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Mission, Vision, and Values

Our mission

The Undergraduate Research Program (URP), which is housed at the University of Washington in the Center for Experiential Learning and Diversity, Mary Gates Hall 171, under the auspices of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, facilitates research experiences for undergraduates with UW faculty members across the disciplines. URP maintains a listing of current UW research opportunities and national programs.

The URP assists UW undergraduates in:

  • Planning for an undergraduate research experience
  • Identifying faculty mentors and projects
  • Defining research goals
  • Presenting and publishing research findings
  • Seeking funding for research

The URP helps UW faculty by:

  • Inviting them to post their undergraduate research opportunities on this website
  • Encouraging them to visit our Mentoring Resources page for information on incorporating undergraduates in their research and scholarship and to keep undergraduates aware of local and national funding sources
  • Offering assistance in preparing grant proposals for funding department-based undergraduate research opportunities
  • Providing support for the inclusion of research projects in undergraduate courses through the emerging Research Learning initiative

The URP also maintains a list of undergraduate research opportunities during the summer and beyond
UW, in addition to a list of local and national conferences. If you would like to list an opportunity beyond UW on our website, please email us at

Through events such as the Annual UW Undergraduate Research Symposium, opportunities including the
Summer Institute in the Arts & Humanities, and courses such as Research Exposed!, and related workshops and resources, the URP promotes and facilitates ways for undergraduates to participate in research with faculty.

The URP works to ensure that all UW students have access to undergraduate research opportunities by:

  • Creating initiatives that expand research opportunities;
  • Providing a public forum for students to present their work; and,
  • Assisting faculty to integrate undergraduates into the knowledge-making process.

To specifically address the interests and needs of individual students and faculty, URP staff
are available for consultation during quarterly drop-in hours or by appointment.

Our vision

The Undergraduate Research Program (URP) works toward ensuring that all UW undergraduates who wish to enrich their education with research obtain such experience.

We are committed to the integration of URP activities and services into the educational experience of undergraduates.

This system would include:

  • Planning with students to include research in their academic program
  • Working with faculty to develop and publicize new research opportunities
  • Assisting students in accessing research opportunities
  • Fostering student understanding of the development of research questions and approaches
  • Providing instruction on research methodologies, etiquette, and ethics
  • Creating opportunities for students to make their work public
  • Creating opportunities for students to envision themselves as contributing participants in a community of scholars

Our values

The Undergraduate Research Program (URP) values:

  • Each student’s individual learning path
  • Research as a deep learning experience, which motivates understanding of basic concepts through their application to a real problem and helps students to develop a deeper understanding of more complex materials

We provide students with:

  • A safe place for intellectual risk-taking
  • Practice in formulating good questions
  • Insight into the lives and work of faculty
  • Confidence in themselves as creative participants in their fields
  • An opportunity for active learning, rather than the passive reception of knowledge
  • An opportunity to think about the relationships between knowledge and across disciplines

We value undergraduate participation in research as a way to afford faculty members:

  • Fresh points of view that may reveal new ways of seeing accepted ideas
  • A sense of undergraduates as partners in uncovering new knowledge, rather than as the recipients of what the faculty member already knows
  • The chance to communicate their joy and passion about their research to students
  • An opportunity to bring new students into their fields

We value the role that undergraduate research plays in relationship to:

  • Each student’s overall undergraduate experience
  • Classroom learning
  • Personal growth and development of long term educational and career goals
  • Building a community of student scholars
  • Other kinds of experiential learning that allow students to extend and practice their learning

We value the public presentation of each student’s work as:

  • A completion step in the research process
  • A means by which to build a community of undergraduate scholars
  • A way to help students develop basic skills that are transferable

We value collaboration with faculty, departments, programs, and other institutions in support of student learning.