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Become a USOAR Mentor

Undergraduate Student Opportunities in Academic Research (USOAR)
Call for Faculty Mentors

USOAR matches undergraduate students with a paid research position funded by the Federal Work Study program and the Office of Citizen Scholar Development. Interested faculty members should read the information below and complete a project submission form to be considered as a mentor for the following academic year. 

What is USOAR?

USOAR is a program that matches first-year, second-year, and transfer undergraduate students who do not have previous significant research experience with a paid research position funded by the Federal Work Study program and the Office of Citizen Scholar Development (OCSD). Significant research is a research experience, other than writing an academic paper, as part of a course, or participating in a laboratory-based course, under a faculty member’s supervision or participating directly in a faculty member’s research activities, whether at UVA or elsewhere. Students will spend 5-10 hours per week during the academic year working with their faculty supervisor in research-related tasks or projects. USOAR strives to introduce students to the enriching experiences surrounding research and the opportunity to build strong relationships with faculty.

What makes USOAR distinct?

  • It targets rising first-year, second-year, and transfer undergraduate students who do not have previous significant experience in research.
  • It seeks to attract students with financial need and from underrepresented populations and provide them with a path into research with a faculty mentor.
  • USOAR serves Federal Work Study (FWS) eligible students, and interested faculty can find more information on FWS at UVA here.

How do I participate?

Project submissions for the 2024-2025 academic year are due May 29, 2024 - link to submit coming soon! If you are interested in participating in USOAR in a future year or have questions, please contact us at citizenscholars@virginia.edu.

How does it work?

We will post your position description to the student USOAR site and open the application process to incoming students. The prospective students will submit applications along with cover letters and resumes for your position. In early August, the USOAR program administrators will provide you with the applicants for your position to review. You will have the opportunity to interview a small number of students who have applied to your position and select a subset of those whom you would most like to have as a mentee.

By accepting a USOAR mentee, you commit to mentoring and supervising that student in an ongoing research project over the entire academic year. We intend for USOAR students to gain a holistic learning experience through which they will have the opportunity to develop professionally and gain substantive research experience. Students should develop an understanding of the research process and their individual contribution to their faculty mentor’s overarching research goals.

The students will take a one-credit course for the Fall and Spring semesters in which they will discuss their experiences, compare notes, assess the program's impact on their undergraduate experience, and receive other programming on topics related to research. Students will prepare in class presentations during their spring term and are encouraged to participate in the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Student wages will be funded 100% through a combination of Federal Work Study funds and supplemental funding provided by the Office of Citizen Scholar Development. We will manage the HR processes related to hiring the student workers.

Questions

Email citizenscholars@virginia.edu