About UBRP

The Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP) is an educational program designed to teach students science by involving them in biologically related research.  Students are paid for their time in the lab, where they develop an understanding of the scientific method, receive a realistic view of biological research, and are mentored by faculty.  They also acquire the tools necessary to be successful in post-graduate studies in biology should they choose careers related to biology or research.  Students begin UBRP with a full-time summer research apprenticeship, and then have the option to continue in UBRP on a part-time basis during the academic year, to accommodate classes.


To be eligible for UBRP, students must:

  • Be a current degree-seeking University of Arizona undergraduate, enrolled in a minimum of seven credit hours.  Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP) undergraduates are eligible for UBRP prior to completing the Bachelor’s degree.  AMP students who have completed a Bachelor’s degree are no longer considered undergraduates and are not eligible for UBRP.

  • Have an expected graduation date of December 2024 or later.

  • Be in good academic standing.

  • Have an interest in biological research.

  • Be an American citizen, U.S. permanent resident, or in the case of foreign nationals, hold a visa allowing them to work in this country. Students who do not fall into these categories are permitted to participate in UBRP on a voluntary, unpaid basis.

  • Be able to commit to a full-time summer research position (35 hours/week for 12 weeks of Summer 2024) and attend UBRP Orientation (Monday, May 13, 2024 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.).

How Does UBRP Work?

Students selected to participate in UBRP begin the program by interviewing with potential mentors of interest during the spring semester. Participation in the UBRP is contingent upon finding a faculty mentor with whom to work.

After securing their mentors and being hired as UBRP research assistants, students attend a day-long UBRP Orientation in mid-May and then begin full-time research with their mentors.  Students conduct research for 35 hours per week for a minimum of 12 weeks during the summer to become immersed in their projects.  As the summer is roughly 14 weeks long, students can take a break during the summer and still fulfill program expectations.  UBRP participants are paid wages provided 50% by UBRP and 50% by their mentors; the anticipated hourly wage for new UBRP students is $15.00/hour for Summer 2024.

Students also attend weekly professional development meetings to hone their communication skills as scientists (how to create a scientific poster, how to give an “elevator speech” about their research, etc.) and scientific seminars to learn more about the breadth of biological research being conducted on campus.  All UBRP students are expected to present a poster of their experimental results at the annual UBRP Conference held each January.  UBRPers are provided additional opportunities to participate in optional field trips, community service opportunities, and social events to become involved with a community of scholars.

Students participating in UBRP are not allowed to take summer school classes because this reduces the time and effort they can commit to their research.

Students who satisfactorily complete a summer UBRP experience may continue in UBRP for the following academic year if they are able to devote a minimum of 10 hours/week to their research.  During the academic year, paid positions are provided for undergrads who are eligible for federal work-study or whose mentors can cover 100% of their wages for the academic year; students who fall outside of these categories may continue in UBRP for academic credit (as arranged through their major departments) or as volunteers.  Students who continue in UBRP during the academic year, regardless of paid or unpaid status, are given priority for paid UBRP positions for the following summer.

Application Process

Download a UBRP Application Worksheet and follow the directions to submit your final application online via Qualtrics.  The deadline to submit applications is 5:00 p.m. Arizona Time on February 1, 2024.  Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

A letter of recommendation is only required if you have prior independent research experience.  The letter of recommendation must be from a member of the research group, preferably the primary scientist.  Please direct your recommender to e-mail the letter to Jennifer Cubeta, UBRP Director, at cubeta@arizona.edu.  Letters must be received by 5:00 p.m. Arizona Time on February 1, 2024, to be considered.

Applicants will be notified of the status of their applications by March 1, 2024. If you have questions, please contact Jennifer Cubeta, UBRP Director at cubeta@arizona.edu.


Additional Information

Learn more about UBRP student experiences and the origin of UBRP and funding.