Apply for Fall 2020 Undergraduate Award Programs

 Funding Programs 2020-21

Every year the UConn Undergraduate department of research launches different award programs and grants helping all students engage in different research projects in which students can find innovative solutions to solving problems as well as doing more research on a field/concept they enjoy! Below are the two award programs that are taking applicants for the Fall 2020 cohort of students!


Change Grants – UConn Co-op Legacy Fellowship Program 


Application Deadlines: Monday, October 5, 2020; Monday, February 10, 2020 


UConn Co-op Legacy Fellows engage in projects that represent the legacy of the UConn Co-op’s commitment to public engagement, innovation, and social impact, including service initiatives, creative endeavors, research, advocacy, and social entrepreneurship. Fellows receive up to $2000 to support project expenses. Applications are accepted twice per year in October and February. 


UConn IDEA Grant Program 


Application Deadline: Wednesday, December 9, 2020 for summer funding; Monday, March 8, 2021 for academic year funding 


This UConn IDEA Grant program provides funding and support for student-designed projects, including artistic and creative endeavors, research projects, prototyping and entrepreneurial ventures, and service initiatives. There are two application cycles per year, with deadlines in the fall and in the spring.  Students can apply individually or as part of a small group working collaboratively on a project. Grants of up to $4000 per student are available. 

Mark your Calendars ; UCAS is coming to UConn

ucsas2020 aka ( UCONN SPORTS ANALYTICS SYMPOSIUM) organized by the Statistical Data Science Lab at UConn, aims to: showcase sports analytics to students at an accessible level;

train students in data analytics with application to sports data; and foster collaboration between academic programs and the sports industry.



When: Saturday, October 10, 2020

Where: Virtual through WebEx Event



While there are many well established sports analytics conferences, they are often not accessible to students due to technical level, cost, or space limitations. UConn, recognized nationally for its teams in sports such as basketball, baseball, and hockey, among others, hosts the UConn Sports Analytics Symposium (UCSAS), which will focus specifically on undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in sports analytics.

Month of Discovery kickoff with Dr. Catriona Wallace!

Opening Speaker flyer

Dr. Catriona Wallace is the CEO of Ethical AI Advisory ( and is also the Founder & Director of Flamingo AI (, an Artificial Intelligence software company based in the US and Australia and she loves robots! She also believes that thinks they will likely take over one day.

Catriona is regarded as one of the most influential women in business and entrepreneurship. She is also an Adjunct Professor and is known to translate really nerdy topics into everyday language. Coming from a police officer and nightclub owner background, Catriona is now one of the world’s most cited commentators on AI, Ethics and Women in Leadership. Catriona is a philanthropist, human rights advocate, environmentalist and mother of five.  Join us on October 7th at 7pm EST, through a Youtube livestream to hear more about Dr. Catriona Wallace and her story. 

Students Partake in Innovate Wellness Poster Presentation!

Over the past two years, the UConn Wellness Coalition, Student Health and Wellness has brought together UConn students, staff, and faculty from across campus to work towards creating a culture of wellness. The UConn Wellness Coalition has teamed up with OPIM Innovate to host the 2nd Annual Innovate Wellness Challenge: this year’s challenge addresses student stress. 

On Wednesday March 4th, UConn competing students from various academic disciplines took part in the Innovate Wellness poster challenge, in which they showcased their ideas for the Innovate Wellness challenge that were broken up into 3 stages; Empathize, Define, & Ideate. The idea’s proposed varied from sleep rooms, to different lighting apparatus, to rooms designated for stress relief. 

Stresswell, a team trying to bring back a once popular “Wellness Station” said the event allowed them to do some additional market research, and hear about student wants before they finalized an idea. “A lot of the feedback we’ve been getting showed that students want a designated spot for their mental well-being.” 

Students and staff were invited to judge the presentations as well, Ajshae Zulfi, Junior at UConn placed first last year for her idea “Wellness Points”, Ajshae judged some of the teams, and said she likes the idea of decreasing student stress. Ajshae also wants to advise this year’s competitors to “remember who their audience is, and to know that it has the potential to be utilized and impact lives.” 

Our next event is on March 26th, in the Student Union ballroom. All students, staff and faculty are welcome! For more information about the challenge visit:

Students Explore Applications of Machine Learning!

On March 6th, 2020 OPIM Innovate hosted their Applications to Machine Learning Workshop part of their spring workshop series. Students learned the different perspectives around Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Students also learned several direct search methods such as Nelder and Mead, Shor’s r-Algorithm and random search. Students learned how these methods use reinforcement learning strategies in machine learning. 

The workshop was taught by Nadia Udler, a Computer Science and Engineering professor at UConn Stamford. Udler has a background in Computer Science and applied mathematics. Udler was intrigued by Artificial Intelligence because she always thought computers could do more, she says “AI is like a child trying to learn, it’s that simple!” Udler believes the future of AI is up to our imagination, she teaches a Contemporary Issues in Computer Science and Engineering course where students discuss the different types of AI and how this technology will both help and disrupt our society.  

Dharani Rangthale, a Finance major at Uconn, said she enjoyed the workshop because it answered a lot of the questions she had regarding ML and AI. Dharani thought it was interesting learning about derivatives during the workshop because it made her realize how important math was in learning ML. 

23rd Annual Frontiers on April 3-4th 2020!

Frontiers in Undergraduate Research provides an opportunity for UConn’s talented undergraduate researchers to share their work with the university community.

Frontiers poster exhibition allows any undergraduate student to present their research or creative work. Interested presenters must complete a brief application in order to share their work at this event. The Spring 2020 application will remain open through noon on March 9, 2020. The fall and spring Frontiers events are occasions to celebrate the efforts of student researchers and their dedicated mentors.

