator, said the UROP office predicts its funding allocations using statistics from previous years. For example, 790 students applied for direct funding during the ’04–’05 year, providing a baseline for the number of students the UROP office can expect to fund during the ’05–’06 academic year.

Students funded directly through the UROP office, a subset comprising 38 percent of UROP’s last year, are automatically affected by the elevated minimum wage. The wage set by the UROP office establishes the minimum wage for supervisor funded UROP’s as well.

While the deadline to apply for funding through the UROP office was early this month, supervisor-funded research proposals as well as those carried out for credit or on a volunteer basis will be accepted through Nov. 3.