Academic Innovation + Intelligence Lab

Academic Innovation + Intelligence Lab

March 4, 2024

There's a lab for that: new cross-functional group will use research, data and intervention to clear paths for students to succeed.


The Office of Undergraduate Studies is pleased to announce the establishment of The Academic Innovation + Intelligence Lab (The A.I.I., or “A double i”), a cross-functional group that uses research, data, and intervention to clear paths for students to succeed. Its goal is to drive steady, continuous change by creating, implementing, and scaling viable interventions that enable every student to have an exceptional educational experience. Specifically, the lab investigates processes, explores new pedagogical approaches, tests new technologies and tools, uses data analysis and visualization to unearth new understanding, and shares its insights nationwide.

The A.I.I. is a culmination of multiple collaborative academic innovation efforts the university has engaged in for many years. Led by Jim Agutter, A.I.I. lab director, and senior associate dean for Faculty Success & Academic Innovation, it will fold in a long line of internally funded efforts to optimize university operations, remove barriers to student success, and transform how the U delivers exceptional education experiences for all.

“We stand at the precipice of a transformative era in undergraduate education at the University of Utah,” said T. Chase Hagood, senior associate vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of Undergraduate Studies. “Our vision with the A.I.I. is to create a nexus of innovation and intelligence that propels student success to new heights. By blending research, data, and interventions, the lab represents a commitment to continuous, evidence-based evolution in our teaching, learning, and success strategies. We invite creative thinkers and curious minds to join with us in this spirit of innovation. Together, we will not only navigate the changing landscape of higher education but also chart new paths of success for students and faculty at the U and beyond.”

The A.I.I. will also strengthen the university’s partnership with the University Innovation Alliance (UIA), a leading coalition of public institutions that fund, test, and scale interventions to bridge equity gaps and power student success for all. Working closely with the U’s UIA Extend Group (a campus-wide group of faculty and staff), it will incubate and coordinate UIA-sponsored projects with direction and management from UIA Fellow Lindsay Coco, special assistant to the SAVPAA/dean of Undergraduate Studies. Hagood and Senior Advisor in the Office of the President Laura Snow will shepherd projects as the university’s UIA Liaisons.



Request Ambassadors

Request Science Ambassadors


Request Science Ambassadors for your next event! Events we've worked in the past include:

  • Elementary and middle school STEM/STEAM Nights
  • Frontiers of Science lectures
  • Science at Breakfast
  • Scholarship award ceremonies
  • Involvement fairs

*Event date must be at least two weeks away from date of request, but more advance notice is preferred.

Our Ambassadors are engaged, passionate leaders in the College of Science and they excel at getting folks of all ages excited about science and the University of Utah! For questions about the Science Ambassador Program, please reach out to Sam Shaw at

Request ForM

Ambassador Request
Are you affiliated with the University of Utah?
Please list the full time that you would like Ambassadors at your event, including set up and clean up (i.e. 3-5pm).
i.e. greeting guests, giving a presentation, doing demonstrations, etc.
Are you looking for specific majors? Transfer students? Research involvement?
Please confirm your understanding that, while we will do our best to send Ambassadors to your event, availability is not guaranteed.
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Research Opportunities

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

The best time to start your research is now! Students can find a wide variety of opportunities in their major or in a topic that interests them.

The College of Science has a long tradition of exceptional research. Working in a lab is one of the best experiences you can pursue as a College of Science student. Students across campus are participating in cutting-edge research that is making an impact on daily lives.

Where to start? Current professors are a great resource - they can connect you to research labs and faculty peers. College departments maintain a list of research projects currently being done, and the Student Engagement Coordinator can help you reach out to find opportunities.

Megan Deon Bettilyon

Student Engagement Coordinator

Tips for Finding Research:

  • Talk to your professors! They are a wealth of knowledge and LOVE to talk about their work. Talk to them after class, or set an appointment to talk about their work and your interests.
  • Go to the department's website (linked below) that you are interested in and click on the research tab. Read short summaries on each professor's research. It's okay if you don't understand the research right away–this  is normal! Keep a list of faculty that interest you to narrow down your options.
  • Use Google Scholar to browse through publications by the professor with titles that interest you. Most professors keep a list of current publications, read the abstracts and look at images; this will help you narrow down topics.
  • Email the professor you are interested in working with. You may need to email them several times. This is okay; they are very busy and often appreciate the reminder.
    Include an updated resume in your email. 
  • If the meeting goes well and it seems like a good fit, you can talk about the next steps to becoming a member of their group. Don't forget to:
    • Discuss how many hours you would like to work
    • How many semesters you want to be with the lab
    • Future plans for opportunities such as UROP
    • And ask who your lab mentor will be
  • If you meet with a lab, and it doesn't seem like a good fit: that's okay. Repeat this process with another professor. If you are not quite sure, and you want to get a better feel for the research group, ask if you can attend a weekly group meeting, where current students in the group often discuss their current research.

