Undergraduate Research Opportunities (UROPs)

You learn by doing, and Undergraduate Research Opportunities are how you do research at CMS/W as an undergrad.

MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities (UROPs) are meant to connect students with faculty research. Arranging one for yourself with CMS/W can take a couple different paths. The most common is to have a great idea, related to CMS/W research or faculty interests, and approach a faculty member directly about his or her becoming your UROP sponsor. The other is to check out the list of available UROPs proposed by faculty—think of them as job openings—and apply.

A UROP can be for pay, for credit, or as a volunteer. Whichever it is, your work and CMS/W’s obligations to you use the same standard: the research done “must be worthy of academic credit”.

UROP proposals are welcome all year long, though there are deadlines.

Current UROP Openings

Project Title: Music discovery research and app development

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: Ian Condry

ProjectDescription: Local live music discovery app, research and development.  This research is part of the Dissolve Music project (mitdissolve.com), which aims to understanding broader questions of social networking, economic growth and inequality, community engagement, and data analysis by developing, and experimenting with, an app that provides listings of local live music events in Cambridge/Boston/Somerville..  Work with a professor of Comparative Media Studies to learn about these issues, and help streamline and optimize work that’s already underway with other college student researchers.  Expectation of 5-10 hours per week, if possible.  Some flexibility too.

Prerequisites: We seek people with an interest in live music, who also have interest in learning about database development, web scraping, and app creation in a group work environment.  Computer science background of some sort is a plus, but we also welcome people who are willing to learn.


Contact: Ian Condry (condry@mit.edu)


Project Title: Lead Developer (Mobile: React Native)

MIT Faculty Supervisor Name: William Uricchio

ProjectDescription: Anandana Kapur (Fulbright Nehru Fellow @ MIT Open Documentary Lab) is building an interactive mobile documentary to provide women who are below the digital divide an opportunity to create and share their stories of New Delhi, the capital of the world’s largest democracy. This is an opportunity to apply software engineering skills in two important and exciting areas – 1) creative arts, and 2) social development. Your work will contribute to a documentary film on an important socio-political issue in society – mobility in cities and security for women. Your responsibilities for this project will be:

  • Provide technical expertise and leadership to the development team.
  • In-person at CIC on Tuesday evenings, and over Slack otherwise
  • Design, develop, and test software
  • Drive execution of team strategy and roadmap, as set by Project and Product Leads


  • Good communication skills
  • React Native proficiency; experience with audio/video integration a big plus
  • Focus to lead team to finish project by or before May 2018


Contact: Rebecca Shepardson (bshep@mit.edu)


What Do Past UROPs Have to Say About Their Experience with CMS/W?

Christine Yu: past UROP, major in Writing - Digital Media Studies, minor in Biology, and MIT class of 2012

Christine Yu: past UROP, major in Writing – Digital Media Studies, minor in Biology, and MIT class of 2012

My work with the Imagination, Computation, and Expression Lab on Project Mimesis and AIR (Advanced Identity Representation) enhanced my experience as an undergraduate at MIT by allowing me to work directly with graduate students in the CMS department. I had previously UROP’ed for the Biology department, and so transferring over to CMS was quite the change; I found the CMS UROP experience to be more teamwork-based. I also enjoyed the change in scenery of the labs, and it has fostered my interest in the human experience in avatar generation and gaming.I would highly recommend UROP’ing for any undergraduate in fields of interest because it helps an individual to think about post-graduate plans, and it allows them to meet the future professionals of that field. While my post-graduate plans are currently medical school-based, I’ve been asked during interviews about my experience in the ICE Lab, and it’s always very fun to be able to talk about a broad range of my interests. I feel like my experience in the ICE Lab enhances my applications because it allows me to present myself as very personable, instead of just sitting behind a lab bench pipetting all day.