Event celebrates year of faculty, student research

April 17, 2017
Laurel Thomas


DATE: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, 2017

EVENT: Annual Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program Spring Research Symposium

PLACE: Michigan Union, 530 S. State St., Ann Arbor

DETAILS: When 1,300 students and 900 faculty/staff mentors gather Wednesday to show off the work they’ve been doing together this year, among the projects will be research on self-driving cars, police-involved shootings, diagnostics for cancer treatment-related injuries, and a performance piece that celebrates the university’s Bicentennial by honoring Ann Arbor.

“Hearing the students, now experts in their fields, share what they have learned in collaboration with UROP ​research mentors is the highlight of the year for me,” said UROP director Sandra Gregerman. “It is also a great snapshot of the breadth and diversity of the research taking place at U-M. Those in attendance leave in awe of this place and by our students and the impact research has had on their academic experience here.”

Faculty mentor Christianne Myers, associate professor at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, says “one of the greatest joys for me was the connection with the broader university. There is a real concerted effort to bust silos and this is one of those opportunities.”

Since 1988 when it started with 14 faculty/student partnerships, the program has served as a national model for involving undergraduates in faculty research.

Each hour during the symposium a different set of 140 posters from the UROP students will be on display. Fifty-two students from the Research Scholars program will also give various oral presentations of their work. The students are returning to UROP for a second year to dive deeper into the research process and the dissemination of scientific knowledge. Getting prepared for these talks also was part of the training.

A campus group called RELATE, which has a goal to train and encourage scientists to share their research with the public, coached the students on how to give various talks: a quick lightning round/elevator speech, a longer presentation similar to what one would give at a professional conference, and a bit longer Ted-style talk.


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