Students Staff

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme

UROP

University of Essex

Testimonials

Funded bursaries through the UROP scheme were offered for the first time in the 2013-14 academic year. Staff and students have provided some comments about their experience and what they thought of the scheme.

  • Biological Sciences (School of)

    Staff

    "An excellent experience. My student contributed to research being conducted in my lab- specifically she has isolated new transgenic strains that we will use in future research."
    Dr Matthew Jones
    "This placement enhanced my student’s knowledge and practical skills in the field of molecular oncology. She hopes to get a PhD in this field and hence the experience gained will be invaluable for her applications."
    Dr Greg Brooke
    "The UROP student has developed very well and gained a range of practical skills as well as an appreciation of planning experiments and analysing the resulting data. His placement has also allowed him to make an informed decision to pursue a research career."
    Dr Mike Hough

    Student

    Emma Brown"The UROP experience was invaluable and I have learnt new skills which I would otherwise have not had any experience in, which has greatly enhanced my CV."
    Emma Brown



    Sophie Donovan "I feel that the UROP placement was the most beneficial and enjoyable experience I have had since I've been at university. It allowed me to gain first-hand research experience and most importantly I developed skills to overcome the challenges and problems faced which will be essential for my career progression in scientific research. The opportunity to work with a diverse group of researchers and postgraduate students was one of the most valuable parts of the experience and I not only learnt from their expertise but felt like a contributing member to the group. As well as gaining essential experimental and data analysis skills the placement has helped me develop into a more independent and flexible worker which will help me in my further studies and future career."
    Sophie Donovan
    "This placement was an excellent opportunity to pursue some hands-on experience and skills necessary for research based job. It will be helpful throughout my application for postgraduate degree; it also gave me a practical insight into researchers’ career. After completion of this placement I consider myself as self–directed, motivated and comfortable working in a scientific environment."
    Deimante Lukosaityte
    "This experience has given me an advantage over other students on my course not just from University of Essex but from around the country that will be applying for similar graduate schemes and jobs to me. This experience has added value to my degree that will make me stand out from other graduates and has provided me with experience which employers and postgraduate schemes seek in their graduates."
    Summer Rosonovski

  • Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (School of)

    Staff

    "The placement was very beneficial as it allowed the student to engage with a research group to develop useful research tools within given tight deadlines. The student developed research skills related to embedded systems development and integration in intelligent environments."
    Professor Hani Hagras
    "This is an excellent scheme for giving undergraduate students a flavour of top quality research. Moreover, it also allows the research groups to spot potential PGR students for the future at an early stage by monitoring their technical skills and dedication closely during the placement. The placement has significantly contributed to the professional development of the student, who has learnt how to carry out top quality research by developing and utilizing critical thinking, problem solving and data analysis skills."
    Professor Klaus McDonald-Maier

    Student

    Anca Sticlaru "This placement gave me a good insight into what research work means in a professional team and made me understand that I really want to pursue this career for myself. Therefore, it was a great opportunity that gave me the chance to get to know myself better and have an idea of what I would like to do in the future."
    Anca Sticlaru
    James Rynn"This placement has helped me bridge the gap between undergraduate projects and academic research. The skills and experiences I have gained will aid me greatly if I decide to apply for a PhD or work in research. The practical programming/natural language processing/big data skills gained during the project are invaluable as this is currently a field I am eager to work in."
    James Rynn
    Alexandru Smau"It has allowed me to see what it means to do programming professionally. I have enhanced my knowledge of Java programming especially when it comes to networking communications. It gave me a better understanding on how Arduino boards work how they can be used to solve small tasks. Furthermore, it showed me how much a seemingly small problem can delay the entire project."
    Alexandru Smau
    "I believe the placement provided a variety of skills. It introduced me to how research works in the university and increased my researching and analytical skills."
    Georgios Stamatiadis
  • East 15

    Staff

    "My student has been able to put her newly developed skills to work in her current studies, both as preparation for her placement and a marketing project she was in charge of for her course. He background work into exploring local youth drama clubs could benefit both Clifftown and her own professional development."
    Dr Chris Main
  • Economics (Department of)

