Skip to main content

Research Opportunity Program KPI

Recognizing the diversity of scholars is integral to educational excellence, the University of New Mexico’s Research Opportunity Program (ROP) seeks to produce scholars and researchers who will more accurately reflect the growing diversity in intellectual perspectives, life experiences and cultures in academe.

The goals of the program are to provide undergraduate scholars with research experience in preparation for graduate school and support for the graduate school application process.


Since 1996, the ROP program has served 189 scholars. Of that, 153 have earned a bachelor’s, 53 have earned a master’s and 11 have earned doctoral degrees. Currently there are 44 ROP scholars in graduate programs nationwide.

Course Completion

ROP requires that each of its scholars complete 2 years of academic advisement. In the 1st year they are required to attend advisement every week and monthly seminars, take part in a GRE training and research methods classes, and complete a graduate level research paper. They are awarded a $2,600.00 stipend in the first year. In the 2nd year they are required to apply to graduate school, present their research at a national conference, and attend bi-weekly advisement and monthly seminars.

STEM Graduation

The ROP program does not specify a requirement for STEM majors. This may be a consideration for ROP in the future.

Low-Income Graduation

One of the requirements for admission to the ROP program is low-income status. All successful graduates are therefore from low income families.


The capstone of the ROP scholar’s participation in the program is a graduate level research project in which the scholar submits a “mini thesis” paper at the completion of their 1st year.

All research is in preparation for graduate work at the thesis or dissertation stage.

Throughout the year each scholar works closely with a faculty mentor who guides the scholar through the research process. Research varies by discipline, many STEM majors work in lab settings, while Humanities and Social Science majors often conduct independent research.

Higher-Ed Enrollment

100% of ROP scholars are enrolled in an undergraduate program at the University of New Mexico. We propose that 65% of those that graduate with their bachelor’s degree will enter a graduate school program.

NM Achievement Gaps

The ROP program addresses the gap by ensuring all scholars enrolled in the program are advised until they attain a bachelor’s degree and upon completion of the program are in a more advantageous position to attain a PhD or professional master’s degrees.

Student Leadership Dev. & Career Readiness

The ROP program develops leadership by encouraging scholars to work with faculty mentors and network with faculty and other McNair scholars across the nation. Scholars are required to attend and present their research at conferences, both academic and professional. In addition, the program provides monies for scholars to visit campuses which they are applying.

All scholars attend monthly seminars where they are exposed to panel discussions as well as presentations by faculty and professionals from various academic backgrounds that discuss strategies for successful completion of graduate school.

P-20 Pipeline

ROP programs require that participants are either from first-generation /low-income families and from traditionally under-represented backgrounds. There is frequent overlap of all three criteria and those students are determined most in need and receive special consideration for inclusion in the program.