Frontiers exhibitions are open to the public and we encourage all members of the university community to attend! Come talk with students about the projects they’ve pursued and what they’ve learned through their engagement in research. Several hundred students present their projects at Frontiers exhibitions each year.

                        Session times for Spring 2020 Frontiers:

  • Session 1: Friday, April 3, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
  • Session 2: Friday, April 3, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
  • Session 3: Saturday, April 4, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Session 4: Saturday, April 4, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Spring 2020 Application 

Students learn Python in an Introduction to Python Workshop!

On Friday February 28th, OPIM Innovate hosted their Introduction to Python workshop, part of OPIM Innovate’s Spring workshop series. The session was open to UConn students, staff, and faculty and covered the basics of python programming. Students were able to learn basic syntax and data structures and write some simple programs. 

Eli Udler, senior English and Computer Science dual degree undergraduate student, who led the workshop said the workshop was meant to serve business students who’ve never seen a computer before. “The idea being you can start from little to no experience and still get the idea of what coding is.” Udler taught students about different data types, data structures, and a few algorithms utilizing collab software along with his partner Thomas Rivet. 

       For more information about OPIM Innovate workshops visit: innovate!

Summer Innovation Opportunity with TIP!

 The TIP Innovation Fellows Program pairs UConn students with on-campus tech startup companies for mentored summer research.  Be part of the fast-paced world of a tech start-up located in Storrs or at UConn Health in Farmington – and help UConn’s startup companies develop new devices, drugs, digital tech and manufacturing advances.  The program is 10 weeks long and includes a $4,000 stipend! Weekly seminars and a program Symposium.

“The TIP Innovation Fellows program offered a rare opportunity for me to explore the boundary between entrepreneurship and technology while providing a space to improve in industry-level skills. I would definitely recommend the program to students who are seeking a unique internship doing cutting edge research in a collaborative environment” –  Patrick Hocking, 2019 TIP Fellow

Apply now

Application Deadline: March 6th, 2018


Innovate Wellness Challenge Kickoff!

Over the past two years, the UConn Wellness Coalition, Student Health and Wellness has brought together UConn students, staff, and faculty from across campus to work towards creating a culture of wellness. The UConn Wellness Coalition has teamed up with OPIM Innovate to host the 2nd Annual Innovate Wellness Challenge: this year’s challenge addresses student stress. Both departments value student voice and are passionate about creating experiential learning opportunities that allows students to voice their opinions while using their creativity to design solutions.

 The Innovate Wellness Challenge Kick-off took place in the Business Lounge on February 18th and was filled with various teams from diverse backgrounds. Tara Watrous,  Project Coordinator for both UConn’s School of Business and Student Health and Wellness, started off the kick-off by sharing the Challenge prompt and data. According to the 2019 National College Health Assessment, stress is the greatest academic impediment for students. This also outlined student responses on the impact of stress on their academic performance, stress reduction resources students have received from their universities/if any, and their experience with stress etc. 

Keinna Beeson, a senior at UConn who heard about the challenge through daily digest, talked about how she was drawn to the challenge because of her passion for self care. Keinna expressed that self-care is key to being successful in life and wants to empower others to form healthy habits. Beeson stated “Students are more likely to thrive when they receive more self care help, especially within institutions.”

UConn staff and faculty attended the kick-off as well. Colleen Attikson, a Health Educator with Student Health and Wellness, who supported the challenge last year, working closely with Team Pawsitivity talked about the importance of having student input. Attikson expressed her excitement for seeing the variety of ideas, and interacting with the students. Tara Watrous, Project Coordinator, explained “Students have the best vantage point to grapple with these problems. We are all eager and excited to see what the students come up with.” 


Our next event is March 4th, 2-5PM, in the North Reading Room, Wilbur Cross. The student teams will be sharing their ideas through poster presentations. All students, staff and faculty are welcome! For more information about the challenge visit the Innovate Wellness Challenge page. 

MEM Majors Brainstorm Manufacturing Solutions with AR/VR

On Thursday, November 21st, OPIM Innovate hosted a rotational virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) workshop for UConn’s Management and Engineering for Manufacturing program (MEM). Here, students from Professor Mousumi Roy’s MEM3221 class were tasked with brainstorming ways in which either VR or AR can be integrated into the manufacturing process. 

In order for OPIM Innovate to accommodate all participating MEM students, the same workshop was given three different times throughout mid-November. Stations were set up around the Innovate Lab to accommodate several people at once, featuring devices such as the Google Cardboard headset and the Oculus Go. The most popular of all virtual reality devices was the HTC Vive. This wired headset allowed students to participate in Valve’s The Lab, an immersive experience with various minigames showcasing the potential of VR. 

After participating in all stations, students became more comfortable with VR and AR technology. This led to the insurgence of ideas for MEM applications and an enthusiasm for innovation. Daniel Castillo (MEM ‘19), for example, informed me that VR would be a great way to start training incoming manufacturing personnel. “It can teach us how to program and utilize on-site machinery,” he said. “Since we don’t all have access to these machines in schools, VR is a great alternative.” 

Two other students, Nick Porebski (MEM ‘20) and Ben Zekowski (MEM ‘20), informed me of their ideas for VR applications in computer-aided design (CAD). “Students could view and interact with a draft of their design in real-time,” Nick said. “And, since you don’t have to print the material,” Ben added, “it could save on time and cut costs.” 

We thank the MEM department for their interest in the OPIM Innovate initiative and to all the students who participated in this event! For any innovation inquiries, please feel free to consult the Lab, again!