Department Research Pages

Example Email to a Professor:

Dear Dr. ______________,

My name is (insert your name) and I am a (first year, sophomore, junior, senior) (___________) major at the University of Utah. I have been exploring research opportunities in the department, and after looking through your research page, I would like to meet with you to discuss (your studies, a certain topic, opportunities to work in your lab, etc). (Feel free to elaborate on your interests and what you are looking for.)

I can meet (give 3-5 different specific dates and times that work for you...this allows them to choose a time that works for them). Would you be able to meet at any of these times?

I am looking forward to hearing back from you.

Thank you for your time,

(Your name)

How do I get funding for my research?

There are several ways to get paid for the research you do. Here are the more common ways that students work toward:

How do I present my research?

One of the best parts of doing research is presenting at conferences.

What is an REU?

National Science Foundation (NSF) funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. An REU Site consists of a group of ten or so undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where they work closely with the faculty and other researchers. Students are granted stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel.

Undergraduate students supported with NSF funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. An REU Site may be at either a US or foreign location. Students must contact the individual sites for information and application materials. NSF does not have application materials and does not select student participants. A contact person and contact information is listed for each site.

Search for an REU site or find more information @

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Scholarships, Grants & Financial Aid

College of Science Scholarship Opportunities

The College of Science offers a number of scholarship opportunities for incoming, undergraduate and graduate students. Scholarship applications may be found through Academic Works, the University's scholarship application portal. Complete the University General Application then you will see the Science scholarship opportunities.

It is highly recommended that all students fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year to determine what state or federal aid for which you may be eligible, including work-study opportunities and grants.

First-year and transfer students must have an active Campus Information Services (CIS) account and University E-mail account (UMail) before applying for scholarships.


The College of Science PhD Candidate Emergency scholarship fund can provide financial support when an unexpected medical event creates immediate financial hardship.

  • Typical awards made through this program are limited to be between $500 and $2500
  • This program is subject to the availability of funds.
  • If you are receiving financial aid, please contact the financial aid office to see how such an award
    might impact your financial aid.


Incoming freshman scholarship Opportunities

The College of Science Incoming Freshman General Scholarship application includes several scholarship opportunities.

Deadline to apply is March 1, 2024. 



Current Student Opportunities

The College of Science General Scholarship application includes several scholarships opportunities. Applicants must be officially declared Science major.

Deadline to apply is March 1, 2024.



Questions about scholarships and financial aid? Make an appointment with a financial aid counselor!

If you have questions about a specific College of Science opportunity, please email

Departmental Scholarship Opportunities

Office of Nationally competitive scholarships

The Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships maintains a list of highly prestigious scholarship opportunities. Applications for these opportunities are maintained by this university department.

Academic Resources

Need help?
Start Here.

Achieving a degree in the College of Science can be challenging. Faculty and staff are here to help you succeed!

Below are some services that are intended to empower students to succeed in their course content and develop transferable skills to help them in their academic careers.

Top 5 tips from College of Science advisors:

1. Go to class – and participate.
Class attendance actually does affect your grade. Exams are sometimes based on lectures and not chapters of the book, so it is important to be present in class. Also, instructors will sometimes make important announcements during class pertaining to assignments and exams.

2. Learn how to take notes.
The Learning Center can help you improve on note-taking strategies. Develop good study habits by reviewing your notes often, and writing down questions you have to address with the instructor.

3. Utilize a planner or electronic calendar.
Time management is critical to becoming a successful student. Write down deadlines for items that involve classes, study time, campus activities, and work obligations. Here is the University of Utah’s Academic Calendar for important dates for registration, finals, etc.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – and don’t wait until it’s too late.
Reach out to instructors, TAs, and LAs during their office hours to get help with assignments and other issues relating to the class. Make an appointment with an advisor, and utilize the tutoring resources below!

5. Don’t give up!
We know college can be hard, and life often throws additional challenges your way. You can do this, and we are here to help.

Student Resources

Forms and Tools

COS Advisors are here to help. Make an appointment for a virtual session.

Late Withdrawals


College of Science Petitions for Exception to Policy

You must be a declared major in the College of Science to submit petitions for Exception to Policy to this college. All undecided students go through the Academic Advising Center.

The University has provided means for students to be granted exceptions to University policy. This allows students the chance to petition certain policies for non-academic reasons such as illness, military leave, family emergencies, etc.

Retroactive Petition Form (pdf)

Current Term Petition Form (pdf)


Exceptions to policy include withdrawal from a course after the withdrawal deadline for the same term, retroactive withdrawal, retroactive registration, section change or cross-referenced course, late registration request, change in CR/NC status, retroactive change in credit hours, etc. This must always be done through the Dean's Office of the college of the student's major.

To petition University policy you must obtain the necessary forms online, from the Registrar's office (250 SSB) or the College of Science Student Affairs Office (214 CSC). The necessary forms and all supporting documentation must be received before the Dean's Office will consider your petition. Once your forms and supporting documentation has been received it will be reviewed within 7 days and a recommendation will be sent to the Registrar's Office.

If you have questions contact Lisa Batchelder by email at or 801-581-3374.