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Undergraduate Research

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URD 2018

Undergraduate Research Overview & Programs

The University of Oklahoma’s Joe C. and Carole Kerr McClendon Honors College strives to ensure undergraduate researchers from all fields of study have the support they need to explore and participate in advancing the frontiers of knowledge. Through several inspired programs of research support for undergraduate students—both in and outside the Honors College—we partner with the Provost’s Office and the Vice President of Research each semester to sponsor undergraduate research projects and creative activities.  We encourage all University of Oklahoma undergraduate students to explore these opportunities and to consider applying to one, several, or all of them during your time here at OU.  

Undergraduate Research Opportunities from the Honors College

In Spring 2019, the OU Daily produced an article overview of the Honors College Undergraduate Research programming. The energy for this article comes after the closing of the Office of Undergraduate Research as part of the restructuring across campus from new administration. It was meant to highlight the fact that undergraduate research opportunites still exist. Click the image for the full article.


Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

With the generous support of the Office of the Vice President of Research, the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program offers financial assistance for scholarly and creative projects under the mentorship of a faculty member.   

 Learn more about UROP

Undergraduate Research Day (URD)

Undergraduate Research Day will be held on Saturday, April 15th, 2023, from 8am to 5pm at Lissa and Cy Wagner Hall, 1005 Asp Avenue, University of Oklahoma.

This annual conference and celebration hosted by the Honors College showcases outstanding undergraduate research and creative activity for an audience of other students, faculty, and parents. Students who were funded in their research or creative activities from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program are required to present, but all students are welcome to showcase their work.

 Learn more about Undergraduate Research Day 2022

Honors Research Assistant Program (HRAP)

The Honors Research Assistant Program provides Honors students the opportunity to work with professors as research assistants on specific projects that the professor is studying.  Participants are expected to work for ten hours a week for ten weeks for $1000.00. Honors College students with at least 15 hours of college credit and a 3.4+ GPA are eligible to apply. We accept applications for this program each term. There is no fixed deadline. Applicants are considered until all listed potions are filled. Contact Jeff Cooper at, 325-8692 with questions.

 Apply for an HRAP position

The Honors Undergraduate Research Journal (THURJ)

The Honors Undergraduate Research Journal (THURJ) is an annual publication that celebrates undergraduate research in all academic disciplines. Each spring, THURJ publishes the best undergraduate research papers from the previous year written by Honors students, as determined by an editorial board of their peers. The editorial board reads and evaluates submissions using a blind review process, and chooses between 8-12 papers for publication in the journal. All published authors also receive a $200 prize.

 Learn more about THURJ

First Year Research Experience (FYRE)

In partnership with the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the Honors College offers an opportunity for first-year Honors students to participate in laboratory research. This course, the Honors First-Year Research Experience (FYRE) is open to Honors College students from all majors. Through a competitive application process students are matched with ongoing research projects led by OU professors in numerous disciplines. Selected students will participate in active laboratory research for 8-10 hours per week, culminating in a poster presentation and awards ceremony. The application process occurs in the fall semester, and the research work occurs in the spring semester. Students earn 3 hours of Honors credit for successful completion of the course.

 Find out more about FYRE

Nancy L. Mergler Faculty Mentor Award for Undergraduate Research

Each year, one OU professor is given the Nancy L. Mergler Faculty Mentor Award for Undergraduate Research. This award recognizes a faculty member who is exemplary in supporting undergraduate research. The nomination process is student-initiated, as explained in the attached flyer. If you have been or are currently engaged in a research project that involves a faculty mentor, please consider nominating that professor for this award!

 Learn more about the Nancy L. Mergler Award

Honors Engineering Research Experience (HERE)

In partnership with the Gallogly College of Engineering, the Honors College offers an opportunity to advanced Engineering students through the Honors Engineering Research Experience (HERE). Students selected from a competitive application and interview process participate in ongoing laboratory research projects led by OU professors. The HERE program provides students an opportunity to gain advanced research experience while also earning 3 hours of credit that counts for both the Honors College Research requirement (3980) and majors within Engineering. Students should plan to commit 9-12 hours per week. Applications and enrollment occur in both fall and spring semesters. Limited to majors in Engineering.

Find out more about HERE