URP, a Great Chance for Postechians to Experience Research
URP, a Great Chance for Postechians to Experience Research
  • Reporter Park Min-young
  • 승인 2014.09.25 20:10
  • 댓글 0
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The Undergraduate Research Program (URP) provides undergraduates with the chance and environment to apply their own ideas to real research. It began in 2000, and usually selects 30-40 individuals or teams. Up to 5 million KRW is granted for effective and vigorous research. The research support fund is usually used for participants’ research, such as for buying reference books, business trip allowance and experiment equipment.
Every year, many undergraduates develop their own ideas in their major field or other areas and research them through URP. In order to encourage interchanges between participants, URP holds a middle and final result presentation that all the students doing research take part in. Also, this program provides feedback on research results and awards paper prizes for outstanding presenters, giving publicity to the results that research academic advisors and examiners evaluate.
There are several procedures required to become a participant of URP. First,the research subject must be chosen. Second, participants must find a professor who is interested in and researching the chosen subject because undergraduates’ knowledge is usually insufficient and they do not know whether the selected research can be conducted under the given conditions as an undergraduate. Then, participants write a research plan and have sixth months to research, if the plan is approved. URP participants are assigned to an assistant, usually a graduate student who helps them research.
The Postech Times interviewed Park Tae-yoon (CE 11) who was awarded the superior research prize last year. There was one best research prize and four superior research prizes among about 40 teams. His subject of research is to make a reactor for CO₂ capture using Carbonic Anhydrase. His motive for taking part in URP was to experience research by using what he knows and to realize whether his aptitude and interest are right for researching. He said there were many experiments that had unexpected results and many variables, so it was difficult to understand what the problem was. Nevertheless, he said he could receive a prize because his experiment was for the proper purpose and produced results within the given conditions. For example, because of the limited support funds he used a simulation program instead of making a reactor.
He recommends URP to Postechians  because they can find whether they are interested in researching or not. Having a research experiment even for a brief period of time can boost confidence about their choice of topic. Also, he said URP helps participants not only gain experience, but also do a lot of networking that will be useful in their future. After URP, he felt that research’s core is going forward by many trials and errors and real research is different from what he had thought. He said patience and passion are necessary for researching, and as most Postechains have a strong will to research, URP is good opportunity for them.