Health Research Program – For UConn Health Faculty

Microbiology research
Program Overview
Summer 2024 Program
Faculty Terms and Conditions
Financial Support
Thesis Arrangements
Forms and Materials

Program Overview

The Health Research Program offers a pathway into undergraduate research for students with interests in health and the biomedical sciences. By facilitating connections between UConn Health researchers and UConn undergraduates, this program will involve more students in the cutting-edge research at the Farmington campus. The Health Research Program includes a combination of academic year and summer research opportunities, offering undergraduates and their faculty mentors a structure for sustained engagement in research projects, maximizing student learning and preparation for graduate study and/or careers in the health professions.

Summer 2024 Program

UConn Health faculty interested in mentoring undergraduate researchers this summer are invited to develop research projects for inclusion in this program. Summer placements will involve students in hands-on research for 10 full-time weeks (approximately 360 hours total) between May 20 and July 26, 2024. Faculty and students may decide together to extend the research beyond that period, but may not shorten it. The research placement must be based at a UConn Health facility (where UConn Health badging, training, and other policies apply); financial transactions must be made using UConn Health accounts.

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) will develop an opportunity description and application based on the information you submit via the Summer 2024 Research Opportunity Description Form. You will review the applications submitted for your research opportunity, identify and interview top candidates, and select the student you wish to offer a research opportunity. Please note that this program is intended to foster new faculty-student matches; you may not select a student who is already involved in your research endeavors.

Participating students will be expected to participate in professional development programming during the summer; a schedule of events will be provided to students and mentors to facilitate planning. We expect that a research symposium will be held on or around July 24, 2024. All participating students will be expected to present their research in poster format at that event, as well as at one of the Frontiers poster exhibitions on the Storrs campus during the following academic year (October 2024 or April 2025).

As this program aims to support students’ sustained engagement in research projects, all summer 2024 opportunities are expected to continue into academic year 2024-25, contingent upon satisfactory student research progress and continued interest by both student and faculty (in addition to the student’s full-time enrollment and good standing at the university). A mid-summer assessment process will allow you to indicate whether adequate research progress is being made and will ask both student and faculty to confirm their interest in continuing the research placement beyond the summer. When submitting a research opportunity description, faculty will be asked to specify the parameters for academic year research (e.g., expected time commitment, schedule constraints), so that student applicants can assess the feasibility of continued research engagement in the fall semester.

Please note that we reserve the right not to post a submitted research opportunity should we receive more faculty requests than we can accommodate or should the opportunity described not conform to the parameters of the program. Priority will be given to faculty new to HRP and we will consider representation across departments in our selection process. In either case, the decision not to post the opportunity will be communicated to faculty by OUR staff.


Application Process
Wednesday, December 13, 2023: Deadline for faculty to submit a Summer 2024 Research Opportunity Description Form.
December 15, 2023: Opportunities are selected for posting; faculty are asked to provide any follow-up information needed.
December 16, 2023-January 5, 2024: Opportunity descriptions and applications are developed by OUR staff for posting.
January 8-January 29, 2024: Research opportunity descriptions and applications are available to students.
Monday, January 29, 2024: Deadline for students to apply to individual research opportunities.
January 31 – February 14, 2024: Faculty review applications and interview leading applicants.
Friday, February 16, 2024, 10am: Deadline for faculty to provide OUR with a ranking of top applicants.
Wednesday, February 21, 2024: OUR will extend formal offers to the selected students on this date.
Thursday, February 29, 2024: Deadline for student to accept research opportunity offer.

Summer Research Placement
The program operates on a May 20 – July 26 summer research schedule and all students are expected to be engaged full-time during those weeks. Should a given student-faculty pair elect to extend their planned research, they should communicate the final dates to the Office of Undergraduate Research on the HRP Internship Agreement.
Friday, April 19, 2024: Deadline for student completion of program documentation requirements (including background check, health requirements verification, articulation of a learning plan, and review of orientation documents). Laboratory safety training (where applicable) should also be completed prior to the end of the spring semester.
Monday, May 20, 2024: (Start date of summer research): Secure badge, complete safety checklist with faculty host.
Friday, June 21, 2024 (End of week 5 of summer research): Deadline for student and faculty to submit mid-summer progress assessment.
Thursday, July 25, 2024: Summer Research Symposium
Friday, July 26, 2024 (End date of summer research): Student and faculty end-of-summer surveys due.

Fall Research Placement
Monday, August 26, 2024: Start of fall semester and fall research placements. Deadline to submit fall learning agreement.
Friday, October 11, 2024: Deadline for student and faculty to submit mid-semester progress assessment. This assessment determines whether the research placement will continue into the winter or spring.
October 23, 2024: Fall Frontiers Poster Exhibition on the Storrs campus. All HRP students will be expected to present at the fall or spring Frontiers exhibition.
Friday, December 6, 2024: End of fall semester classes.
Wednesday, December 18, 2024: Fall grading deadline. Student end-of-semester report and faculty feedback must be provided prior to this date so a grade can be recorded by the instructor of record.

