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Issue  3: December 2023

2023 - The year in review

As the year draws to a close, 20 of Victoria’s most capable university students will celebrate securing their place in UROP in 2023. With over 650 Victorian undergraduate students applying for UROP they have good reason to celebrate. We are delighted to announce that the 2023 UROP cohort consist of undergraduate students from five of the nine universities in Victoria. Students from Monash University, The University of Melbourne, RMIT, Swinburne and La Trobe were welcomed into various Victorian biomedical research teams from the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI), CSL, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, RMIT and The Florey Institute of Neuroscience (The Florey). These host organisations and their respective research teams are to be congratulated for investing their resources in training the next generation of biomedical researchers.

This year’s applications included students from medical science, engineering, mathematics, data science, IT, & computing science, pharmacy & pharmaceutical science, public health, health science, physiotherapy, psychology, science, biomedical science, and various combinations of double degrees.

To aid our supervisors with budget preparation and forward planning, we piloted a new feature in 2023, keeping the supervisor applications open throughout the year giving supervisors the option of submitting their projects at a time convenient for them, with the option to nominate which round their projects are to be considered.  This feature will continue moving forward. 

The annual UROP conference this year was held on Thursday 20 July at CSIRO in Clayton.  The UROP conference follows a typical scientific conference structure and for most students this event was their first experience of this aspect of a life as a researcher. Presentation of research work and participating in scientific conferences is an invaluable part of a researcher’s life, the conference highlighted the important role the program plays in training the next generation of researchers in this area. The important role biomedical research plays in Australia and globally to tackle the ever-increasing need for research in this area was highlighted throughout the conference. The importance of bilingual training (biological and computational) for future biomedical research careers was a feature of many of the conference presentations. A key role UROP plays in attracting and preparing the future biomedical research industry's workforce capability and thereby the Australian health sector capability was highlighted and acknowledged. 

In 2023 UROP joined the life sciences industry community through WILAM ( and would like to encourage all in our community to do so as this forum connects individuals with the biomedical research community in Victoria and Australia, keeping you up to date with what’s happening in the community and invitations to events. We would like to also encourage all those in our community with an interest in the MedTech industry to connect with the Victorian MedTech Skills and Devices Hub (Vic Medtech Hub).

UROP has been facilitating biomedical placements since 1989 and we are proud to announce that it is CSIRO’s very own new CEO Dr Doug Hilton who initiated the UROP program in Australia, inspiring undergraduate students to take up careers in research having witnessed the impact of the program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston, USA. You can read about the UROP launch here (History | WEHI).

A sincere thank you to all the supervisors who invested their time and effort in training the next generation of researchers by accepting a UROP student within their research teams/groups this year, and for your continuing support of the program. We wish you and your student a rewarding and fulfilling experience through this placement. Thank you to all the students who applied for a placement in 2023, for submitting high calibre applications and for your interest in the program and more importantly a career in biomedical research. For those who did not get a placement this year we wish you well and encourage you to continue looking for research opportunities to support your aspirations and if eligible to apply again in 2024.Working on cutting edge science alongside experienced scientists and PhD students in unfamiliar areas, many of our UROP students have their career aspirations confirmed. Often deciding at that point whether a career in research is for them. Some of our former UROP students like Dr Peter Hickey are repaying the favour by becoming UROP supervisors themselves, you can read his story here (Dr Peter Hickey - CSIRO).

UROP in 2024

Supervisor applications are now open all year round and will be accepted any time during the year. Please indicate in your application when you would like the student(s) to start (during their winter/summer break this year or during their winter/summer break in the future).  However, if you want your project to be considered for a particular round then applications need to be in before that round close, generally in about 2 weeks after the respective semester starts. The UROP team will confirm by return email receiving your project submission and placement start details. If you do not receive an email from the UROP team (not the auto generated email) please do get in touch with the team ( To participate in UROP and invest in a student, please submit your project proposal using UROP supervisor form. If you would like your project to be considered for 2024 round 1 with the placements starting during the student’s winter break in 2024 then please do ensure we receive your project by Friday 8 March 2024.

For more information about the program please visit our website Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program - CSIRO and please share this opportunity with your networks.

Key dates for 2024

UROP 2024 Round 1:

Supervisor Applications – Now Open, closing Friday 8 March for 2024 Round 1 placements.

Student Applications – Opening Monday 26 February 2024, closing Friday 8 March 2024.

Placements – To start during the student’s 2024 winter vacation, minimum of 2 weeks full time during the winter vacation and 8h/week during semester 2.

UROP 2024 Round 2:

Supervisor Applications – Now Open, closing Friday 2 August 2024 for Round 2 placements.

Student Applications – Opening Monday 22 July 2024, closing Friday 2 August 2024

Placements – To start during the student’s summer vacation, minimum of 4 weeks full time during the summer vacation and 8h/week during semester 1 in 2025.

2024 UROP Conference: TBC


The UROP team would like to sincerely thank each member of our community for their support of the program in many ways during 2023 and continuing support in 2024 and beyond. We wish all in our community a restful holiday season and the very best in the new year.