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2013 FRI conference-1

Conference Schedule & Agenda


Launched in 2005, The Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) unites the dual missions of research and teaching by involving first-year students as collaborators on original research.  Through UT FRI and related adaptations of the program nationwide, we have gained a strong understanding of how to set up course-based undergraduate experiences (CUREs), especially sequential CUREs.  The program is a national model for transforming undergraduate STEM education by offering undergraduate research experiences to roughly 1,900 new students each year. Participation in FRI improves undergraduates’ chances of graduating and earning a STEM degree (Rodenbusch, Hernandez, Simmons, & Dolan, 2016).

The 2018 FRI Conference is designed to engage and support both faculty and administrators who are interested in promoting early college experiential STEM courses/programs:

  • using the model as a foundation to guide single or sequential-CURE curriculum reform efforts
  • using the model to drive institutional initiatives relating to discovery and experiential learning
  • combining undergraduate research with living+learning communities
  • exploring efforts to combine institutional success in undergraduate research with new initiatives focused on entrepreneurship, innovation and design
  • aligning undergraduate research programs with institutional goals and strategic plans
  • exploring best practices regarding the use of non-tenure track faculty in positions that require excellence in research leadership, education and student mentorship
  • exploring new approaches to large-scale peer mentorship programs
  • exploring new approaches to the assessment and evaluation of undergraduate research and related curricular reform efforts
  • aligning undergraduate research programs with institutional goals and strategic plans
  • building consensus and getting buy-in from faculty and administrators
  • implementing or adapting the FRI model at their institutions