2023-24 Undergraduate Research Ambassador application now open


LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 21, 2023) — Applications are being accepted for positions as University of Kentucky (UK) Undergraduate Research Ambassadors for the 2023-2024 school year.

Organized by the UK Office of Undergraduate Research, the ambassadors program is a leadership opportunity for undergraduates who are passionate about promoting undergraduate research at UK and helping other undergraduates find their path.

“The Research Ambassador program is a crucial source of peer support that helps other undergraduate students navigate research,” said Ambassador Diksha Satish, a sophomore Lewis Honors College member and biology and mathematics major. “It is comforting to know that there are ambassadors willing to talk about their experiences and guide you through what can be a daunting process.”

Undergraduate Research Ambassadors (URAs) are a multidisciplinary, diverse team of students engaged in research in different academic fields of study across campus that serve a central role as advocates at UK. The URAs work to inspire broader engagement in undergraduate research by educating and serving the UK community and beyond. Ambassadors provide one-on-one advising with students to help them explore research opportunities and get involved in research, participate in roundtable and panel discussions, develop and lead workshops and informational sessions, provide presentations to the campus community, and represent the Office of Undergraduate Research, their respective colleges and the university at research, recruiting and outreach events.

Interested applicants should possess leadership experience, strong organizational, communication and time management skills, public speaking skills and the ability to work both independently and as part of a team. Ambassadors will gain skills in event planning, presentation skills, professionalism, leadership, collaboration and communication.

“As an ambassador, I love connecting with students over research and hearing the experiences they take away from it. A lot of students interested in research seem to be unsure of where to go or what to do to get involved, and ambassadors are able to help them figure out how to connect with a potential mentor,” said Gabija Ziemyte, second-year ambassador and Lewis Honors College senior and physics and mathematics major. “Research is a huge part of my life, and being able to talk to others about it and encourage others to participate is a really fantastic experience.”

URAs are chosen through a competitive interview process. Applicants are required to meet the following criteria:

  • Full-time enrollment as an undergraduate for 2023-24 in good academic standing.
  • Have completed at least two terms of research experience (fall, spring, summer).
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, leadership skills, and work ethic.
  • Ability to provide an encouraging, supportive environment for diverse groups of individuals.
  • Commit to at least two semesters (Fall 2023 and Spring 2024).
  • Commit to continue research in the academic year as an active peer mentor.
  • Complete the training program and attend monthly meetings.
  • Comply with the UK Code of Conduct.

Ambassadors serve for one academic year at a time and are eligible to serve multiple years.

Students interested in becoming URAs for the 2023-24 school year should attend an interest session to learn more about this leadership program. Two interest sessions are scheduled for 5:30 p.m., March 21 and 29, in Funkhouser Building Room 213. Attendance at one interest session and the community service social 5:30 p.m., April 17, in The 90 Room 203 is mandatory for all applicants.

For more information, visit Applications open March 17. The deadline to apply is April 17, 2023.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.