The Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP) was established in 1988 in the Department of Biochemistry by the late Dr. Michael Wells. Supported initially by departmental funds and faculty mentors’ research grants, there were 19 UBRPers in 1988 and they worked with 13 faculty mentors drawn from six departments located in three University of Arizona (UA) colleges. The program expanded significantly in June 1989 with support from grants made by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

From the very beginning faculty mentors have paid half of the UBRP students’ wages. Over the years, UBRP has had support from external grants from federal agencies (NSF, National Institutes of Health, and the Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities), private non-profit organizations (HHMI, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics), as well as from faculty mentors’ research grants, internal UA funds (from the Provost, the Vice President for Research, BIO5, and the Colleges of Medicine, Science, Agriculture, Engineering, Public Health, and Pharmacy), and private industry (Sanofi and the Bioindustry Organization of Southern Arizona). UBRP now supports approximately 100 UA undergraduate students per year and includes more than 240 faculty sponsors drawn from 43 UA departments, the UA College of Medicine in Phoenix, and the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix.


Over the years, UBRP has been funded by multiple sources including external grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, and the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET). Significantly, participating faculty mentors provide half of the wages of any UBRP student in their group along with all of the research supplies. Internal funding is provided by the Colleges of Science, Medicine, Pharmacy, Public Health, and Agriculture & Life Sciences, as well as by BIO 5, the Senior Vice President for Research, and the Office of the Provost.  For the summer of 2018, UBRP funding came from the internal sources mentioned previously, along with grants from ASPET, the Beckman Foundation, WAESO (NSF), and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) at NIH.

The last, and a very important part of our funding going forward, is you. Please consider donating today to ensure that future generations of undergraduates have the opportunity to experience research.