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cristy portalesThe Freshman Research Initiative is changing lives by getting students engaged, right from the start, in real-world scientific research. Here at UT Austin, our FRI program is helping more students graduate on time and with the science, math and technology degrees that the economic forecasters say our nation needs.

Your investment in the FRI allows more students who want to learn to be scientists to experience the process of scientific discovery firsthand. Gifts to the program support FRI infrastructure and people, including space, mentors and educators, research projects, summer research programs, and students themselves.

In 2016, we have launched an initiative to build the FRI Endowment for a new generation. This is a permanent and sustainable fund that yields annual interest to support the program and grows over time. For example, a $25,000 endowment yields about $1,250 annually, a gift that spans the years and keeps on giving.


make a gift FRI


Ways you can invest in FRI:

$1,250-$5,000  Provides student scholarships and fellowships during the summer months so they can continue their research when fall and spring semesters are not in session.
$25,000 Minimum funding level to establish an Undergraduate Innovation Research Endowment to support FRI annually. Funds can be used for research equipment and supplies, research educators, curriculum design, student support and the student research awards.
$65,000 Supports the annual cost of one research educator (Post-doc student) who mentors the 20-30 students within one research stream.
$100,000 Underwrite an entire Freshman Research Initiative stream for one year. Each new stream opens a new area of research for students.
$1,500,000 Endow in perpetuity a Freshman Research Initiative Stream which will promote science discovery for generations to come.  Endowments at all levels between $25,000-$1,500,000 welcome and appreciated.


To learn more about specific ways you can support FRI and its students, please contact:

Zak Richards - College of Natural Sciences Development Office
Phone: 512-232-0699 Email: zrichards@austin.utexas.edu