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UROP: Application

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

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Application deadline for the year 2024 funding is December 4, 2023, at 11:59pm CST.


The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) is soliciting applications from faculty mentors of promising undergraduate students at all Louisiana universities and colleges. UROP, established in 1992 by the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program (LSG), offers the Louisiana undergraduate community funding to support hands-on research experiences in marine and coastal resource issues. Previously funded projects have dealt with topics such as coastal ecology, fisheries, aquaculture, environmental engineering and genetics.

Approximately seven projects will be funded depending on funds available for the 2024 project period (March 2024 to December 2024); each faculty member will receive up to $3,500 to cover student wages, supplies and necessary travel. As part of the 2024 UROP experience, undergraduate student researchers and their mentors will take part in the national Sea Grant Community Engaged Internship (CEI) program. Participants will have the opportunity to interface with a national network, access to professional development opportunities and more. Both student wages and academic credit may be earned concurrently if the policies of your institution allow this practice. Faculty mentors of full-time undergraduate students at Louisiana colleges and universities are eligible to submit applications.

Applications must demonstrate the proposed project’s connection and benefit to Louisiana’s coastal communities. We encourage applications from individuals and institutions serving groups that are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields.

A UROP proposal is limited to a three-page narrative single-spaced. Font must be at least 11-point type size. All margins should be one inch. Tables, graphs, and references can be attached in the Additional Documents section and are not included in the three-page limit. Any proposal narrative that goes over the three-page limit will be disqualified.

The narrative portion must include the following information:

  • Project background and description: Describe the proposed UROP project and how it aligns with Louisiana Sea Grant’s mission and strategic plan.
    • What do you expect to be the project accomplishments and benefits to both the scientific community and end-user communities of Coastal Louisiana?
    • In particular, is it anticipated that the proposed project would benefit underserved communities in coastal Louisiana (even if the expected outcome will require additional work to achieve impacts)? Underserved communities may be underserved because of geographic location, racial and ethnic status and/or other special needs (such as language barriers, disabilities, alienage status or age).
  • Research approach: Succinctly describe the rationale for the UROP project, its proposed objectives and research approach.
  • Role of the UROP student: Include a description of the UROP student’s role in the project and his/her working relationship with the faculty mentor(s).

**A UROP application must be submitted by a faculty member. Students should not submit the application but are encouraged to work with their faculty mentor in developing the application.

Applications will be accepted until Dec. 4, 2023, at 11:59pm CST. Apply via our online eSeaGrant system.

NOTE: If you are having difficulty with the link, copy and paste the following URL into your browser —

Review Process

Applications will be evaluated by peer reviewers that include Louisiana Sea Grant (LSG) Extension personnel, subject matter experts, faculty with appropriate expertise and/or graduate students participating on LSG sponsored research (training for them also). This process will result in a minimum of three written peer reviews that are free from conflict of interest. Evaluations will be based upon the following review criteria and scoring system:

  • Are the methods and rationale for the proposed research appropriate?
  • Does the proposal have a clearly stated objective that is achievable within the given constraints of time and resources?
  • Does the proposed research align with Louisiana Sea Grant’s mission and strategic plan and demonstrate a clear connection and benefit of the proposed project to both coastal and/or marine science and the communities LSG serves (i.e., the potential for end-user application of the results of this proposed research), and overall, materials submitted suggest that this application will benefit individuals or communities that have been historically underserved?
  • Is the role of the student clearly described in the application and will the student have adequate support (budgeted and/or non-budgeted), as well as a unique opportunity to experience state-of-the-art methods for sampling, measurement and analysis?

Louisiana Sea Grant uses a five-point rating system for each review criterion for all applications: Excellent: 5 (exhibits outstanding quality/relevance); Very Good 4: (above average quality/relevance); Good: 3 (routine/average quality/relevance); Fair: 2 (marginal quality/relevance); Poor: 1 (missed the mark, has major deficiencies, low relevance).

A review panel will be convened to synthesize the results of the written peer reviews and help LSG determine which applications are fundable using the same review criteria as the peer reviews. The panel will consist of Sea Grant staff, external researchers and other subject matter experts with expertise in disciplines broadly represented by the applications under consideration. The panel may include peer reviewers and will provide significant input external to LSG to benefit from a diversity of perspectives.

LSG will submit a final list of projects that includes those recommended for funding to the NSGO based on the full review process, panel recommendations, available funding and current program priorities. The NSGO reviews and provides final approval on the projects to be funded.

LSG may forward (or not forward) a proposal for funding out of scoring rank based on the following criteria:

  • balance/distribution of funds across academic disciplines, RFA focus areas and geography of work location;
  • availability of funding;
  • program-specific objectives; and
  • poor performance of a PI in completing progress and final reports on previous LSG-funded projects.

Not all highly rated projects will be funded. LSG does not have enough funding to cover all the outstanding applications that we receive for this opportunity.

Additional Requirements and Information

Applications that are recommended for funding must submit a valid data management plan (or alternative statement if no data management plan is needed), as well as a completed Abbreviated Environmental Compliance Questionnaire (and copies of associated permits, if applicable).

Projects that involve the use of human test subjects (including surveys) or animal use/testing require approval of the applicant’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) or animal care and use committee (IACUC) before such research can proceed. Applicants are responsible for obtaining IRB or IACUC approval from their institution and providing that documentation to LSG prior to any Sea Grant-funded human subject or animal testing.

A written final report of research accomplishments and findings, developed by the student in collaboration with their faculty mentor, is required. The UROP final report should include the following: Title page (with authors and date), abstract, introduction, methods and results – i.e., the typical scientific reporting or publishing format. The results section must include the significance of the research, considering not only the scientific value but societal implications as well. We will accept peer-reviewed papers or theses for this requirement. Since the peer review process takes time, a preliminary report can be submitted and then follow-up with a published paper when the manuscript is accepted for publishing. We do not accept posters as a fulfillment of UROP report requirements. Students are encouraged to present their findings at university forums in addition to state, regional, national and international conferences. Louisiana Sea Grant may provide limited travel funds to UROP students to attend these events should a student’s abstract be accepted for presentation.

Calendar for 2024
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program
October 2023 RFP posted on Louisiana Sea Grant Web site and sent out via email
4 December 2023 Deadline to submit proposals through eSeaGrant
Mid-December – mid-January Evaluation of proposals by peer reviewers
Late January 2024 Convene review panel and make funding recommendations
Early February 2024 Notify applicants of funding status
1 March 2024 Begin new UROP projects

Contact Info:

If you have any questions, please contact:

Katie Lea
Reporting and Evaluation Manager
[email protected]
Matthew Bethel, Ph.D.
Associate Executive Director of Research
[email protected]