Research Partners Program

The Research Partners Program (RPP) is a great avenue for undergraduates to get involved in research at Emory, an institution that highly values research. RPP connects students interested in working on a research project with a faculty mentor who needs a research assistant. Students in the humanities, arts, social sciences, and sciences are encouraged to apply. Students have a unique opportunity to work closely on a faculty’s research project before the student undertakes her/his own independent research. This is a program that is geared towards students who are entering research for the first time and have minimal research experience.

The program offers weekly classes on research skills and other support to help students be effective researchers.

The Research Partners Program enables students to:

  • Understand what research in a discipline looks like up close.
  • Work closely with world class faculty on a faculty led research project.
  • Be a part of a multidisciplinary community of undergraduate researchers.
  • Gain vital experience communicating research through public speaking and poster presentations.

How does the program work?

Faculty submit descriptions of research projects on which they would like students to work.  In some cases, the faculty and students may apply jointly in a pre-matched arrangement.  In most cases, faculty projects are submitted independently of student applications.  Rising second- and third-year students can apply with or without a prearranged faculty partnership.  Students who do not yet have a faculty mentor identified are supported in finding a mentor/research project during the first few weeks of the fall semester. All applicants should commit to working with their faculty mentor for a full academic year. 

Students also attend a weekly class called SIRE 299. Students selected for the program MUST be available 4-5pm on Tuesdays for these program meetings.  Classes are instructed by Graduate Fellows and cover topics from presenting research to research ethics. Graduate Fellows mentor Research Partners and support their research experience during the year.


Rising second and third year students. Students must be in good academic standing, and cannot be on academic probation.  We try to select equal numbers of students interested in the social sciences, humanities, arts, and natural sciences. Students do not need previous research experience.


Research Partners agree to:

  • Work with a faculty mentor for a full academic year on the research project.
  • Reserve Tuesdays 4-5 pm in their schedule for SIRE 299 class.  
  • Participate fully in weekly workshops and other program activities for a full academic year.
  • Create a research poster and give a presentation about his/her research in Emory College’s Spring Research Symposium.
  • Complete a Research Portfolio. 
  • Work up to 15 hours per week in their research space. Students cannot work more than 15 hours per week. 

Weekly Meetings

What should I expect from my RPP class? How can I be successful? 

The weekly RPP classes cover a wide range of topics from professional etiquette to general research skills including communication skills, common interview mistakes, mentor-mentee relationships, time management, problem solving and more.  

In addition to the weekly classes, RPP students meet individually with their graduate fellows to discuss their unique research projects and situations.  

Work Study

Students may elect to be compensated for their participation in the program through course credit or federal work study. All students receive one course credit for SIRE 299 regardless of electing to use federal work study or course credit. Even if eligible to receive federal work study, students may elect to participate in Research Partners for course credit.

If a student chooses to receive pay as an eligible federal work study student, he/she will be monetarily compensated through a combination of federal work study and URP program funds. If a student’s federal work study funds are exhausted, the student will be able to participate in the program for course credit. Students receive payment every two weeks through the University. 

Research for Credit

All students accepted in the Research Partners Program are registered for SIRE 299. All students receive one academic credit for SIRE 299. Students may earn additional course credits for the time they spend in their research space. Credits will be given on a basis of number of hours worked, including the one hour weekly RPP meetings. The scale for credit allotment is as follows: 

Criteria for Selection

The selection committee looks for students who:

  • Indicate curiosity and a strong interest in research.
  • Are committed to interdisciplinary dialogue.
  • Will be reliable and engaged research assistants.  

Mentor Selection: Pre-Matched and Unmatched

Finding a mentor before admittance into RPP is a great option, especially if you plan to work at a place with high clearance, such as Yerkes, which requires much training and paperwork. Also, your mentor could provide light assistance with your application. However, don’t stress if you don’t already have one in mind or if you’re not paired yet.

