Summer Research Opportunities Program

The UI Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) is for you if you are interested in a challenging research experience. SROP is an award-winning eight-week program designed to provide promising underrepresented undergraduate students with in-depth research experiences. The SROP program strives to prepare young investigators to achieve their goals of pursuing graduate work and of becoming tomorrow's academic leaders as faculty or with successful careers in government, business, and non-profit agencies. Students receive first-hand exposure to the graduate school experience and to faculty life by being paired with a faculty mentor whose work is closely related to your academic interests and career goals. You will choose among opportunities in Biological Sciences, Engineering, Humanities, Mathematics, Physical Sciences, or Social Sciences and will work with your faculty mentor either on an individual basis or as part of a research team. Each student plays an active role in identifying the area of study and a faculty mentor to work with. The program encourages students to explore research opportunities at Iowa that can lead to doctoral degrees. The program culminates with the students presenting their research at the Summer Undergraduate Research Conference.

This year’s program runs from Sunday, June 2 through Friday, July 26, 2019.


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Benefits of the Program

You will benefit from a structured set of scholarly activities designed to enhance your academic success as well as to expose and encourage you to target a new vista – graduate education and the doctoral degree. You will attend a series of seminars, workshops, and informal gatherings to better inform you about graduate school opportunities. These programs will provide information and encourage dialogue between you, your faculty mentors, your graduate student mentors, and SROP staff. These discussions will facilitate your understanding of what it means to be a graduate student and to explore expanded career options, including academic positions and careers outside the academy. UI SROP Scholars will participate in the following activities and receive the following benefits:

  • SROP Scholar Workshops – academic & professional development
  • SROP Q&A Discovery Groups – conversations with graduate students, postdocs and faculty mentors
  • SROP Scholars Research Seminar & Speaker Series – hear about cutting-edge research and methods
  • 8-week intensive Summer Research Experience
  • GRE preparation and study sessions
  • $3,500 summer stipend + room & board + transportation to/from Iowa
  • Participation in the Annual UI Summer Undergraduate Research Conference
  • Mentorship in completing your graduate school applications and supporting documents
  • Housing and food allowance is provided for University of Iowa SROP Scholars living off campus
Applying to the Program

To apply to the SROP Scholars program at the University of Iowa, fill out the SROP application form and submit it electronically, starting Dec. 1, 2018. In order to apply, students must meet a set of requirements. Applicants must also submit 2 academic letters of recommendation. If reference letters are emailed, please have references follow-up with a hard copy on official letterhead to Elizabeth Lara at the address provided. Please advise if you have completed or will complete the Big 10 Alliance application to eliminate unnecessary duplication. The deadline for applying is March 1, 2019.

Please have supporting documents emailed to and/or hard copies mailed to:

Elizabeth Lara

SROP Director
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director
Office of Graduate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Graduate College
Room 201K Gilmore Hall
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242

Expectations for Scholars

All SROP scholars are required to:

  • Complete a contract at the time of acceptance to participate in the program.
  • Complete the entire 8-week SROP program. The objectives of this program are substantial and require a full-time commitment. Students cannot be registered for classes or employed during the program.
  • During the summer research experience, students will conduct a scholarly research project, working closely with a faculty mentor and any other personnel. You will meet regularly with your mentor to ensure progress on your research project.
  • Attend and actively participate in:
    • UI SROP Scholar Professional Development - prepare for graduate school from the application process through the transition to a challenging graduate education environment.
    • UI SROP Scholar Research Seminar & Speaker's Series - Prior to each Speaker's Series, students will learn more about the topic from a graduate student or Post Doc from the speaker's research group in a mentored journal club setting.
    • UI SROP Q&A Discovery Group - conversations with UI faculty mentors, postdoctoral and graduate students researchers to gain a fuller understanding of graduate school.
    • Attend and participate in all GRE preparation workshops - improve your skills and learn new skills to achieve more competitive GRE scores.
    • Meet with program staff to review development of written and oral assignments.
    • Complete assessment profiles to identify your strengths and areas for improvement; identify a goal and a plan of study to achieve benchmarks to demonstrate improvement.
    • Prepare a poster and an abstract for presentation at the Annual UI Summer Undergraduate Research Conference (SURC).
    • Submit a completed portfolio at the end of the program inclusive of all assignments.
Available SROP Mentors

SROP students have a wide variety of available mentors with whom they can conduct their summer research.

For SROP Mentors

Faculty mentors play an important role in the success of Iowa’s Summer Research Opportunities Program. Mentors provide promising underrepresented undergraduate students with in-depth summer research experiences.

SROP Scholars