Project Manager: Andrus Ashoo, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

USOAR Federal Work Study Research Program is a program that matches first-, second- and transfer undergraduate students with faculty mentors, giving them the opportunity to work in prominent UVA research labs.

BoV Approved: September 2016

Project Dates: 10/19/2016 – 10/18/2021

Funding Awarded: $559,500

Executive Summary

USOAR is a program that matches first-, second- and transfer undergraduate students who do not have previous significant experience in research with a paid research position funded by the Federal Work Study program and the Center for Undergraduate Excellence. Students spend 5-10 hours per week during the academic year working with their faculty supervisor in research-related tasks or projects. USOAR strives to not only introduce students to the enriching experiences surrounding research, but also provide students with the chance to build strong relationships with faculty. Modeled in part on UROP at the University of Michigan, USOAR grew out of a pilot project developed in 2013 by the Provost's Office and Student Financial Services, at the request of UVA President Teresa Sullivan, who sought to increase scholarly paid work opportunities for undergraduate students. The USOAR program seeks to attract students with financial need and from underrepresented populations and provide them with a path into research.

Current Status: Active


The PAC has conducted three formal reviews of this award, in May 2017, July 2019, and June 2020 at which time they granted a second no-cost extension so that the project team may have the opportunity to complete goals that were delayed due to COVID-19 disruptions. This SIF award has enabled the program to grow from 44 students prior to the award, to over 150 students today. The program has been highly successful, with two students applying for each position available. All of the students participating in the program have financial need. Underrepresented minorities account for about a third of the program participants. The success of this program generated the award of state funding which will sustain the program once the SIF funds are fully expended.