  • Start early, such as the spring before you intend to begin conducting research in the RPP.

  • Once you are paired, use your additional time to get ahead in your work and complete any necessary training or gain background information on the project.

  • Consider asking your faculty mentor for suggested readings. This will help you gain background knowledge. If your mentor assigns readings which he or she wrote, these readings may help.

Application Tips


There are four short essays that you need to write for the Research Partners Program application:

1) In 500 words or less, please describe how participating in research relates to your academic pursuits and career goals. 

Reflect on personal academic goals during your undergraduate career and beyond.  

  • Consider listing out previous courses, desired future courses, major/minor requirements, extracurricular activities, research interests, and personal goals.  
  • Be open-minded about how your undergraduate and future career(s) can benefit from research. 
  • Recognize that research is not limited to the natural sciences, but rather, relevant to all fields of scholarly inquiry (i.e., humanities, social sciences, business, visual arts, etc.) 
  • Pursue research in an area you are genuinely passionate about - do NOT do research solely for résumé-boosting purposes. 
  • Be cognizant that the RPP is a year-long commitment.  

2) In 500 words or less, please tell us why you are applying for THIS program. There are other research opportunities on campus, so we are interested in learning why you've chosen to apply to this one.  What are you hoping to get out of the Research Partner Program? 

  • Scope out other undergraduate research opportunities at Emory University and off-campus (e.g., CDC and Yerkes) to find what works best for you.  

3) In 500 words or less, describe what you hope to learn or share within an interdisciplinary community.

  • Reflect on what you can learn from other disciplines.
  • Tink about elements such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, etc.

4) In 100 words or less, describe how you see research aiding you in your career development.

  • Refect on how research can benefit you in either research or non-research related careers.

Application and Instructions

Applications due May 19, 2019 at 11:59pm.

  • Create a new user account on College Connect (or log-in with your user account if you have previously applied to another program through College Connect.)
  • Start a new application.
  • From the drop down menu select the application type,
    • Choose the Undergraduate Research Programs and select URP Research Partners Program.

The Research Partners application request the following information:

  1. Faculty Mentor Contact Information
    Provide your mentor's contact info if you already have an agreement with a research mentor OR the contact info of four faculty members conducting research that interests you. Use departmental websites, program websites (such as the SURE program), recommendations from your professors and academic advisor(s) to generate a list.
  2. Research Interests 
    In an essay of 500 words or less that describe your research interests and how they relate to your academic and career pursuits.
  3. RPP Interest
    In an essay of 500 words or less that describe your reasons for applying to THIS program. There are other research opportunities on campus; thus, tell us what you are hoping to get out of the Research Partners Program. For example, what are you hoping to get out of the weekly workshops.
  4. In 500 words or less, describe what you hope to learn or share within an interdisciplinary community.
  5. In 100 words or less, describe how you see research aiding you in your career development.
  6. Resume or CV
    Upload a PDF of your up to date resume or CV with the following file name format: ApplicantLastName_First Name_Resume.
  7. Transcript
    Upload a PDF of your Emory transcript wit the following file name format: ApplicantLastName_First Name_Transcript. If you have attended a college or university other than Emory and your grades do not appear on your Emory transcript, please upload an official copy of your transcript from the additional college or university.
  8. Faculty References. Provide the name and contact information(email) for two faculty members who you have worked with you in a research context or can speak your ability to work in a research setting. Your references will not be required to write a letter, but we may contact them for more information.


Immediately after the application deadline, applications will be prepared for the RPP selection committee. Student should provide their Emory email. Applicants will be notified by email in July.


Immediately after the application deadline, applications will be prepared for the RPP selection committee. Final decisions will be released in July and students will be notified via their Emory email.

**If you will not have access to your Emory email during this time, please contact beforehand.**

For Faculty: Information for RPP Mentors

RPP Faculty Mentor Guide

Faculty will receive an updated guide at the beginning of the fall semester.