Updates for 2020-2021 URSA Engage Program

While we hope that undergraduates and mentors will be able to work together in-person during the 2020-2021 school year, we are planning for the possibility that students in the URSA Engage Program will be required to engage in research remotely. Keep in mind that if OSU is operating remotely, only student applications that outline remote alternatives for proposed projects can be accepted.


Updates for 2019-2020 URSA Engage Program

Guidelines for Continuing Research:

  • Research at an OSU facility: Even though the majority of OSU courses will be taught remotely during fall term 2020, many undergraduates will continue to engage in research (some remotely, and some in person)! Keep in mind, that the continuation plan for research is separate from the plan for coursework. Some undergraduate researchers are now working on campus, while others are continuing to engage in research remotely. We recommend that students reach out to their faculty mentors to have a conversation about whether you will collaborate on-site/in-person, remotely, or a blend of on-site/in-person and remote, following OSU fall term guidelines. If you're not currently living near your original research site, ask your mentor if there is research that can be done remotely instead. If remote research is not possible, ask if you can delay your URSA Engage timeline and finish your 75 hours by the end of spring term 2021 instead (see updated program requirements, below). If delaying is not possible, please send us an email about your specific situation.

  • Doing research remotely: Some of you have been doing your research remotely all along. That’s great! There are many contexts in which this is possible (computer science, thematic coding, literature reviews, video analysis, etc). If this is the case, your URSA Engage timeline may not be impacted at all.

Updated Program Timeline and Requirements:

Students in the URSA Engage Program are expected to engage with their research projects for a total of 75 hours. Typically, we ask that students engage with their research for 5 hrs/week for 15 weeks (the middle of winter term to the end of spring term). However, given the recent changes in campus operations, we would like to share these more flexible program requirements:

  • Students in the URSA Engage Program are expected to do research for a total of 75 hours from the middle of winter term 2020 to the end of spring term 2021. We recognize that every research context is different and will let each student and mentor decide when these hours will take place between now and the end of fall term.

  • Students are required to meet with their mentor at least once a week, or 2-3 times a quarter if a graduate student or postdoc is available to meet with the student at least once a week. We hope that everyone will do their best to meet this requirement while they’re working toward their 75 hours, either virtually, or in-person when OSU resumes normal operations.
  • Students are required to present their work at either CUE (Celebrating Undergraduate Excellence) in May 2020 or at the SURS (Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium) in September 2020. Students also have the option to present at CUE in 2021, if necessary.
  • Students are required to submit a written report which includes details of engagement in the research/creative activity, and impacts of the mentoring relationship on your undergraduate experience. The reports are usually 1-2 pages, single-spaced. We’d like for you to touch on the details of what you did (e.g. why you did your project, what you did, what you found, why it matters) and the impacts of the mentoring relationship on your undergraduate experience (how did you benefit from having research mentors? Did they influence your academic or career decisions? Did they help you in some other way?). Reports are due on June 4th, 2021 and should be uploaded here.
  • Students are required to attend a professional development workshop offered through our office, called "Getting the Most from Undergraduate Research." Please RSVP here for our next offering if you haven't yet attended.
  • Students are required to visit undergraduate research advising hours at least once during their participation in the program. Advising hours are hosted virtually via Zoom every Monday and Tuesday from 1-3 PM.

We recognize that folks are affected by this change in campus operation in varied and unexpected ways. If any of these updated requirements present a challenge to you, please email me (Sophie Pierszalowski) at [email protected] so we can come up with a plan that works for everyone.