PREP: Information for students

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A gathering of students with laptops studying in the Joe Crowley Student Union

The University of Nevada, Reno Undergraduate Research office is offering a program aimed at providing undergraduate students with academic standing of freshman and sophomore the opportunity to get paid to work on a research or creative activity project with the guidance of a University faculty mentor. If selected, you will be paired with a faculty mentor on a project you identify. Each research experience will vary in tasks, schedule, and level of responsibility. Research work expectations and schedule will be developed with your faculty mentor. In addition to your research work, you will be connected with other students in the program through monthly workshops and activities hosted by the Academic and Opportunity Support Program Office. You will also present your research at one of the undergraduate research symposiums on campus.

Purpose of the award

The purpose of the program is to provide research and creative activity experiences to students who are first-generation and/or have been historically underrepresented in undergraduate research. In doing so, the program seeks to enhance the academic experience, educational outcomes, and future educational pursuits of students of all identities.

Program background

According to the National Survey of Student Engagement (2017) there are gaps in undergraduate research participation for students of diverse racial and socioeconomic identities.

Nationwide, students who identify as American Indian/Alaska Native, Black or African American, LatinX, Asian Pacific Islander, and first-generation report participating in research with faculty at lower rates compared to other students.

The program seeks to address these inequities by encouraging participation in undergraduate research for students holding these diverse identities.

Lastly, developing strong academic and social connections during the first years of college is critical for long-term student success, which is why the program focuses on first- and second-year students.

Why participate?

Getting involved in research is a life-changing activity that can improve your educational experience. Not only will you get to immerse yourself in your major, but also make important connections with your fellow students and professors. Major benefits include:

  • Getting paid while learning about research
  • Applying what you learn in the classroom to real issues
  • Developing skills and knowledge that can help you be a better student
  • Building a supportive community around you that includes faculty, staff, and fellow students
  • Contributing to a team of researchers that are developing new knowledge
  • Building experience to apply for other undergraduate research opportunities, the McNair Scholars Program, or even graduate school

Student eligibility

  • Any incoming first year student who has been admitted and will be attending the University of Nevada, Reno
  • Any student who is currently attending the University of Nevada, Reno with freshman or sophomore standing
  • All majors welcome
  • No GPA minimum, however, transcripts submitted with your application will be considered
  • A complete application package submitted by the deadline

Selection process

Applications will be reviewed by Undergraduate Research and by mentors. Some opportunities may be able to fund two students on the same project. Interested students should contact if they have any questions.

Student expectations

  • Attend the program orientation.
  • Complete a “plan for research form” with your faculty mentor.
  • Complete the post survey regarding the program.
  • Attend the meeting offered by the Academic and Opportunity Support Programs Office.
  • Students and faculty mentors will have to complete two progress reports during the spring semester, attend two meetings with Undergraduate Research and provide a progress report.


An award of $2,250, provided by the University of Nevada, Reno, will go to the student in the form of salary as a student worker. Students will work approximately 10 hours per week at $15 per hour over a 15-week semester.

Class presentation requirement

Students are required to present a brief synopsis of their research to a class they attend and share information about Undergraduate Research programming.

Wolf Pack Discoveries symposium

Students will present their research findings in a poster format. This symposium is attended by students, community partner organization representatives, university leadership, and members of the public.

Proposal writing workshops for fall 2024

Register for the proposal writing workshops being held via Zoom.

  • Friday, March 8, 2024, 10-11 a.m.


Fall 2024 awards

  • Application due by: 5 p.m., Monday, April 15, 2024
  • Present results: Wolf Pack Discoveries symposium in December 2024
  • Funds spent by: December 31, 2024

Ready to apply?

Online application


For questions regarding the application format and contents please email