URAD for Faculty & Staff

Empowering Creativity, Celebrating Achievement

UNM offers numerous opportunities for undergraduate students to contribute to scholarship through research, arts and design. These include courses, co-curricular engagements, mentoring, student employment and internships, among many others. UNM faculty, staff and community partners are dedicated to developing and guiding these opportunities.

UNM’s Undergraduate Research, Arts & Design Network (URAD) builds on this impressive work conducted across UNM to provide undergraduates with direct early involvement in research, art and design projects, programs, and internships. URAD is designed to facilitate equitable access to opportunities, coordinate communication, and amplify existing efforts while also adding new opportunities for students.

URAD Goals

Through URAD, UNM faculty, staff, students and community stakeholders work together to meet the following goals:

  • Expand the number of UNM students engaged in research, arts & design activity at all UNM campuses.
  • Expand the diversity and number of students engaged in research, arts & design early in their undergraduate careers.
  • Foster greater collaboration among UNM campuses, divisions, schools, colleges, and departments.
  • Leverage research, arts & design engagement to improve university retention, degree persistence and graduation rates.

URAD Focus Areas

While all areas of undergraduate scholarship at UNM are important to our mission, the following types of student engagements best benefit from a network approach:

  • Interdisciplinary research, arts and design.
  • Participation on cross-campus research, arts and design projects.
  • Early and/or scaffolded entry into research, arts and design.
  • Experiential learning in research, arts and design.
  • Experimentation in arts and design.
  • Research, arts and design applied to solving societal challenges.

URAD Projects

Undergraduate Student Recruitment and Placement.  URAD offers many avenues to help students find their own unique paths to research engagement.  URAD can also tailor and offer all of the following options to UNM programs, courses and student cohorts.

  • The URAD website student pages. These pages include a “ Getting Started” guide to help students learn about and get engaged in undergraduate research, with emphasis on engaging students during their first two years at UNM.  These pages also provide students with regularly updated research opportunities from across the University, and connect students to other resources developed by URAD and by other UNM departments.
  • The URAD Student Opportunities Website. This page lists student opportunities for engaging in undergraduate research, arts & design.  URAD would love to share your opportunities with students, so please contact us today.
  • URAD tabling (NSO Discover Days, Welcome Back Days, Team Research Symposium, etc). URAD tables at all major tabling events, recruiting students to learn about and engage in undergraduate research opportunities.  Among others, these include New Student Orientation, Welcome Back Days, the Team Research Symposium, and OVPR Research Week, and Fall Preview Days for high school Seniors .  Faculty & staff are encouraged to share their research opportunities with URAD so that we can help recruit student participants.  Contact URAD at urad@unm.edu.
  • URAD conducts presentations to undergraduate students in classes/cohorts where we are invited to present. In addition, URAD conducts weekly workshops during the fall and spring semesters that introduce students to research concepts and pathways.  Please contact us if you would like URAD to introduce undergraduate research concepts and pathways in your course.
  • URAD maintains a Listserv of undergraduate students who are interested in research. We also engage with a network of UNM departments who each maintain their own email distribution lists.  These lists allow us to forward research opportunities to wider student populations.  Faculty & staff are encouraged to share their research opportunities with URAD so that we can distribute that information through the networks.
  • URAD regularly networks with academic advisors regarding research opportunities for their undergraduates. This includes presenting at the annual UNM advising institute, and at other advisor professional development gatherings, and posting on Advise-L.  If you would like to share your undergraduate research opportunities with advisors, please contact URAD and we will help distribute your information.

Undergraduate Research Conferences

  • Undergraduate Research Opportunities Conference. URAD coordinates and implements UROC, UNM’s premier undergraduate research conference.  This annual conference provides multiple avenues for students to share their research experiences, including poster presentations, oral presentations, research competitions, and special group sessions.  Faculty & staff can leverage URAD in two important ways: (1) encourage your individual students to submit abstracts to present their research through posters, oral presentations or competitions, and (2) work with URAD to set aside time and space at UROC for your class or cohort of students to present as a group.
  • URinspiration. URAD partners with UNM GEO, the University of Arizona, Florida International University and Fulbright Argentina to offer a free multi-lingual international undergraduate research symposium and conference for students.  URinspiration is offered in two parts: a fall symposium, where students learn key research concepts, and a spring conference, where students present their research to faculty/staff reviewers and peers.  For more information on whether URinspiration is a good fit for your students, please contact URAD.