    Student

    "It is one of the very few opportunities to get a job related to one’s studies in an academic environment. I believe it is an excellent first step for anyone considering an academic career or further studies. The fact that I received an offer to continue as a Research Assistant will certainly help me achieve that – and that would not have happened without the UROP placement."
    Patryk Bronka
    "The UROP experience provided me with the opportunity to work on interesting research projects. This also provided with a greater understanding of research skills and wider skills such as writing for a general audience. I think it will have been a beneficial experience whether I pursue further study or not."
    Anonymous
  • Essex Business School

    Student

    Hiu Kei Chan"This placement has provided me with an excellent work experience and has strengthened my understanding into Marketing and research. Skills I have gained include research skills, time management skills, translation skills, data analysis and presentation skills."
    Hiu Kei Chan

    "After completing this placement I gained many valuable skills (such as literature review and film analysis skills, critical thinking, time management, team work, organisation skills, commercial awareness) for establishing a career in this field. The UROP scheme was highly valuable for me as it was closely related to my main subject of study."
  • Government

    Student

    "Not only did the placement offer me invaluable research experience by working with professional academics, but I was also given the opportunity to see how to manage a business (the Lab). It gave me the opportunity to develop skills within to important ‘fields’ in which will be beneficial in all types of future jobs."
    Kristina Enger
  • History (Department of)

    Staff

    "The student produced some excellent work on the tasks allotted to her. There were things that will be beneficial to me as a researcher and the project seems to have given her a great deal of experience, skill and confidence in undertaking research tasks."
    Dr Matthew Grant
    "The outcome of the project has created a genuinely novel and useful research resource which I expect to make a considerable contribution to my future research outputs, and which I would never have had the time to put together without this sort of help."
    Dr Neil Younger

    Student

    Sarah Marshall"The placement has definitely helped me to develop my research skills, which has been especially beneficial for my final year Independent Research Project. It confirmed my thoughts that I would most probably want to continue research after graduation, either through a masters or research based career. I thought the placement was unique and very ideal for students, especially those with an interest in research and would recommend the placement to others."
    Sarah Marshall
    Baerbel Lilo"The UROP placement is probably one of the most valuable elements of my university education. It was the first ‘job’ that I enjoyed and realising that it is possible to earn money doing what I enjoy and love was an eye-opener and continues to this day to motivate and inspire me. It was inspiring in terms of the topic. It moved me, it changed me, I learned valuable lessons"
    Baerbel Lilo
    "It has contributed to the development of time and energy management skills, given me vital experience, not just of the actual work aspect, but also the application and interview process, and it has contributed to the development of research and organisational skills, such as how to organise large quantities of information and present it in an accessible and easy-to-use on a day-to-day basis format; how to go at things systematically in a larger format than a simple essay; handling large quantities of data; faster comprehension; a better understanding of how to get the best out of unfamiliar search engines; what exactly academic research entails; finding the relevant details and making connections between sources; working independently while still connected to a larger project."
  • ISER

    Staff

    "The student was committed, competent and did what I hoped. It is unlikely that I would have pursued this line of research without student assistance."
    Professor David Voas
  • Language and Linguistics (Department of)

    Staff

    "I used this UROP placement during my research leave, while working on three projects. Without the UROP assistant’s help with one of them, I wouldn’t have been able to make progress with all of them."
    Dr Sophia Skoufaki
    "The UROP students have gained a broad range of transferrable skills, such as writing, oral presentation, time management, and a variety of IT skills (for transcriptions, data analysis, handling of audio/video files and advanced word processing skills). The transcription skills have already led to the offer of a follow-on contract for transcription work. The project work has also been accepted for a conference presentation. All of this will help the students to evidence their skills to future employers and it has raised their awareness of skills that could help them in their future careers."
    "It was terrific. My UROP student produced some great work which fed directly into the work I am doing. Additionally the work she did will be very useful to her in some of the courses she will take this year"
    "The student now understands the back end of database/corpus construction for both audio and text documents and the need for strict document standards within any large project. She learned about visual representation of data, re-designing the associated website, and textual descriptions appropriate to lay-audiences. Additionally, by interacting with the corpus all summer she has developed more familiarity with the corpus, which she will be using for her final year project."
    Dr Vineeta Chand

