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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 Undergraduate Research. Interested faculty members should read the information below and complete a position description form to be considered as a mentor for the following academic year. 

What is USOAR?

USOAR is a program that matches first-, second- and transfer undergraduate students who do not have previous significant experience in research with a paid research position. 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 not only introduce students to the enriching experiences surrounding research but also provide students with the chance to build strong relationships with faculty.

What makes USOAR distinct?

USOAR supports students new to UVA and from underrepresented populations and provide them with a path into academic research and creative inquiry. USOAR serves Federal Work Study (FWS) eligible students, and interested faculty can find more information on FWS at UVA here.

How do I participate?

The call for position descriptions for the 2022-2023 academic year has now opened, please use this link to submit an abstract for a position description

Submissions are due by June 3rd, 2022.

If you are able to submit a position description after June 3rd but within the month, please use the form above to do so and send an email to so we know you have sent us a position to post. 

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. In spring term, we will organize an Undergraduate Research Symposium in which students and their mentors are expected to participate.

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