Undergraduate Research Competitions. Competitions provide students with the structure and encouragement to reflect on their learning, to present their experiences to peers and faculty researchers, and to share back with their communities.  Competition awards strengthen resumes and graduate school applications.  We encourage faculty & staff to share information about upcoming competitions with their students, and to mentor them in building strong submissions.  URAD is also eager to create new student competitions in collaboration with faculty & staff members, UNM departments, divisions, or campuses.

Currently, URAD participates and/or sponsors in the following research competitions:

  • UROC 180, in which students present their research within three minutes to a panel of judges. Students participate in heats, and with winners moving the finals.
  • UROC Research Story, where students communicate their own research journeys, reflecting on the personal and professional aspects of conducting research (as opposed to journal articles, where the focus is entirely on the research).
  • UROC Team Research Competition, where students collaborate to design a research/design projects, and present it to judges. Students are not expected to conduct the research, so this competition is an exercise in conceptualizing and planning.
  • Faculty-Mentored Undergraduate Research Award, where URAD collaborates with OVPR to recognize an effective pairing of Faculty and Undergraduate researchers.
  • Undergraduate Globally-Engaged Research Award, where URAD collaborates with GEO and OVPR to recognize undergraduate research that incorporates elements of internationally-relevant undergraduate research.

URAD Expo websiteThe URAD Expo website is a WordPress installation that allows greater flexibility in content organization and delivery.  URAD Expo currently focuses on the following areas:

  • Presenting undergraduate research stories. This site provides space for students to share their personal research journeys.  This process inspires other students to see themselves as future researchers, and helps early UNM students to chart their individual pathways into research.  Students may submit their stories as part of the UROC Research Story Competition, or individually at any time by contacting URAD.  Faculty & staff are encouraged to mentor their students in submitting their stories.  Additionally, research stories could serve as capstones to student engagement in your research projects or in your course(s), allowing students to reflect on and share what they have learned under your guidance. 
  • Undergraduate research projects and portfolios. This site helps students share their projects with the public.  While academic journals and other publications allow students to share their work with other students and academics, it is important for students to learn to translate their work to other audiences.  Faculty & staff are encouraged to build public communications projects into their undergraduate research engagements.  URAD can help to train students to present their work to the public, and can work with them individually to submit and finalize their projects.
  • Undergraduate research presentations. This site can host student academic presentations.  If your students need a place to house their academic presentation, linking to it in their graduate school application or resume, please contact URAD.

URAD News Articles (posted on URAD homepage and UNM Newsroom). 

URAD writes UNM Newsroom stories about undergraduate research, arts & design students, faculty and programming at UNM.  Stories that focus on undergraduate research, arts or design are tagged with URAD, and are filtered and posted on the URAD homepage, as well as the UNM Newsroom.  If you would like to share the successes/innovations of your students, program, course or faculty, please contact URAD today and we will write and post a story.

Course redesign and faculty professional development: ECURE.

ECURE (Expanding Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences) is an NSF-funded grant designed to leverage UNM’s research mission to enrich undergraduate education in STEM general education and portal courses.  It is led and supported by Academic Affairs, the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Division of Equity and Inclusion, and the Office of Student Affairs.  

ECURE provides a framework for incorporating elements of undergraduate research into UNM courses at various levels of student engagement:

  • Preparatory, where students learn about research without conducting research
  • Partial, where students conduct part of a research project
  • Full, where students conduct a complete authentic research project

An important tool created by ECURE is a PRE and POST research survey that measures student efficacy, identity and challenges related to undergraduate research.  This survey has been adapted for use by other UNM programs.

