VIP is an undergraduate and graduate research initiative in which students work on multidisciplinary teams led by faculty, contributing to their research, creative inquiry, and/or design efforts. Course credit is structured based on the scale of the project and the student's involvement, and some teams offer the option of pay (Federal Work-Study) in lieu of credit. Students can participate for multiple semesters or years, providing deeper learning experiences and leadership opportunities. The long-term nature of VIP creates an environment of mentorship, with faculty and graduate students mentoring teams, experienced students mentoring new members, and students moving into leadership roles as others graduate

"Vertically Integrated" refers to VIP team compositions, which include undergraduate and graduate students, post-docs, and faculty.

Students are eligible to participate in VIP when they have sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate student standing. First-year undergraduate students can apply in their spring semester to participate in the fall as sophomores.

VIP faculty who are using a 392 course number and wish to enroll first-year students should confirm with their academic affairs departments that there are no eligibility barriers.

In most cases previous experience is not required, but willingness to learn and work with others is a must. Individual team listings may include some experience requirements, but those requirements are generally kept to a minimum.

VIP credits typically count toward your electives, and re-enrollment is allowed for any students who are academically eligible and have demonstrated satisfactory engagement with their VIP team. Students are encouraged to check with their academic advisors in their home departments about graduation requirements and how VIP engagement can best contribute to their degree completion.

Almost all teams are multidisciplinary. For example, a team led by a professor from Modern Languages may also include Eller School of Management and Information Science & Technology students. As such, students can apply to any team that fits their academic interests but should consult their home departments to ask about any restrictions related to degree requirements or scholarship eligibility.

Application processes are determined by each VIP team and listed on many of their team pages. If application information is not provided, please contact the team advisor(s) for more details.

While returning students do not need to reapply, team leaders can require a registration permit or establish other requirements to ensure that returning students are academically eligible and have demonstrated satisfactory engagement with their VIP team. Please contact your VIP team leader with any questions.

Students are encouraged to participate as long as possible in their team to experience a research, design or other project through multiple stages of its development. Becoming familiar with the long-term needs of a complex project can be important later in a student's academic or professional career. However, students are free to switch to a different team, as long as the other team is accepting new members.

Positions are posted on Talent for staff opportunities and Handshake for student opportunities. Please note, however, that many teams engage students for academic credit only, while others may offer Federal Work-Study (FWS). Please contact the team advisors if you are interested in FWS.

As the VIP program grows, it will have opportunities for student ambassadors to table at recruiting events, help with poster sessions or speak to prospective students. Please email if you are interested.

Contact Us

If you have questions about VIP that aren't answered above, please email us at