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Provides opportunities for UMD undergraduates to work closely with faculty mentors on summer research projects while actively engaging with the broader community of SPIRE researchers.


OUR's Student-Proposed Innovation & Research Experience (SPIRE) provides opportunities for University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) undergraduates to work closely with faculty mentors on summer research projects while actively engaging with the broader community of SPIRE researchers.

SPIRE is designed for students with experience with undergraduate research or students who have already secured an undergraduate research mentor.

OUR welcomes SPIRE Proposals from students in all academic and artistic fields and will award students in the program a stipend of $3,000.


Students will be expected to spend approximately 20 hours a week on their projects and program activities and may conduct their research during eight weeks between May 28th and August 16th, 2024. 

During the summer, students can engage in workshops, seminars, and networking events with other undergraduate students and their SPIRE cohort. SPIRE students will also be required to present their work the week of July 15, 2024, at an OUR-hosted ​undergraduate research dissemination event.

Who should apply to SPIRE?

SPIRE is designed for students who: 

Have a plan for a self-designed summer research project.

Have secured the agreement of a UMD faculty member to advise them on their project.

Engage in research or creative endeavors  in any and all academic and artistic fields.


Undergraduate students scheduled to graduate no earlier than December 2024.

Must have completed at least 12 or more UMD course credits (not including AP or IB credits) by the application deadline. 



The SPIRE Proposal is a four-step process completed by the student and mentor, with each step triggering the next.

Students should complete a Student Pre-Proposal to provide their name, Email Address (@umd or @terpmail), Numeric UID Number (9 Digits), their Mentor's Name, Mentor's Email Address (@umd), and a brief description of their proposed project. The primary purpose of the Student Pre-Proposal is to ensure the student has secured a mentor, and responses will not be used for admission decisions.


Student Pre-Proposal

Due February 19, 2024 at 11:59pm

After the student has completed the Student Pre-Proposal, the mentor will receive an invitation via email to complete the Mentor Agreement. The Mentor Agreement will request the mentor confirm their role as the student’s mentor and outline review criteria and materials required in the Mentor Review.

Mentor Agreement


Due February 22,

2024 at 11:59pm

Upon submission of the Mentor Review, students will be invited via email to complete the Student Proposal. The Student Proposal consists of six questions and requires students to upload an up-to-date unofficial UMD transcript. Requirements of the Student Proposal can be found below.


Student Proposal

Due March 8, 2024 at 11:59pm

After students have completed the Student Proposal, mentors will be invited to complete the Mentor Review via email. Requirements of the Mentor Review can be found below. 


Mentor Review

Due March 25, 2024 at 11:59pm

Notification of Acceptance

After the mentor has submitted the Mentor Review, the SPIRE Proposal will be considered complete and will be reviewed by OUR. Students and mentors will be notified by Monday, April 8th, 2024 regarding the student's acceptance into SPIRE via email. 

Monday April 8th, 2024


Confirmation of Participation

Upon receipt of the Notification of Acceptance, students will be prompted to confirm participation in SPIRE by Monday, April 15th, 2024 at 11:59pm

Monday April 15th, 2024 at 11:59pm



We have developed detailed guides to help students and mentors prepare a SPIRE Proposal. Please select Student Proposal Information or Mentor Review Information below to navigate to detailed instructions for each step of the SPIRE Proposal.

Questions About SPIRE?

Read our FAQs for more detailed information about SPIRE.  If you still have questions after reviewing our FAQs send us an email at

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