    Student

    "It was good to work so closely with a member of academic staff something I've not had experience of before. Completing the work gave me a different point of view in terms of data collection."
    Hannah Mace
    "It’s not only good for my undergraduate study; this experience will definitely help me in my career and possibly postgraduate study."
    Zhamayne Binti Ahmad Fakharuzi
    "The placement has helped me to develop a lot of skills that will be useful for my studying and generally in future employment, such as my time keeping skills and ability to work independently, and categorising and organising mass data."
    Hannah Hughes
    "It was very useful in seeing how research is conducted and also I learnt some valuable techniques in making notes on research papers which I will use in future. On the whole a very enjoyable experience which I believe has taught me some invaluable lessons on the world of research, particularly for child language acquisition studies."
  • Law (School of)

    Student

    "The UROP experience was unique, as I was able to practise my research skills and to work on a very challenging and current topic related to the consumers using Facebook and other similar websites. It offered me the chance to interact with bright individuals and to have a positive impact on a significant project."
    Alice Maresi
    "The placement has been invaluable in showing me the realities of research within the field. It has given me a basis of knowledge upon which I can endeavour to build upon in the future, equipping me further in both academic skills, as well as transferrable skills for my future career."
    Tasneem Sadiq
  • LiFTS

    Staff

    "My student’s expertise in psychology was very useful to my project, and the subject-specific annotated bibliography will be beneficial for my own conceptualisation of the topic of home."
    Professor Sanja Bahun
  • Mathematical Sciences (Department of)

    Staff

    "The UROP student gained a glimpse of what research mathematics is about. He learnt latex and more about searching for results. Also he will give a seminar aimed mainly at his fellow students, all of which will stand him in good stead and should benefit the audience as well."
    Professor Peter Higgins

    Student

    David Torres Sanchez"It gives an invaluable insight into what full-time mathematical research is about, and in my case, reinforced my wish to pursue a career in academia. I learnt LaTex, how to filter other people’s research, practiced computer modelling and programming and will hopefully produce a high quality seminar about the work done to my colleagues and staff."
    David Torres Sanchez
  • Philosophy and Art History (School of)

    Staff

    "The UROP interns had a chance to participate in professional settings, preparing technical materials as part of a team, learning the methods that we use in our projects, learning that research sometimes leads to dead ends, but sometimes produces results! They were involved in providing synopsis of a large corpus of public domain materials; searching court documents, which contributed towards a research report for the Ministry of Justice."
    Professor Wayne Martin

    Student

    Melanie Sainsbury"The UROP placement was relevant to my previous learning and has given me a fantastic amount of knowledge that I would have otherwise not have had. I feel it has complimented my degree and will be an invaluable experience when I enter into employment. I have had the opportunity to work with academics from different fields and seen how this is important in gaining objectivity in research. I also learned how to use the internet in different ways to aid my research and gained experience in finding relevant information amongst vast texts. Essay research will now be much easier!"
    Melanie Sainsbury
  • Psychoanalytic Studies, Centre for

    Staff

    "The UROP student really helped me to do a bit of work that I didn’t have time to complete. The project consisted of the development of an online research tool that will also be used by student. Therefore, her opinion from a student perspective was very valuable."
    Dr Jochem Willemsen

    Student

    "The placement has provided me with knowledge and skills relevant to the work area I am pursuing which are simply not available to learn in a lecture setting. This hands-on experience means that I have a first-hand account of what it is like to code data and have a role in designing/revamping a website. Moreover, the placement gave me a real feel for having an important, independent role within a team. I was solely responsible for the tasks I completed yet the work was critical for the entire project to progress."
    Philippa Bjaaland
  • Psychology (Department of)

