Which MLC is for me? Learn about Michigan Research and Discovery Scholars (MRADS)

By Alekya Lingamaneni March 15, 2019

Before embarking on your freshman year, you might be worried about making new friends, finding a community, or enhancing your resume. Luckily, MRADS helps you with all three!

Michigan Research and Discovery Scholars (MRADS) is a Michigan Learning Community (MLC), and is open to all majors.

As a tour guide for MRADS, a common question I ask MRADS members before I give tours of the community to prospective students on Campus Days is, “What are three things you love about MRADS?”

Here are the top three answers:



MRADS is the residential affiliate of the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) and pairs first-year students with a research project that explores a discipline of their interest. U-M is a top research university, and MRADS provides an invaluable opportunity in this area!

But research is only for STEM majors, right? FALSE! There is also research in the social sciences, humanities, and interdisciplinary fields.


MRADS functions with the help of sophomore peer mentors and peer facilitators, as well as the amazing staff. We have about 40 sophomores who were in the community as first-year students and now serve and live alongside the first year students as mentors and facilitators. (side note: I decided to come back my sophomore year as a mentor.)

Peer facilitators assist with the academic portion of the learning community, like helping you find a research project and hosting academic seminars with alumni and faculty for first-year students to connect with throughout the year.

Peer mentors assist with the social aspect of moving into a new stage of your life. They help you adjust to the campus and make friends while organizing fun community activities.

The professional and student staff are also helpful in any struggle that students have, from time management to “life happens” situations where it seems like everything is going wrong. College can seem tough to navigate at first, but MRADS does its best to offer a diverse support system for its students.



We host many events that give students a chance to bond. Some of our favorite events are scavenger hunt, relay races, Family Feud, and Tea Time, one of our most popular events. Tea Time provides a platform for students to interact with their peers, MRADS alumni, and the staff in a casual environment with tea and desserts.

We also have wellness events that are run by our peer mentors. These include stress-relieving activities such as playing with Orbeez and learning about mental health services at U-M.

For an inside look at our Tea Times and other cool events, check out our Instagram!

If you’re interested in learning more about MRADS, feel free to contact our current students/staff!


Alekya Lingamaneni

is a sophomore in the Ross School of Business. She's interested in marketing in the music industry, and is the director for alumni relations for the Entertainment + Digital Media Club on campus. She also serves as a peer mentor and recruitment team member for Michigan Research and Discovery Scholars (MRADS), and is a research assistant for Ross School of Business Dean Scott DeRue. Outside of academics, she can be found watching Netflix or exploring Ann Arbor with her friends.