“If you had told me in high school that in two years I would be doing top-of-the-line, cutting-edge research in astrophysics, I would have called you a liar,” says computer science major, Sean Moorhead, a participant in UT’s enormously successful Freshman Research Initiative (FRI).
FRI offers first year students the opportunity to engage in authentic research experiences in chemistry, biochemistry, nanotechnology, molecular biology, physics, computer sciences and astronomy while being supported and mentored by faculty and graduate students. Currently, approximately 900 of our first-year students are engaged in FRI (roughly half of all freshmen) doing research in 29 different research labs (streams).
Students emerging from this program - which spans three semesters of integrated coursework and laboratory research - will have considerable lab experience (in newly renovated, dedicated research labs), exposure to cutting-edge research, and a deep understanding of the scientific process. Many FRI students publish in peer-reviewed journals and present their research at national conferences.
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 - Establishes an Undergraduate Innovation Research Endowment at the minimum level 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 who mentors the 20-30 students within one research stream.
- $100,000 - Underwrites an entire Freshman Research Initiative stream for one year. Each new stream opens a new area of research for students.
- $1,500,000 - Endows 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 support our FRI students or for more information about the program, please call the College of Natural Sciences Office of External Relations at 512-471-3299, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.