URAP Guide

Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program



I made a video where I talk about the application, my experience, and more.



Read my essays. I include the statement interest essay as well the other three essays on the specific research projects I applied.


Interview Tips

I found this interview documents with many helpful tips. Check it out here.


Final Presentation

This video includes the talk and poster presented at the Undergraduate Research Conference.


That's it

I hope this guide helps you. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.


Other Cool Things at UIUC

If you're at UIUC, you might be interested in The UIUC Talkshow, The UIUCFreeFood, and other essays I've written about college.



Didn't get accepted into URAP? Don't worry!

Professors are looking for general ability and agency to get stuff done.

To find research opportunities, consider the following:

Email Professors

Start by sending a well-crafted email to professors. Introduce yourself, explain your research interests, and state your motivations.

Follow Up

If you don't receive a response, don't give up. Persistence can make a difference.

Visit Their Office

If email communication doesn't yield results, consider visiting their office in person. Face-to-face interaction can be effective.

Explore Other Professors

If one professor doesn't respond or doesn't have opportunities, keep trying with other professors who align with your interests.


Before You Begin

Reflect on the type of research you want to do and what genuinely interests you.

Another Approach: Connect with Grad Students

Alternatively, find a graduate student in your desired research group. They may be willing to teach you and provide opportunities to assist them.

Remember, pursuing what genuinely interests you is essential, regardless of your major.

If you do something you genuinely enjoy, everything else will simply work out.


If You're Unsure

If you're uncertain where to start, cultivate curiosity about the world. Approach professors randomly and inquire about their ongoing projects. You can also utilize resources like Curiosity @ Illinois to attend interesting classes, setting the stage for potential opportunities to emerge.


How to Connect with Scientists/Reseachers

When seeking scientists to collaborate with, it's crucial to be genuine in your approach.


Consider these strategies:

  • Take their classes to establish a professional relationship.
  • Attend their office hours to discuss your interests and seek advice.
  • Directly message or email them with a clear and respectful message.
  • Offer to make yourself useful to them in their research endeavors.
  • Consider applying for a job as an assistant or researcher in their labs.


Keep This Question in Mind

Always ask yourself, "Why would someone be willing to mentor me?"

A potential mentor is more likely to invest in you if they see high potential and believe that their guidance can yield substantial benefits, possibly resulting in a tenfold return on their investment.