Applying for an UTRA

Application Process

The online application involves two main components: the student component and the faculty component. Students and faculty should each begin by selecting "start a new application." Applicants should complete and submit their respective applications and should not wait for their collaborator to submit his or her portion to get started. The application is not complete until both portions have been submitted. Incomplete and late applications will not be reviewed. 

Faculty and students each begin the process by logging onto the online application. Upon selecting "Start a new application," faculty will be presented with a series of questions about the project, followed by a series of questions about why the student collaborator is a good fit. Student applicants are presented with questions about the research project and are asked to discuss how this project furthers their short- and long-term goals. 

It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the complete application has been submitted by the deadline. 


Application Deadline 

Notifications Emailed


May 1, 5pm

By mid-August 


November 15, 5pm

By the end of the fall semester


February 5, 5pm

By mid-March


  • Applicants must be active Brown students - students may not apply while separated from the University. Students graduating in the spring may not apply for a summer UTRA.
  • Faculty sponsors must have a teaching or research appointment at Brown. Postdoctoral fellows may participate in an UTRA as part of a team with a faculty sponsor.
  • Students may be of any class year, although most applicants are sophomores and juniors
  • Research may be conducted in any discipline in the arts, humanities, social sciences, life sciences, or physical sciences

Selection Criteria

  • Evidence of collaboration - prior work together can be an asset
  • Significance of the proposed project - does the study address an important problem? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventive interventions that drive this field? Is the project original and innovative?
  • Quality and clarity of the project description – Project description has to be logically constructed, clear and complete but precise without jargon (and acronyms). It has to demonstrate that the student understands the background, assumptions, and significance of the project. You may consider asking someone outside of your discipline to read your application and alert you to jargon and dense language.
  • Research environment - is the student appropriately trained and well-suited to carry out this work? Does the team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project? Has a clear argument been made linking the student's interests and experience to the project? Is the faculty member committed to adequately supervise the student?