Loyola University Chicago


Loyola Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program • Center for Experiential Learning

2014-15 LUROP Fellows and Mentors

The 2014–15 cohort of LUROP fellows is the largest in LUROP's history, with 226 fellowships already awarded to 189 undergraduate researchers—numbers that will increase when CURL announces its undergraduate research fellows in the fall. Loyola undergraduates submitted 436 applications for LUROP fellowships before the March 1st deadline, making this the most selective cohort of LUROP fellows as well.

The 2014–15 cohort is also mentored by the largest and most diverse group of undergraduate research mentors in LUROP's history. A total of 114 faculty members and doctoral candidates, representing 24 departments or schools, serve as research mentors.

The graphs on this page offer a quick glance at the 2014-15 cohort of LUROP fellows and mentors.

*Please note these lists include the McNair Scholars Program, which is federally-funded and is not bound by LUROP award policies, but which uses the LUROP application system and participates in the spring symposium. They also include those students who are in the second year of two-year fellowships. They do not yet include CURL Fellows for 2014–15.

The graph above shows the number of undergraduate research fellows supported by each program. There are more Mulcahy Scholars and Provost Fellows than other programs, yet other programs offer more lucrative awards or opportunities for a more tightly-knit cohort. The number of programs has grown in recent years, adding the Johnson Scholarship, the Molecular and Computational Biology Summer Fellowship, the McNair Scholars Program, and the Social Justice Research Fellowship for a total of 16 programs affiliated with LUROP to varying degrees.

During the 2014–15 academic year, 63% of LUROP fellows are seniors, 31% are juniors, and 6% sophomores. All of these students applied in the spring of the previous year, as juniors, sophomores, and freshmen, respectively. These percentages may partly reflect the benefit of research experience when applying for LUROP fellowships, but more importantly, they reflect the requirement of many LUROP Fellowships that students apply with a prearranged mentor. First and second year students are encouraged to apply for programs that match students with a research mentor, and to start searching early for faculty members who might later serve as a research mentor.

The pie chart above shows that over 80% of LUROP Fellows applied for their program with a prearranged mentor, a faculty member who agreed to mentor them on their research project before they applied. Nearly 20% however, found a mentor through their program. Four programs—CCIH, Molec/Comp Biology, RMP, and WISER—match up students and mentors directly, and the McNair program helps students match up with mentors after they are accepted into the program. First and second year students in particular should consider applying for the programs that match students up with a mentor.

There are nearly an even number of summer and academic year fellows. Summer programs include the Bio Summer Research Fellowship, the Molec/Comp Biology Summer Fellowship, the Research Mentoring Program (RMP), and WISER. Academic year programs include the CCIH Fellowship, the Mulcahy Scholarship, the Ricci Scholarship, and the Rudis Fellowship. Students may take the IES Fellowship, the Provost Fellowship, and the Social Justice Research Fellowship as either a summer or academic year fellowship. Two-year fellowships include the Biology Research Fellowship, the Carbon Fellowship, and the Johnson Scholarship.

Sixty percent of LUROP fellows are women while 40% are men. At Loyola overall, 64% of all undergraduates are women while 36% are men.

Fifty-eight percent of LUROP mentors are men, while 42% are women. As a point of reference, among full-time faculty overall (tenure track and non-tenure track), 54% are men and 46% are women. Most, though not all, LUROP mentors are faculty members, as you can see in the graph below.

Among LUROP mentors, 88% are faculty members, while 12% are doctoral candidates who mentor undergraduate researchers through the Research Mentoring Program (RMP) managed by the Graduate School. Among faculty mentors, many are tenured or on a tenure-track, but several are not, and LUROP programs consider applications from students with any Loyola faculty mentors. In addition to the 14 graduate student mentors through the RMP, many graduate students play an important role in supporting and training undergraduate researchers—work that is recognized by the Graduate Student Mentor Award declared at the Undergraduate Research and Engagement Symposium each spring.

This year, LUROP mentors hail from 24 different departments, schools, and centers—more if you differentiate programs in the professional schools. This is a wider range of mentors than in previous years. Consistent with previous years, a few departments have a prolific number of LUROP mentors, including Psychology with 20, Biology with 16, and Chemistry & Biochemistry with 16 as well. Notably, Political Science is home to 11 LUROP mentors in 2014–15.

This chart of each individual LUROP fellowship awarded in 2014–15, organized by the mentor's department, offers perhaps the best indication of exactly what type of research LUROP fellows are conducting with their mentors. As you can see, far and away the most LUROP-supported undergraduate research takes place in three departments: Biology, Psychology, and Chemistry & Biochemistry. This year, 76 LUROP fellowships were awarded to students researching with a Biology mentor, 40 fellowships were awarded to students working with a Psychology mentor, and 36 fellowships were awarded to students working with a Chemistry & Biochemistry mentor. On a side note, comparing the two charts above indicates the average number of fellows that mentors advise in each department, with Psychology mentors supporting an average of 2 fellows and Biology mentors remarkably advising nearly 5 fellows each. While some fellowship programs are designed specifically for Biology students, and the Mulcahy Scholarship (the second-largest program) is open to natural sciences only, other programs target non-science students, and the Provost Fellowship (the largest program) is open to all applicants, including from the professional schools. In fact, the large number of students who win LUROP fellowships to conduct research in Biology, Psychology, and Chemistry fairly closely reflects the percentage of LUROP applications received. Other factors certainly at play include the large number of Biology majors at Loyola compared to several humanities majors, for example, and the prevalence of a lab-based model of research that takes place in the STEM disciplines. Ultimately, LUROP fellowships are awarded based on the strength of the individual applications, and within the parameters of each LUROP program's area of focus, all applications are welcomed. LUROP strives to support and cultivate mentored undergraduate research across all disciplines at Loyola University.