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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Am I allowed to conduct research outside of my chosen major or school?

Yes. Students may choose to conduct research in a different field of study. The student is still responsible for finding their own faculty mentor.

Where can I find a list of faculty members at UC Merced?

You may find a list of UC Merced faculty and their research from the UC Merced directory. You can also review the Grad Div website to search graduates programs.

Am I eligible for a summer program if I'm not a US citizen?

Yes. The programs that allow undocumented students are: JGI, SURF, SOAR, UROC-H, and UC LEADS. Check out the different programs here.

When should I ask for my letter of recommendation (LOR)?

Ideally, you should give your recommender no less than 4 weeks to write you a strong letter. You should ask your recommender for a letter either in person or email to schedule a meeting, and provide an explanation about what you are applying for and how it will benefit your future career.

Who should write my LOR?

The UROC selection committee prefers that the LOR be written by a professor, but we will accept letters from TA's or employers. Choose someone who can attest to your work ethic. 

Will my recommender receive an email?

Yes. Your recommender will receive an automated email once you have submitted the application. The email will link to a Qualtrics form for them to submit a letter or complete a form. FYI - if you wait until the last minute of the deadline they will know. 

When and where will my recommender turn in their letter?

Your recommender will either submit a written letter or complete a form to provide more context about you as an applicant. 

Do I submit the necessary documents through the application?

There is a section of the online application for you to upload documents. PDF files are preferred for easier review with the full application. The only document that is seaprate is your LOR. Please communicate to your recomendation writer that they will receive an email AFTER you submit your application.

I am a transfer student. Can I still apply for a summer program?

Yes. UROC encourages transfer students to apply for a summer program as soon as possible. Schedule a meeting with one of the coordinators your first semester at UC Merced to discuss opportunities. 

As a transfer student who should write my letter of recommendation (LOR)?

You may have a professor from your previous college/university or a professor from UC Merced write your letter. If you do not have a professor to write your letter, we will also accept one from an advisor or supervisor/employer.

Are there a limited amount of spots offered and who is given priority?

There are a limited amount of spots offered to undergraduates for our summer programs. Due to continuous growth at UC Merced, our summer programs have become more competitive and priority is given to rising juniors and seniors. UROC still encourages everyone to apply, inlcuding first year students who may be more advanced in their studies. 

Is previous research experience required to apply for a summer program?

No. Previous research is not required to apply for our summer programs. Previous research is only required for the SOAR Program.

Can I still apply if I have previous research experience?

Yes. We encourage students who have had experience with a research project to apply to the SOAR Program.

I am signed up for summer classes and/or I have a job. Can I still participate?

Undergraduate research with UROC is a full-time commitment so we do not allow our scholars to take classes or work during the summer. Students may work over 40 hours in some weeks depending on their principle investigator (PI), when your research is combined with our required workships and assignemnts. Scholars are paid a stipend for the summer so this is your only commitment.
If there is a need for academic progress (to graduate on time), please schedule a meeting with the UROC Director to discuss an exception. This will require documentation from your academic advisor.

Can I continue my research during the academic year?

UROC programs are mainly for summer research. The majority of scholars either continue their summer projects into the academic year or find new projects and receive independent study units. Speak with your faculty mentor if you wish to continue conducting research during the academic year.

Can I see examples of past projects?

Yes. We have all of our past scholars on our Alumni Page with their abstracts. Just select a program and the year to view that summer program's cohort. You can also view the abstract booklets from our previous summer symposia.