Expectations for the UROP Experience
It is extremely important to set expectations for your UROP students early during interviews and when the student is starting their position. An agreement/expectations document, of which there is a sample, is one great way to accomplish this. The best version of this document is a living one; revisit the document at least once during the research experience (ideally each term) to determine how the research and mentoring relationship is going and if either of you would like to change anything.
Important things to cover:
- Project deliverables
- What does an ‘A’ or ‘Pass’ look like?
- What does the student want to get out of the experience in terms of research goals, and communication and research skills?
- Deliverables for the end of term?
- Milestones for each week?
- Work style and rules
- What are necessary safety practices?
- What are working norms (e.g: attendance, lab documentation, communication hours, etc) and expectations for your laboratory?
- What are working norms that you want between you and your UROP?
- Will you have the student keep documentation in a lab notebook, Google Drive,or another method?
- How will you communicate with one another? (e.g: in-person, email, Zoom, Slack)
- How often will you meet?
- What are the goals of your regular meetings?
- How should the student ask you questions and how will they report progress of their tasks?
- Will your student go to lab meetings?
- How will your student interact with the faculty supervisor? How often?
- Who should the student approach with concerns about your other another in the group? Is there another mentor within the group the student will work and/or speak with?
- Continuing work
- Could this UROP go on for multiple terms?
- Does the student want to continue on for multiple semesters?
- How should the student define their contributions on their CV, future applications,etc.?
- Authorship and credit (if relevant)
- Will your student present at the end of their UROP to the lab or department?
- Will there be a poster or paper opportunity for this work?
- Where and how will the student be credited for their contribution?