UTRA Application Tips- Dean Adetunji

  1. What organization and funding programs are you involved with at Brown?

In my role as Associate Dean of the College for Undergraduate Research and Inclusive Science, I oversee the Undergraduate Research office, serve as the Co-Chair for Brown University Engaged Scholarship and Broader Impacts Joint Committee, and oversee wide-ranging efforts linking STEM research, teaching and service with societal relevant outcomes.

I also serve as the executive producer of Science Cartoons (SciToons) production, direct the Research at Brown grant program, and serve as the director of the Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award (UTRA) program.

  1. When is an appropriate time to begin thinking about the UTRA?

We encourage students to start thinking about the UTRA in their first year at Brown. The faculty initiated Interdisciplinary Team (I-Team) UTRA is a good avenue for first year students to get involved with an UTRA project.

The I-Team is designed so that only faculty can submit both initial and final applications. Successful applications go through two rounds of reviews–pre-approval (phase-I) and the final approval (phase-II).

Applications that are pre-approved by the UTRA review committee are listed on the UTRAs website in mid-December so that interested students can read the proposals and contact the faculty through early January to inquire about how they can apply to the faculty’s pre-approved I-Team UTRA projects.

Students selected for I-Team UTRA projects by faculty are included on the faculty’s final I-Team UTRA applications for consideration for the final phase-II approval by the UTRA review committee. Projects of Faculty and students selected for the final approval are notified by mid-January.

  1. What characteristics make an application particularly compelling in your eyes?

Applications which demonstrate strong collaboration between faculty and students; coupled with strong mentoring plan for students are usually very compelling.

  1. 4. Any tips for potential applicants?
  • Attend the UTRA information sessions in fall and spring semesters.
  • Start early to find faculty a collaborator and discuss your proposed ideas with your collaborating faculty.
  • Make sure what you are proposing is feasible during the timeline of your proposal.
  • Consider applying for semester UTRA not just summer UTRA.
  • Proofread your proposal.



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