    Staff

    "My student greatly contributed to an essential phase of the project for which we received funding, specifically taking care of recruiting of participants and piloting the tasks. She was an important and valuable member of a team of students in the Babylab who worked very well, efficiently and independently."
    Dr Silvia Rigato
    "I value the UROP experience as I like working with keen undergraduates in the research area, as well as it providing a way to get more research done. I see the student’s experience as a key aspect of it, and that they must gain a solid learning experience, but this usually means that it can still be a win-win. My student has gained knowledge of how to run a psychology study, and in particular the nitty-gritty elements, as well as problems that can occur, and how to handle them."
    Dr Rick O'Gorman
    "My student helped with the design of an experiment, took full control of implementing the complete experiment, and learned a wide variety of research techniques. UROP provided an invaluable opportunity to bring together research and teaching."
    Dr Paul Hibbard
    "I really enjoyed being involved in the UROP programme. My student developed her already excellent communications skills through recruitment and participant contact. She also learned a lot about the methodological challenges of working with infants and young children, and this enabled her to perfect her testing skills. These skills will be very valuable for her future plans to do a PhD. I think the programme has great potential for both students and supervisors. It was a great experience, and I will definitely apply again in the future. It allowed me to get some piloting on a new project done and it allowed the student to get some real research experience, so a win-win situation I would say."
    Dr Karla Holmboe

    Student

    Charis Christodoulou"The UROP scheme was a magnificent experience. You experience how it is to work in academia and more specifically in the research field. I can confidently say that I am able to plan and conduct an experiment with more ease. I have also learned to operate various computational programs that will aid me in my future studies."
    Charis Christodoulou
    Charis Christodoulou"I gained the experience of recruiting and booking in participants for testing, both adults as well as infants and their mums. I carried out the tests, so I learned how to prepare the lab, how to behave in a lab/testing environment, as well as using the equipment. As a lot of the testing was with infants aged 3-9months old, so I got the experience of carrying out tests on participants who are not always going to sit still, or behave like you wish them to all the time. In sum, the UROP experience was highly valuable in gaining research experience which will benefit my PS300 project, as well as applying for postgraduate degrees where research experience is highly desirable."
    Synne Valentina Fische
  • Sociology (Department of)

    Staff

    "The pilot work done by my UROP student has placed the project in a very strong position to write research grants and to be developed further. I have a trained research assistant who is now being added to these applications with the hope of a paid position should the applications be successful. The student has developed her project management skills, her confidence with unfamiliar software, and developed a greater understanding of data management."
    Dr James Allen-Robertson
    "In both cases, the placements had a huge impact upon the students, with them gaining skills such as experimental design, general research, referencing, reporting and bibliography searches."
    Dr Neli Demireva

    Student

    Katarzyna Gleadell"The placement has allowed me to develop my work skills in a professional field. I have gained a number of computer skills. I have learned how to use research tools and programmes. I have also gained confidence in using these tools such as: Nvivo and EndNote and coding all types of media data. I have further practiced and developed my close reading skills. I have really enjoyed my UROP placement and I will highly recommend to any student that would like to develop new skills and would like to develop professional skills that will be a real advantage in their future career."
    Katarzyna Gleadell
    Alison Orr"I gained SO MUCH from this placement. I believe it has increased my confidence in my ability to perform well in a professional environment/position. I have become more resilient and innovative; the independent nature of the placement has significantly increased my self-discipline and organisational skills. I feel that this placement has significantly increased my self-confidence, and positively impacted on my employability."
    Alison Orr
    Charlotte Preston"I applied for the placement as I wanted to add to my knowledge and experience in research and that is exactly what the placement has allowed me to do. I have developed my skills in searching for research literature, using different methods to find, organise and code it. I have learned how to use a variety of computer research tools including Zotero, Qualtrics and Dropbox. The skills I have developed I will now be able to use for my dissertation."
    Charlotte Preston