If you are planning to incorporate undergraduate research pedagogy into your UNM course, URAD can provide you with resources that will strengthen your curriculum.  For more information, please contact URAD and ECURE Director Tim Schroeder at timschroeder@unm.edu.

Undergraduate to Graduate student research connection: HHMI Research Exploration Connection.

Funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), URAD collaborates with the Museum Research Traineeship program to create a model for connecting undergraduate students to graduate student researchers.  Research Exploration Connection (REC) provides UNM undergraduate students with paid opportunities to engage in brief research projects led by Master’s and Doctoral students.

These projects are designed to introduce undergraduates to various research methods and approaches, and to provide potential pathways for undergraduate and graduate students to further partner on the research.

Undergraduate students who participate in REC should expect to spend between 6 to 24 hours on their project and receive between $100 and $500 for participating, with the actual amount depending on the time commitment involved in participating on the project.

The 2023-24 cohort of REC involves 7 graduate students (out of 17 applicants) and more than 30 undergraduate students (out of more than 65 applicants).

Faculty & staff are encouraged to provide funding for REC projects for their own graduate students.  URAD will will help graduate students to design their projects, will train graduate students on how to mentor undergraduate students, will recruit undergraduate students to participate on their projects, and will process the payment of students awards for graduate and undergraduate students.

Undergraduate Fellowships.

URAD partners with other UNM programs to develop and implement cohort-based undergraduate fellowships.  These paid co-curricular experiences introduce students to key research concepts and practices, while building student efficacy and education capital.  Two recent examples include:

  • Sustainable water research communications. This fellowship is sponsored and implemented by the Water Grand Challenges team and teaches students how to communicate research to the public. 
  • Center for Native American Health. This fellowship is sponsored by the Center for Native American Health (CNAH), and is coordinated jointly by CNAH and URAD.  In 2022-23, the focus of the fellowship was on research in Native-led communities, and in 2023-24, the focus is on Indigenous Environmental Health. 

Faculty & staff who are interested in creating their own cohort-based undergraduate fellowship program are encouraged to contact URAD.  We can help with creating the fellowship structure, identifying partners to share the load, recruiting student participants, and identifying venues to share their project achievements. 

Support to faculty for generating undergraduate research opportunities.

One of UNM’s most accessible options for increasing the number and effectiveness of undergraduate research opportunities is providing support for faculty to write these opportunities into their research grants.  In addition to the services listed above, URAD offers several key supports to faculty writing grant proposals:

  • URAD website, including plug and play. The URAD Plug and Play website includes projects or supports that can be adopted by faculty, and incorporated into their grant proposals.  Included in Plug and Play is an introduction to small program assessment metrics.
  • Meetings with individual faculty members, either before they apply for funding, or after they receive funding. In these meetings, URAD will work with faculty to identify support mechanisms to enrich faculty research grants.
  • Letters of support for research grant proposals that incorporate elements of undergraduate research, arts & design. URAD personnel can serve as co-PIs on grant proposals when requested.

Additional programming.

In addition to research, arts and design programming, URAD participates in other similar projects.

  • Peer Learning Facilitators. URAD provides support for the PLF program, convening coordination meetings and recruiting faculty PLF proposals.  Faculty are encouraged to write PLF support into grant proposals when appropriate.
  • LoboGrow student employee support. URAD recruits supervisor participation from within Academic Affairs, and is helping to develop an assessment program for LoboGrow.  LoboGrow is a simple but effective mechanism for helping student employees connect what they are learning in their jobs to what they are learning in their coursework, and works well with students at any level of research engagement. 

How to get involved in URAD

If you would like to be involved in planning or programming, please contact urad@unm.edu for any of the following options:

  • To collaborate with URAD in applying for a research grant that incorporates elements of undergraduate research, arts & design.
  • To make use of any of the URAD support mechanisms listed above.
  • To share your class, program or other student opportunity on URAD websites.
  • To help recruit student participants for your program or course.
  • To share the successes of your faculty, students, class or program on the UNM Newsroom.



Email:  urad@unm.edu;   timschroeder@unm.edu