The Presidential Undergraduate Research Scholars program provides undergraduate students in the fields of chemistry, physics, earth sciences, mathematics, and computer science with an opportunity to conduct research during the academic year under the guidance of a UO faculty mentor.

The program emphasizes engaging students in research that are from populations underrepresented in these fields.

The program was created through funding provided by Presidential Chair in Science and Professor of Chemistry, Geraldine Richmond.

Program Announcements


Activity date
Application Deadline June 30 @ 11:59 pm
Finalists Notified Mid July
Interviews Late July
Selections Late July or Early August
Program Begins Beginning of Fall Term

Program Overview

The PURS program is a comprehensive academic year research experience that includes two components:

(1) Academic year research experience: Students will be partnered with a faculty mentor that aligns with their research interests and are expected to commit to 130 hours of research per term (390 hours total).

(2) Enrollment in a 1 credit PURS course: The course meets weekly throughout the academic year and will cover topics such as emerging science research, ethics, career preparation, research skills development, effective communication of research, applying for distinguished scholarships/fellowships, and grad school preparation.

Stipend Details

Scholars receive a $5,000 research stipend during the academic year. The stipend will be paid out over the 3 terms during the academic year, with two payments per term.

IMPORTANT: If you are receiving federal financial aid, this award may affect your financial aid eligibility. Students who receive federal aid have a responsibility to report all awards earned to the UO Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships for more information.

Program Details & Eligibility

  • Must be a graduate from a high school within the state of Oregon.
  • Major in chemistry, physics, earth sciences, mathematics or computer science.
  • Must be an enrolled at the University of Oregon at the time of application and during the academic year of the program.
  • Junior year academic status, exceptionally talented sophomores may be considered.
  • Must have a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • Priority will be given to students that are first generation, low-income, minority, and/or from an underrepresented population in the sciences.
  • Student should have intentions to apply for graduate school.

Program Expectations

Upon notification of receipt of a PURS position, undergraduate students must sign an agreement outlining their commitment to:

  • Conduct 10 hours of research per week throughout the academic year;
  • enroll in the one credit PURS course for the fall, winter and spring term;
  • present your research at the UO Undergraduate Research Symposium, sponsored by the Division of Undergraduate Studies;
  • acknowledge the Presidential Undergraduate Research Scholars Program in any work resulting from research done during the program year;
  • notify the Presidential Undergraduate Research Scholars administration of any publications, conference presentations, or other awards or fellowships that result from your research project; and
  • notify the Presidential Undergraduate Research Scholars administration immediately of other support or any conflicts with the restrictions and conditions of this research program.

How To Apply

Make sure that you meet all of the eligibility criteria outlined above before proceeding.

Step 1

Review the Program Eligibility Criteria

  • Ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria listed above.
  • OPTIONAL: Schedule a meeting with UROP (urop@uoregon.edu) to discuss your application and ask questions you may have about the program.

Step 2

Complete PURS Online Application:

  • Read the eligibility criteria listed above carefully before applying.
  • Complete the online application.

Step 3

Letter of Recommendation:

  • Letter writer requirements:
    • You are required to have one letter of recommendation.
    • Letter writers may be any Tenure Track Faculty, Career Non-tenure Track Faculty, or Postdoctoral Fellow.
    • Letter writers should be knowledgeable of your research and/or academic background.
  • Instructions:
  • Request that your letter writer complete the Letter of Recommendation Worksheet.
  • Instruct the faculty members to return the completed form and letter of recommendation to urop@uoregon.edu
  • Under the federal law titled the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and according to the University of Oregon Student Record Policy, registered students are given the right to inspect their records, including letters of recommendation and teacher recommendations. If the student wants to waive their right of access to this recommendation, they may do so by completing a waiver form.

Step 4

Obtain an unofficial copy of your UO transcripts


Contact urop@uoregon.edu

Program Leadership and Staff

  • Geraldine Richmond, Professor of Chemistry and Presidential Chair in Science
  • Michael Haley, Richard M. and Patricia H. Noyes Professor of Chemistry
  • Priscilla Lewis, COACh Coordinator
  • Karl Reasoner, UROP Program Manager