For Students

Undergraduate Teaching and Research Awards provide a unique opportunity for students in any discipline and in their first through fourth year to:

  • Collaborate with faculty on important research or teaching projects
  • Develop problem-solving and research skills, as well as a more comprehensive understanding of the research subject
  • Explore an issue or topic of interest
  • Have an impact on a Brown course or in a larger field of study

Summer UTRA projects must begin after spring Commencement and the duration of the project must span a period of ten consecutive weeks. We expect both faculty and student collaborators to find a mutually agreeable period between the Tuesday following Commencement and at least one week before the beginning of the fall semester.



Students of any year who have established – or can establish – a collaborative relationship with a faculty member and have a genuine interest in applied or scholarly research and teaching in the humanities, social sciences, life sciences, and physical sciences may apply for an UTRA. Graduating seniors may not apply for an UTRA for the summer (or semester) after they have completed degree requirements. Students who are separated from the University are ineligible to apply for an UTRA.  PLME students are strongly encouraged to explore opportunities for funded faculty/PLME research opportunities available in the Summer Research Assistantship in Emergency Medicine and Summer Research Assistantship in Biomedical Sciences programs.

The College wants every Brown undergraduate to have at least one undergraduate research experience. Applications for a second summer UTRA will be reviewed with this goal in mind. Occasionally students with strong applications and whose research interests have grown in new directions and have involved development of new faculty collaboration since receiving a first UTRA are waitlisted, and may be considered for a second UTRA.

Defining a Project

  • Identify a research or teaching area that is of interest to you. Think about classes that have been particularly inspiring to you.
  • Consult with concentration advisors for ideas or make contact with a professor who might be willing to collaborate with you. Use department websites and Brown's Directory of Research and Researchers to learn more about faculty research interests and to read a few recent papers by the 1-2 faculty whose research interests you most strongly.  It is a good idea to take a course with this professor if you haven’t already done so. Make an appointment to meet with the professor to see whether he or she would be willing to work with you on an UTRA, and to discuss scope, timing, and other details.
  • Visit the Applying for an UTRA section of this website to learn more about the application process and selection criteria, and to view the application questions. Draft your research or teaching proposal in a word processing document and discuss it with your professor. Collaboration is a key component of a successful application.
  • Revise your research or teaching proposal in collaboration with your faculty sponsor. When the UTRA application is available online, paste your answers into the online application. We recommend reviewing the application closely before submission, as some formatting such as indentation, underlining and bolding will not be visible.
  • Submit your online application
  • Ensure that your faculty sponsor has completed his or her portion of the application by the deadline. Incomplete or late applications will not be reviewed.