OURS Research Certificate

Program Overview

The OURS Research Certificate Program offers an opportunity for all undergraduate students to participate in faculty mentored research and gain professional development experience. With faculty mentors and peer advisors support, students can develop research and professional skills with options tailored to their academic and career goals and earn a recognition from OURS.


Undergraduates from all levels and majors who are not concurrently in a formal paid research training program, e.g., BUILD, MARC, McNair, MMUF, RISE, and UROP, are eligible to participate in the OURS Research Certificate program. No prior research experience necessary.


  • Faculty-mentored research experience 
  • Multi-level mentorship from faculty mentor and OURS peer advisor 
  • Earn volunteer hours, pay via faculty’s grant funds, or course/internship credit for research activities 
  • Research methods and professional development training* 
  • Multiple pathways tailored to student’s academic and career goals* 
  • Earn a Certificate of Participation + from OURS* 

Note: * enhancement of OURS Connects by the Research Certificate program. + The certificate will be issued by OURS. It will not appear on your transcript.  


How to Apply

In order to participate in the OURS Research certificate, one must apply to OURS Connects. All undergraduate students are invited to apply to OURS Connects. No prior research experience needed. Additionally, faculty interested in providing mentorship to undergraduate researchers are encouraged to participate as a faculty sponsor.


All undergraduate students are invited to apply. Applications are open year round.

Click here to fill out the Student Application.

Faculty interested in providing mentorship to undergraduate researchers are encouraged to participate as a faculty sponsor. As a faculty sponsor in OURS Connects, you will act as a mentor to students on your Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity (RSCA). Students possess a variety of different skills and we encourage faculty to guide students in developing new research skills.

Past and present UROP faculty sponsors are welcome to apply.

Click here to fill out the Faculty Application.


Research Certificate Requirements

The requirements are divided into three required categories: Mentored Research Experience, Professional Development, and Research Ethics Training. Students must complete at least one of the listed requirements from each category to receive the certificate. In addition, students can choose to participate in the optional Research Enrichment activities. Students who enroll in the certificate and complete the requirements will receive a certificate issued by OURS with a record of the completed activities at the end of their participation in the program.


Students can choose to complete:

• 100+ hours 

• 200+ hours 

• 300+ hours

Hours to be verified by faculty mentor and/or completion of an independent study course.

(1 unit = 45 hours)

Individual Development Plan (~20 min): This module introduces students to the Individual Development Plan (IDP).  Topics include: what is an IDP; the difference between short-term, intermediate, and long-term goals; the importance of setting goals and re-visiting/up-dating them; how to identify and assess skills; tips for bridging gaps in desired skills; how to get input from mentors, peers, and family members; and an example template for an IDP.

Summer Research Experience (~20 min): This module provides tips and guidance for students who are looking for and applying to programs that provide summer research experiences (SRE) for undergraduate students.  Topics include: what is an SRE and what are the benefits of undergraduate research, where to look for SRE programs, how to apply to SREs, the SRE application timeline, how to discuss SRE programs with family members, and useful tips from past alumni.  This module references the CV/SOP and Letter of Recommendation modules.

Curriculum Vitae (CV) and Statement of Purpose (SOP) (~40 min): This module has two sub-modules, one on the CV and one on the SOP. For the CV module, students are introduced to components of a CV and given guidance. Specific topics for the CV module include: biographical information, education, research activities, teaching activities, additional professional experiences, grants, honors, and awards, service and demonstrated commitment to diversity.  The SOP module includes topics of: planning the SOP, finding essay prompts by a program, general tips, developing an SOP template, and sample SOPs.

Letter of Recommendation (~25 min): This module informs students about the materials and processes they should take for obtaining letters of recommendation.  This module also includes topics of: What do graduate programs look for in letters of recommendation, who should you ask to write a letter, who is qualified to write you a letter, the request timeline, as well as examples for an application portfolio.

Graduate School Application Process (~40 min): This module consists of videos that introduces students to the graduate application process, explains what it means to go for a Ph.D., discusses important factors to consider when applying for graduate programs, provides tips for selecting what programs to apply to, and includes information about having a “Plan B”, in case students do not get into a Ph.D. program the first time they apply.

GRE Preparation and Expectations (~45 min): This module introduces the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and explains why the GRE is important.  Specific topics in this module include: how to create an ETS account, what to expect on the day of testing, the structure of the computer delivered test, a discussion of when to take the GRE, and a description of each section of the test. In addition, students are introduced to fee reduction programs as well as given guidance for test preparation and how to select and send their scores to a graduate program.

Seeking Financial Support for Graduate Schools (~25 min): This module discusses funding options available to students for graduate school.  Specific topics include: how to fund graduate studies available within the California State System, student debt that may occur, when and how to apply for funding, types of funding packages, and tips for managing finances as a graduate student.

Interviews for Graduate School (~25 min): This module discusses what students should expect and plan for when interviewing for graduate school.  Specific topics include: the purpose of the interview, how to prepare for an interview, what to expect in terms of funding (i.e., travel and lodging), know who is interviewing you, preparation of a list of questions to ask and common interview questions, online versus in-person interviews, and post-interview etiquettes. 

Basic Online Citi Training

  • Human subjects research for biomedical research investigators

  • Human subjects research for social & behavioral research investigators

  • Laboratory animal research

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) online training topics

  • Biomedical Responsible Conduct of Research 

  • Social and Behavioral Responsible Conduct of Research 

  • Physical Science Responsible Conduct of Research 

  • Humanities Responsible Conduct of Research 

  • Responsible Conduct of Research for Engineer

Face-to-face RCR training: 

  • Completes at least 8 hours of RCR workshops offered by the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED) and are led by CSULB faculty or working professionals who are experts on the topics. The workshops cover various topics such as research misconduct, responsible data management, authorship and publication, conflicts of interest in research, mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships, collaborative projects, social and environmental impacts of research. 
  • For students receiving funds from NIH such as BUILD or U-RISE completing 8 hours of face-to-face RCR workshops is a NIH requirement.” For non-NIH supported students it is not required.

• Presentation/publication at a campus-wide or professional conference 

• Research methods course (list of recommended courses provided by OURS)

• Scholarly writing and presentation course (list of recommended courses provided by OURS)


Frequently Asked Questions

If your questions are not answered below, please email us at aa-ours@csulb.edu

Can I work with tenured faculty or full-time/part-time lecturers?

You can work with either tenure track/ tenured faculty or full time/part time lecturers.

Can I enroll in the OURS Research Certificate if I am undocumented?

Yes, you can participate in OURS Connects if you are undocumented.

Do I need to submit an OURS Connects Faculty Application to work with a student in OURS Connects?

Yes, we ask that you submit an application with a current project for OURS Connects research assistant(s) to be a part of. 

Contact Us

If you have any questions or want to learn more about the OURS Research Certificate, please contact aa-ours@csulb.edu