Program Description

  • LASURI works by pairing Undergraduate Research Assistants with Faculty Mentors and providing these research teams with financial support for one to two semester-long undergraduate research projects. Eligible Undergraduate Research Assistants receive an award of $1250 per semester, for a total of $2500 award per academic year. Faculty Mentors receive a fixed amount to cover direct costs associated with the project. Competition for program awards is open to any full-time LAS undergraduate who has earned at least 24 semester hours with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Faculty Mentors may have clinical, emeritus or research associate appointments.  Faculty from all colleges are welcome to participate in LASURI, but preference is given to faculty members having an affiliation with an LAS department.

Program Goals

LASURI aims to

  • improve undergraduates' awareness of research opportunities within LAS
  • increase faculty members' willingness and ability to incorporate undergraduate research into their scholarly activities
  • facilitate the establishment of mutually beneficial research partnerships between undergraduates and faculty members
  • foster intellectual and social community among UIC undergraduates
  • develop the research, communication, and leadership skills of undergraduate researchers

What is Undergraduate Research?

Undergraduate research is often defined as mentored, self-directed work through which students explore a topic of interest and share the results of their work in accordance with disciplinary standards. This definition, endorsed by LAS, allows for research projects to include a wide range of activities, including systematic inquiry and creative activity.*

The LASURI program has funded a wide variety of research projects, as evident in the sample of LASURI abstracts available here.

How LASURI works

  1. Faculty members interested in working with an Undergraduate Research Assistant (URA) should go to the Undergraduate Research Experience (URE) website and create a research profile describing their work and what they expect from their URA.  Faculty may also reach out to students directly.
  2. Students who are interested in serving as a URA should use the Undergraduate Research Experience (URE) website to find LAS faculty who are doing research that interests them, and contact that faculty member through that website. Students may also reach out to possible mentors directly.
  3. Faculty mentors and students meet, determine if they would like to work together, design a specific student project and establish the expectations for the project.  You may explore the type of questions included on the LASURI application to guide your discussions.
  4. Students fill out an online application during the application period, and submit it to the LASURI program by the posted deadline. Faculty mentors should help the student design the project and may help them prepare their application. Faculty mentors fill out a brief application and evaluation of the student's project. Faculty mentors will be contacted once the application has been submitted to verify that they have agreed to work with the student. If more than one student submits an application to work with a faculty mentor, the mentor will be asked to rank the applicants.  In most cases, because LASURI wants to support as many faculty as possible, only one student will be funded per mentor. Students whose research projects are selected will receive an award of up to $2500 (funds will be deposited directly into student accounts and applied to any outstanding balances on student accounts before being released to students). University and federal rules apply to the disbursement of funds. Students and their mentors will be notified of their award status as noted in the list of important dates.
  5. Faculty Mentors will be awarded a fixed amount to cover related project costs, including materials, travel, and equipment for student use. The funds will be submitted to the mentors' departments for disbursal to the mentors.
  6. At the end of the academic year, students are expected to present their research projects at the UIC Student Research Forum and submit their abstracts to the LASURI Abstract Archive, using the Final Abstract Submission form available on the "For Current Participants" section of this website.

Important Dates