Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (URAP)

URAP Application

Step 1: Prepare Your Application:

  1. Read the project descriptions (the link is below Step 1) carefully to see if you have the required skills and qualifications – they vary greatly from project to project. Make a serious assessment of your interests and abilities. Do you find the project truly interesting? Be sure to also look for opportunities outside your major. Many professors’ research projects are multidisciplinary – you may be able to find a project matching your skills and interests in an unexpected place.
  2. Ask yourself about your time commitments for the coming semester – are your course or extracurricular commitments already unusually heavy? Research apprenticeships are not easy units. To benefit from the program you need to be able to devote at least 3 to 5 hours a week to the project, over the entire term. Be realistic in your assessment of your availability. 
  3. Apply only for projects to which you are prepared to commit yourself, and for which you are qualified (some require only diligence and enthusiasm). There is little latitude for “shopping” here. You could jeopardize the research project or your potential relationship with the professor by applying to, or accepting, apprentice positions that you cannot carry through the end of the semester. 
  4. Make sure you are eligible. The program is currently open to registered students with a GPA of at least 2.8. (UC Berkeley GPA). Incoming freshmen should enter N/A, incoming transfer students should use their community college GPA. Students in any college and any class level are welcome to apply, although they may not be qualified for every project. A few projects require the completion of upper-division courses. Please read the qualifications listed along with each project description carefully. 
  5. Return to this site and enter your application information. You will be asked for contact and academic data, as well as a statement of interest for each project. In your statement, make sure that you address each project specifically:
  • Why are you interested in this particular project? Why are you qualified?  What skills can you bring to the project, how can you contribute? What classes have you taken that relate to the project? What do you hope to get out of this research experience?
  • Each statement of interest should be about 450 words long (this is a guideline; your statement won’t get cut off if it is longer).  You’ll be cutting and pasting your statement into the online application once you’ve started the application process, so be sure to have it readily available when you begin the online application process. Please note: If a mentor has multiple projects open and you are interested in more than one, you only need to submit ONE application for that mentor, but you should indicate your preferences in the statement of interest.  
See Spring 2024 projects here.

Step 2: Entering Your Application

  1. Once you have decided which project(s) you’ll be applying to, and prepared a statement of interest for each project, you are ready to begin the online application process. Go to the URAP application page (the link is at the bottom of this page) and follow the prompts. You’ll receive some instructions, and then be asked for contact information. Please note that you must use your berkeley.edu address. After you have entered your contact information, you’ll be taken to a screen listing all the mentors with open projects. If a professor’s name appears twice, with two different departments, this means that his or her project is cross-listed; you can select either entry. Your selection will in no way affect your application. Please note: If a mentor has multiple projects open and you are interested in more than one, you only need to submit ONE application, but you should indicate your preferences in the statement of interest. 
  2. Next, you will be taken to a screen where you can enter your statement of interest. Paste only the statement of interest that refers to the project to which you are applying; each individual project requires a separate statement of interest and application (except when you are applying to several projects by the same faculty mentor; in this case, you only need to submit one application – see above).
  3. Now you will be asked to provide information about up to ten college-level classes you have taken that are relevant to the project you are applying to. This is an opportunity for mentors to view your grades, as well as a chance for you to demonstrate your understanding of the skills needed to successfully work as an apprentice on a given project. Do NOT include information about AP or any other classes at the high school level. Don’t be concerned if you have not yet completed ten relevant courses – this is the maximum number you can provide information about, not a minimum request.
  4. Click the Save and Continue button. You will now have the opportunity to review your application, and then submit it. After submitting the application, you can apply for additional projects (up to 3 total). If you see the following: “Your application to this professor is now complete!”, you do not need to submit anything else – you are done. 
  5. Some faculty may instruct you to submit a copy of your academic summary/unofficial transcript as part of the application. If so, you will see: “You are almost done, but you have one step left to complete your application!”. In this case, you must also provide a PDF of your academic summary (CalCentral>My Academics>View Academic Summary) to complete your application to this mentor. Applying during the extended application phase? Please send the pdf of your academic summary directly to the mentor’s email address.
Please also see the Peer Advisor Step-by-Step Guide for applying.

Step 3: After You Submit Your Application

  1. You will receive a website link to each faculty member’s Message Board. KEEP THIS LINK! URAP mentors will begin using their Message Board to notify applicants of their status as early as January 22nd, so please check this link daily! Please check your email during this time as well; some mentors may contact you via email as well as through the Message Board.
  2. Do not contact faculty or their departments (unless the instructions on their message board explicitly direct you to do so, or your name is posted on the board but you did not receive further instructions). It is your responsibility to check the message board and your email daily. If you do not see a listing by the end of the THIRD week, and you have not received an email from the faculty mentor, you can inquire about the status of your application then.
  3. Schedule a meeting with your prospective mentor as soon as possible if your name appears on their interview or selection list. If your faculty mentor contacts you by e-mail, respond promptly. (It is recommended to bring your unofficial transcript(s)/academic summary to a first interview. This includes community college and UC Berkeley transcripts). Interviews may be held in person or on Zoom.
  4. If you are not selected for a project this semester, check back later in the spring semester for new listings for Fall 2024! Occasionally, some projects may be re-opened after the regular deadline for additional applications; updates will be posted in the Announcements section.

Step 4: If You Are Selected

  1. Discuss and agree on a Learning Contract with your mentor.
    Meet with your URAP mentor as soon as possible to set up a research schedule, to discuss research requirements, and to agree on your Learning Contract. Your mentor will then submit the contract online. 
  2. Confirm and file the contract electronically.
    When your mentor submits the contract, you will receive an email message alerting you to the fact that the contract has been submitted. In the same message, you will also find a link to a website, and your contract. Go to the website and follow the instructions to review, confirm, and submit the electronic contract. You MUST submit the contract to the URAP office by 9 AM on Wednesday of the fourth week of classes, February 7th!
  3. Enroll in UGIS 192 for units via CalCentral by Wednesday of the fourth week of classes.
    After you file the contract, you will receive an email message from the URAP office with the enrollment information for UGIS 192 (class number and permission number). Use your Permission Number promptly to enroll in UGIS 192. One unit of UGIS 192 is available for every 3 hours of research work you do for your mentor. If you wish to have your research experience annotated on your transcripts, you will need to enroll for at least one unit of UGIS 192. All the changes to your class schedule must be made by Wednesday of the fourth week of classes. This includes adds, drops, and changes in unit value for variable unit courses, so make a realistic assessment of the time you will devote to URAP. To make the deadline, you will need to submit your Learning Contract before 9 AM on Wednesday of the fourth week of classes, February 7th.
  4. File your Learning Contract by Wednesday of the fourth week of classes, even if you are NOT signing up for units!
    Filing a Learning Contract documents your participation in the program and allows us to release some research funds to your faculty mentor to support your research (for books, journals, chemicals, organisms, software licenses, etc.), and these funds cannot be released until you file your contract! Filing your contract also makes you eligible for a summer stipend later.
  5. Submit an online evaluation before the end of exams.
    All apprentices are required to complete an online report evaluating their experience as an apprentice, regardless of their enrollment status in UGIS 192. More information about this requirement is emailed to apprentices near the end of the semester. You should expect to spend about 45 minutes completing the report. 
IMPORTANT: Remember that you can participate in ONE project per semester. Should you be invited to join more than one project, you need to make a decision and inform the mentors quickly. Questions? Please contact Stefanie Ebeling at urap@berkeley.edu.
The Spring 2024 application is now closed.

Click here to go to the URAP Application.