Undergraduate Research Jumpstart Program

Program Overview

The UGRJ program is designed to provide the strategies and support students need to become a successful undergraduate researcher. The goal is to help students understand the nature of the research process and how to pursue undergraduate research at Penn State. In this program, students will explore resources and services that will help in identifying their research interests, while also gaining insight into the process of applying for undergraduate research opportunities.

By the completion of the program, students will have curated a toolkit personalized to their research interests!

Join the Spring 2023 Cohort!

This semester, an in-person program will be conducted Thursdays from 6:00–7:00 PM Eastern at Pattee/Paterno Libraries, University Park. The program will begin February 9, 2023 and will run through March 30, 2023. Participants are expected to attend at least 6 of the 7 workshops. Completed applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM Eastern on January 27, 2023.

To apply for the program, fill out the UGRJ Program Application!

Program Contact

Contact Danica E. White, Coordinator for Undergraduate Research & Engagement, dew5422@psu.edu with any questions you have about the program.


Week Session
Program Schedule

What is Research and Why Should I do It?

Week one will introduce students to the types of research they can participate in, and the benefits of getting involved, as an undergraduate student.


Doing Research on Research

Week two will introduce students to "the scholarly conversation" and discuss methods for choosing a research topic and getting started on a literature review.



Nuts & Bolts of Finding Research Opportunities

During week three, Undergraduate Research & Fellowships Mentoring (URFM) will introduce students to the Penn State research database and how to find opportunities for research at Penn State.


Finding and Communicating with Faculty

A faculty research panel will join the week four meeting to answer students' questions about how to communicate with potential research mentors.


Digging in:  Research Within the Libraries and Beyond

During week five, students will be introduced to research resources within the University Libraries - Libraries databases, citation managers, finding subject librarians, AAL, Search Bar, etc.


Exploring Your Research Knowledge

Career Services will introduce students to the informational interview and how to make connections within the Penn State community for week six.


What's Next for Me?

For the last week of the program, students will discuss their goals going forward and complete a research goal plan.

Student Testimonials

"I like the way that the program is set up and how it’s teaching us where to find research, how to write an application, etc. I think that the information provided to us in this program is more beneficial to us than what I thought the program was about.”

“Initially, I was confused about the application process. It was so much information all over the place. This program helped me organize all the resources. I am much [more] confident about the research process now.”

"This program made me feel so much more comfortable and confident in my ability to find and participate in undergraduate research!

“I think I was expecting to get help on how to make a good research application but have gotten a lot more than that. I think that I have learned a lot of useful skills on how to be a good applicant and not just write a good application.”

“I just thought we were gonna fake research to learn about how to write papers. Now that we have done so much, I feel so much more informed. I feel really happy that I found so many resources and so much guidance.”

"If you are on the fence and feeling overwhelmed about doing research, definitely partake in the UGRJ!"

Check out the program's promotional video to hear students talk about their experiences.