About the Program
At UTC, the undergraduate student experience centers on inquiry, discovery and community. Through participation in undergraduate research our students acquire the twenty-first century skills necessary to successfully navigate the global world of work or advanced study, and make significant contributions to society. The Office for Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavor (URaCE) is committed to broadening undergraduate research experiences for all students regardless of background, discipline, or year of study, and fostering a robust research culture through targeted and intentional student programming. The Undergraduate Research Training Opportunity Program Scholars (URTOPS) program was established to support these goals.
The URTOPS program is intended for incoming freshman, transfer, or continuing UTC students who hold federal work study (FWS) awards or UTC Academic Service Scholarships. The program requires a one-year commitment (fall and spring semesters). During the fall semester, program participants engage in research and professional development training to prepare for a mentored research experience, which commences the following spring semester.
The URTOPS experience focuses on intensive research and career training intended for students interested in gaining a competitive advantage for graduate school, medical school, and professional careers. The program introduces students to the academic research culture through hands-on participation in research or creative projects, professional development training, and community building.
Under the direction of faculty mentors and program administrators, student scholars complete a research project, participate in professional development and research training, and build skills for future professional endeavors. Students across all disciplines are encouraged to apply. Students with a strong desire to pursue research centered careers at the doctoral level are strongly encouraged to apply.
Students without prior research experience, first-generation college students, and students from underrepresented and underserved populations are strongly encouraged to apply.
- URTOPS Student Expectations and Responsibilities
- Conduct research under the direction of a UTC faculty mentor.
- Share research findings through presentation and/or publication.
- Acquire workforce skills though participation in professional development activities.
- Attend all mandatory program activities including program seminars and related activities.
- Participate in weekly peer mentor consultations.
- Attend URaCE workshops and other special events to enhance skills and credentials.
- Complete CITI training certification.
- Conduct three informational research interviews with a UTC professor, staff, administrator, or graduate student.
- Create an e-portfolio to demonstrate academic and professional skills and accomplishments.
- Complete all assignments and meet all program deadlines as outlined in the program guidelines.
- Prior to and during the program, respond to information requests and other communications from faculty mentors and URaCE staff in a timely manner.
- Complete program assessments, and compose reflections and related materials.
- Attend a UTC thesis or doctoral defense on campus during the fall semester.
- Attend a department or UTC sponsored research seminar/talk during the fall semester.
- At the end of this program, URTOPS Scholars will be able to:
- Communicate one’s transferable skills to future employers, graduate programs, or medical programs.
- Demonstrate transferable skills through program work products and deliverables (research poster, CV, e-portfolio, reflections, required training modules, etc.).
- Solve intellectual problems using a variety of approaches.
- Communicate research findings though presentation and publication.
- Design and execute a research or creative project
- Identify the basic components of research
- Apply reflective thinking and writing to one’s academics and personal life.
- Examine one’s own ideas and perspectives and share them with others.
- Communicate skills and experiences via an e-portfolio.
- Compose a Curriculum Vitae.
- Articulate how one’s unique skills and experiences are “transferable” to the world of work.
- Value diverse perspectives in order to develop personally, academically, and professionally.
- Work collaboratively and independently to achieve a goal or objective.