About URS

Undergraduate Research Scholars Program

Discovery and creativity are the cornerstones of our greatness as a university – in the sciences, engineering, the arts, and the social sciences. The experience of working with a faculty or staff member who is pushing forward the frontiers of knowledge or creative expression will transform what students learn in the classroom into reality and relevance.

The Undergraduate Research Scholars program (URS) is dedicated to enhancing the academic experience of UW-Madison students by providing 1st- and 2nd- year undergraduates with opportunities to earn credit for participating in research and creative work with UW-Madison faculty and staff. The program has been designed to include partnerships between students and mentors, seminars on research-relevant issues, and practice in research/artistic presentations.

Mission Statement

  • We bring together 1st- and 2nd- year undergraduates with faculty and staff to enhance the university’s mission of research and creative endeavor
  • We help to create a diverse and inclusive scholarly community that includes students from historically underrepresented groups
  • We develop leadership through peer mentoring
  • We assist students in planning challenging post-baccalaureate opportunities

Wisconsin Idea

The URS program was created with the Wisconsin Idea and the university’s mission – to create, integrate, transfer, and apply knowledge – in foresight.

“Sifting and Winnowing” In Our World

Every year URS chooses a different theme to explain how research and creative work observe, learn, and understand the interactions of life. The URS theme for the 2018-2019 school year is “‘Sifting and Winnowing’ In Our World”.

To learn more about the historical UW phrase “sifting and winnowing”, click here.

Picture of the Sifting and Winnowing plaque on Bascom Hall
A shadow from morning sunlight shining through an arch frames a view of on the “Sifting and Winnowing” plaque mounted in the portico of Bascom Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on July 25, 2012. At lower left is the photographer’s shadow. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)