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Student Frequently Asked Questions

Below you'll find answers to frequently asked questions about the UPRISE program. If you have further questions, please contact: Dr. Heather Norton heather.norton@uc.edu


Who is eligible for the UPRISE program?

UPRISE is open to UC undergraduates (domestic and international) who are rising sophomores through rising seniors and who identify with groups who are under-represented in STEM fields. “Underrepresented” in this context could mean many different things and might vary depending on your field of research. In your application, you will explain why you feel this program would help you achieve your academic and career goals.

When is the application deadline, and when will I find out if I have been accepted?

Fill out the application for the 2022 program by February 25, 2022. Decisions are usually shared with students in mid- to late-March.

How does the application review process work? How am I matched to a project?

Student applications are reviewed by the UPRISE committee. The committee first identifies students that should be admitted to the program (UPRISE can typically support 20 students each summer). The UPRISE Committee will conduct a holistic application review to evaluate a student’s potential for success in the program. Factors considered include GPA, a student’s potential for research (as described in their letters of recommendation), and their personal statement. In their personal statement students will explain why representation is important in STEM fields, how this impacts them personally, and how the UPRISE program can help them to achieve their academic and long-term career goals. Then, using information provided on the student application, as well as mentor feedback, students are matched with projects and mentors. Because not every student can be matched with their first choice of project we ask that you list two-three projects that you would be interested in working on.

How do I choose a project?

You should review the listed project descriptions. After identifying projects that you are interested in, you should arrange to set up a meeting with the faculty mentor. This meeting will help you assess whether the project is a good fit for you. It will also allow the mentor to determine if you are a good fit for the project—you should treat this meeting like a job interview (we use mentor feedback to match students to projects.

Can I request to work on a project if I have not met with the faculty mentor?

No, you must meet with the faculty mentor in order to list that project on your application. We will not match you to a project if you have not met with the mentor before submitting your application. Remember—faculty can be busy, so it is wise to set these meetings up early in the semester, and not right before the application deadline.

What are the requirements for the WISE program?

Participants in the WISE program commit to forty hours of research effort per week on their designated projects during the program period (May 2-July 28, 2022). Participants also must attend weekly WISE workshops (these typically take place Monday mornings, from 9-11). At the end of the program participants give a formal research presentation and submit a research report summarizing their project.

The application says that I must include unofficial transcripts. How do I do that?

You can access your unofficial transcript via Catalyst.

The application says that two letters of recommendation are needed. Who are the best people to ask for these letters?

These letters must comment on your research potential. As such, letters from employers are unlikely to carry much weight (unless you are working in a research position). Your professors are excellent individuals to write these letters, as they can comment on your academic skills. Even if they have not observed you in a research capacity they can usually make an assessment of your likely research potential. One or both of the letters can come from the faculty mentors that you interview with. However, if the first time that these mentors meet you is in your interview, they may not have a lot to say about you. Letters from high-school teachers may not serve you well, since the letters need to comment on your research potential, a key input we are seeking in a UPRISE recommendation. Letters from friends or classmates are not acceptable.

Can I take classes or work at a part-time job during the summer while I am in the UPRISE program?

Unfortunately, no. The program requires your full-time commitment on your research project—no concurrent course work is permitted.

Will the UPRISE program impact my financial aid?

The funding you receive from this award is classified as a scholarship for financial aid purposes. Therefore, it could limit your ability to accept other scholarships or federal aid per institutional policy and federal regulations. Additionally, this award can reduce financial aid already received during this academic year. It is important to review your aid eligibility and the impact of this award with staff at One Stop prior to accepting this funding and to review information on the Financial Aid website.

Our family has already scheduled a summer vacation during the UPRISE program period—will I be able to join them?

If this is unavoidable, and is for no more than one week, you may be permitted to begin your research earlier than the scheduled start date so as to ensure that you contribute to the full 12 weeks of research time. All arrangements for this must be discussed and approved in advance by your research mentor.

Does UPRISE provide accommodation for housing or provide reimbursement for parking?

Unfortunately, UPRISE does not have the funds to support student housing, or to provide transportation/parking vouchers.


Questions? Contact Us

Headshot of Dr. Heather Norton

Dr. Heather Norton

UPRISE Director