Faculty Terms and Conditions

Faculty participants in the Health Research Program for summer 2024 must agree to the following terms:

  • To provide a research opportunity description no later than Wednesday, December 13, 2023.
  • To make a ranking of top applicants and inform OUR of this ranking no later than 10am on Friday, February 16, 2024. If no applicants are suitable, you are under no obligation to select a student. All ranked applicants must be students whom you are not currently mentoring and have not previously mentored as undergraduate researchers (i.e., new research mentees).
  • To develop a learning agreement in collaboration with the student to structure his/her learning experience for each phase of his/her participation (summer or semester).
  • To support the student’s participation in the summer professional development opportunities that are a required component of the program. Dates and times of these requirements shall be shared as early as possible to facilitate your planning of student research activities that accommodate full student participation in professional development requirements.
  • To mentor the student in the preparation of a poster presentation summarizing their research experience, to be presented at the Summer Research Symposium at UConn Health and at a Frontiers poster exhibition on the Storrs campus.
  • To collaborate and communicate with a Storrs-based faculty member in the student’s major for course credit purposes during the academic year. If you do not have an appointment at Storrs, it is likely that a Storrs faculty member will need to be the instructor of record for the student’s research/independent study course. Clear communication between Storrs faculty and UConn Health faculty regarding learning goals and student performance will be essential to the integrity of the learning experience and to course-related processes being completed in a timely manner.
  • To assist the student in completing any necessary UConn Health approval processes in order to be able to participate in undergraduate research.
  • To ensure that training requirements are communicated to the student and that training is completed in a timely manner.
  • To ensure the student is added to any relevant research compliance protocols (e.g., IRB, IACUC) in a timely manner.
  • To establish a mutually agreeable research schedule with the student, and to ensure that appropriate supervision is provided during research hours.
  • To provide regular, constructive feedback to the student on his/her achievement of learning goals.
  • To complete a mid-summer/mid-semester assessment of the student’s research progress by the relevant deadline.
  • To provide an end-of-summer/end-of-semester assessment of the student’s research progress. In fall and spring, this evaluation will form the basis of the student’s grade.
  • To share any questions, concerns, and/or recommendations with the Office of Undergraduate Research as they arise.


Financial Support

Supply Support to Faculty
During each term of the program (summer, fall, spring), you may request up to $500 in support for expenses associated with an undergraduate research opportunity offered through this program. This request must be accompanied by an itemized budget and a statement certifying that available funds cannot be directed to cover these expenses.

Stipend Support to Students

  • Students participating in the summer 2024 program will receive a $4,000 stipend for a commitment of 360 hours of summer research (10 full-time weeks).
  • Students may receive a maximum of one HRP summer stipend over the course of their participation in the Health Research Program.
  • Academic year student researchers may be eligible for a $1,000 winter research stipend if they commit to completing 90 hours of winter break research.


Thesis Arrangements

Many undergraduate researchers are interested in completing a thesis as a culminating product of their engagement in research. At UConn, individual academic departments set the expectations and parameters for undergraduate theses (Honors or non-Honors) and determine whether a given project forms a suitable basis for a thesis in that department. Accordingly, thesis processes and formats vary across the university. With that caveat in mind, we encourage you to review the HRP Thesis Roles Agreement Template, which lists the responsibilities you would likely bear as the Thesis Supervisor/Principal Investigator. Please review these responsibilities carefully before indicating your willingness to supervise a thesis project. Should your student wish to write a thesis, we will work together with you and the relevant department (typically the one where the student’s major is based) to make specific arrangements.



What time commitment is expected of a student researcher in this program?

A time commitment of 360 hours (10 full-time weeks) is expected of summer student researchers. A time commitment of 3-9 hours/week is typically expected of student researchers during the academic year. During the academic year, our expectation is that students will be earning academic credit, and the standard formula for academic credit is 1 credit for each 3 hours of weekly research. Accordingly, we encourage you to determine whether a commitment of 3, 6, or 9 hours/week is appropriate for a research opportunity with you.

Must all students participating in this program earn academic credit for the academic year?

It is our expectation that students will earn academic credit associated with their participation in undergraduate research for the fall and spring. In the absence of extenuating circumstances (e.g., leave of absence, study abroad), a student cannot discontinue participation in the HRP during one semester and resume participation in the HRP in the subsequent semester.

What transportation options are available for students?

As shuttle service between Storrs and Farmington has been discontinued, CTtransit bus service is an alternative option for students who do not have access to a personal vehicle for transportation. We encourage you to take students’ transportation constraints into consideration when setting the parameters for possible work schedule when you complete the Research Opportunity Description Form.

Can I select more than one student to work with me?

Due to limited resources, we expect to be able to accommodate only one student per faculty mentor this summer. If you are able to commit to jointly funding a student, there may be some flexibility to take more than one student. We are unable to make an absolute determination until all expressions of faculty interest are received.

I have a joint appointment at UConn Health and at UConn Storrs. Can I participate in this program?

Yes, as long as the research project proposed will be conducted at UConn Health. This program is not intended to support students’ involvement in research at Storrs.

I am already supervising a UConn undergraduate researcher. Can we participate in this program?

Unfortunately, no. This program is focused on developing new research opportunities and involving more undergraduate students in research at UConn Health. We would be happy to talk with you or your undergraduate researcher at any time about other OUR funding opportunities that could help support your research together.

I am already participating in the Health Research Program. Can I advertise another opportunity and recruit another student?

You are welcome to submit an opportunity. However, if we see more interest from faculty than we can accommodate, we will prioritize the inclusion of faculty who have yet to participate in the program, as well as representation across departments and schools in the opportunities offered.


Forms and Materials

2024 Health Research Program Opportunity

Learning Agreement Template (Semester)

HRP Thesis Roles Agreement Template