The Emerging Scholars Program (ESP) is an exciting opportunity for students at The University of Alabama to help get involved in research with a faculty mentor in their chosen field. The mission of ESP is to improve and enrich student learning, and to nurture student success. The research opportunities allow a student to gain experience that deepens their understanding in a field of study, to develop the necessary professional skills, to interact with a diverse group of other students and faculty members, and to learn appropriate methods and techniques for presenting professional research. ESP also benefits faculty by connecting them with students eager to learn and participate in research throughout their UA careers.


Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for the upcoming semester




The program is a two semester, three elective credit hour opportunity for any undergraduate student to get involved with research. (Application Required.)

  • UA 155: (1 credit hour) Learn the fundamentals and methods of research. Explore different opportunities to participate in on campus as your lab in UA 156
    • Section 001/002/003: In-person, Mondays 3:00-3:50pm in Russell Hall
  • UA 156: (2 credit hours) Pair with a mentor to do research on campus. Check out our Research Database for a few ideas on campus.
    • Section 001: Zoom, email, appointments
  • Once you have done the research, each undergraduate presents in the spring at the Office for Undergraduate Research’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference (URCA).


Research Credit Opportunity Outside the Emerging Scholars Program

  • UA 156-002: (1-3 variable credit hours) Research with a mentor under contract for elective credit.
  • This is not considered part of ESP, but is for undergraduates who are already doing research with a mentor and want to receive credit.


During their time in the program, Emerging Scholars are taught critical thinking and problem solving skills that prepare them for research and their future career. Working with members of our award-winning faculty, Emerging Scholars are taking part in cutting-edge research that impacts their fields and changes lives. (Check out this student spotlight.)


ESP includes students of all majors and interests, and Emerging Scholars have been involved in research in virtually every department on campus. Many Emerging Scholars work with their faculty mentors until graduation, developing a relationship that is often a valuable part of an Emerging Scholar’s time at the University.

Why ESP?

One defining characteristic of ESP is its dedication to the students who take part in it. From their first day on campus, Emerging Scholars can turn to the Program’s instructors or the network of current and former Scholars for support and information. They have guidance during every stage of ESP while also developing the skills and confidence to succeed in a professional setting.

More Information

Please take a look around our website to find out more about ESP. You can apply to the program. If you are a high school student who may be joining The University of Alabama family, we invite you to find out more about the application process in the “Why Apply” section of the site and to apply during the summer before your freshman year. Freshmen through Juniors can apply for the Fall or Spring cohort.