The Independent Undergraduate Research Program

What is independent research?

Independent undergraduate research and creative projects through ORCA are student-initiated, student-led endeavors that are mentored by one or more faculty mentors. Student participants should have substantial control in respect to the research question they are investigating or the creative project they are undertaking, as well as the process through which the work is undertaken. In the case that the student participant is taking ownership over a research question or creative project under a larger collaborative project, they should be in the position of first-author for any resulting research paper.

What is IURP?

The Independent Undergraduate Research Program encourages students to explore and undertake independent research and creative projects during the academic year by providing an academic alternative to federal work-study positions.

IURP provides funding through work-study or academic credit to undergraduate students completing independent research projects under faculty mentorship. In addition, IURP offers administrative support, guidance and a community of undergraduate research and creative artists and scholars.

Beginning Fall 2019, IURP replaced the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). 

As a IURP participant, students will:

  • Write a proposal, based on the formulation of research questions
  • Conduct the research
  • Analyze data
  • Write an abstract
  • Publicly communicate the results to the academic community through a presentation at LMU's .
  • Complete interim and final assessment evaluations with faculty mentor.

Many program participants go on to share their work through additional conferences, publications, or other professional opportunities.

Participation in IURP is an intense and intentional program designed to provide students with insight into the research process. Research through IURP takes place under the guidance of a LMU faculty mentor. Please, contact The Office of Undergraduate Research ( with any questions.

Why participate in IURP?

Undergraduate research and creative projects are integral components of a top tier education. LMU students use their IURP experiences to work with faculty on research projects, learn about potential majors, gain skills and knowledge to apply to graduate school or to careers after graduation. You will have the opportunity to attend workshops and social events. Most importantly, you will investigate areas of interest intriguing to you!

Goals of IURP

  • To help students establish closer relationships and interactions with faculty outside the classroom.
  • To provide opportunities for students in all disciplines to be active learners.
  • To teach students the elements of the research process by engaging them in a research project.
  • To help students to develop critical thinking, writing, and communication skills.
  • To increase students' opportunities for post-graduate Fellowships, careers in research, and other study.
  • To help students develop self-confidence as independent and innovative thinkers.
  • To help students grow ethically in their understanding of and responsibility to contribute to the world in which we live.
  • To support students working on independent projects

Ways In Which You Can Participate In IURP

  • Work Study
  • Academic Credit

In addition, and on a competitive basis, funding is available for research supplies and materials and for travel to participate in conferences.