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URAP at Illinois

URAP mentors and mentees 2015-2016

What is URAP?

The Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) at Illinois, a partnership between the Office of Undergraduate Research and the Graduate College, connects undergraduates who are new to research with experienced graduate students and postdocs who mentor and guide them through the research process.

What do URAP Graduate Mentors do?

Through participation in the program, URAP mentors gain hands-on experience mentoring undergraduate researchers, develop a robust mentoring philosophy, and learn how to inspire and direct new researchers. Mentors define semester-long projects connected to their own research, which mentees undertake in the Spring semester.

During the 2020-21 academic year, Graduate Mentors commit to:

  • Participating in a seminar series focused on developing mentoring skills in late Fall 2020
  • Mentoring 1-2 undergraduate students, each working approximately 6 hours per week in Spring 2021
  • Enrolling in a 0-credit “Graduate Mentoring Practicum” which meets regularly to offer mentors support and further training in Spring 2021

URAP is a valuable professional development opportunity. Experience mentoring others and guiding their work is crucial for success in many common career paths for graduate students and postdocs, including faculty careers, industry research, higher education administration, nonprofit leadership, and others. During the program, URAP Mentors will gain skills in this area and learn how to connect those skills to their own career goals.

URAP Mentors receive a Mentoring Certificate upon completion of the program.

How do I become a URAP Graduate Mentor?

The Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program invites applications from graduate students and postdocs interested in serving as URAP mentors during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Successful applicants typically have demonstrated research experience, have made significant progress on their degrees, and are able to commit sufficient time to the program (particularly in the Spring when demands are heaviest).

To apply, fill out the URAP Mentor application form and submit all supporting materials by August 9.

URAP Mentor Application Form

Application materials:

  • A current CV
  • Statement 1: Why are you interested in serving as a URAP mentor? What are your goals for participation in the program? [350 words max]
  • Statement 2: Describe your research and discuss the potential for the involvement of an undergraduate research apprentice in it. What will an undergraduate learn by participating in your research? What could a student expect in terms of their primary responsibilities? (Please write this statement with an audience of first- and second-year undergraduates in mind and avoid highly technical language.) [350 words max]
  • Letter of support from advisor or Director of Graduate Studies (sent directly to with the applicant’s full name in the subject line)

Upcoming Information Sessions

There will be two information sessions for prospective URAP Mentors, during which you can learn more about the program and hear from previous mentors about their experiences:

• July 15, 1:00pm-2:00pm, online
• August 3, 11:00am-12:00pm, online


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