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There are many ways to approach an undergraduate research project. You have options that include credit opportunities, jobs through Student Employment, and full-time summer projects either at the University of Minnesota or other institutions around the country. You also have the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) that will provide a stipend and expense money for a research project done with a faculty member at the University of Minnesota.
The University of Minnesota's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides funding to U of MN undergraduates who work on a research project with a faculty mentor. UROP provides a stipend (up to $1400 for approximately 120 hours of research) and expense money (up to $300 for project related expenses) to students. UROP is open to freshmen through seniors who are in an undergraduate degree program in good academic standing. Applications are accepted twice a year through the web site. For more information, go to the Everything UROP page.
Registration for Directed Study/Directed Research allows you to design and carry out an independent project, working one-on-one with a faculty member for academic credit. Most, if not all, departments provide Directed Study/Research course designations.The Directed Study/Research project is a contract between you, the faculty member, and the faculty member's department. You must negotiate the details with the faculty member, who should know the departmental policies that apply. Departments and individual faculty have different policies and practices. For examples of college specific information, you can look at the links for CLA and CBS.
Student Employment opportunities for research include both on and off-campus employment. While you may find a number of opportunities in some disciplines, others have few to none. Visit the Student Employment web site for more information.
There are a number of summer research programs in different disciplines at the U of MN. In addition, institutions around the country provide opportunities for students to do full time research projects during the summer. You can go here for a list of some of the U of MN programs. Other useful links include the CIC Summer Research Opportunities Program, the McNair Scholars programs, NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates,and NIH funded programs. You can find other summer opportunities by searching the web. Deadlines are approaching rapidly (most are in February or March).
The deadline for UROP proposals for research and creative activities in Summer or Fall 2013 is February 25, 2013.