This page describes how the High School Research Initiative course is structured and the calendar of activities.

Summer: Teacher Professional Training

High school teachers, who have partnered with the HRI, complete an intensive 3-week professional training over the summer. Led by a UTeach Master Teacher, the training offers the course curriculum, a first-hand experience to the inquired-based approach, and instructor guidance. The HRI provides support to procure the necessary equipment and supplies to perform the research.

Fall Semester: Student Open-Inquiry Research

  • During the fall semester, high school teachers lead students in the completion of two inquiry-based research projects. These open-inquiry research projects involve the student asking and answering a question in a scientific manner. The latter of these two inquiry projects is entered into the high school and/or regional science fair in the spring.
  • High school teachers receive a number of follow-up training sessions (i.e. virtually or in-person on the teacher's campus).
  • High school students interact with UT instructions through the course management system (i.e. Canvas); this includes evaluation of student work, announcements, and feedback. 
  • High school classes visit the UT-Austin campus, sitting in UT courses, visiting professors, talking with students, and visiting labs.
  • High school students are assessed for their readiness for the dual-enrollment/college credit option. Students satisfying the requirements are given thge option to enroll in the college course, as well.

Spring Semester: Student/Class Partnership with the Freshman Research Initiative

  • High school students conduct research in collaboration with their partnered UT-Austin lab in the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI).
  • High school students complete technical reports, present their findings, and present at the UT College of Natural Sciences Undergraduate Research Forum (April), as well as at the high school and/or regional science fair.
  • High school students and teacher visit UT-Austin for a UT HRI Student Showcase event (May, early). HRI students present their research findings in the form of an oral presentation with slides, as well as sit-in UT courses, visit UT professors, talk with students, and/or visit labs.
  • High school students and teacher host an HRI Student Showcase event at their campuses (May, late). HRI students present their research findings in the form of an oral presentation with slides to their fellow students, parents, and school administrators.
  • Enrolled high school students may receive the dual-enrollment course credit: college credit course HRI-Research Methods (NSC 309) and high school credit course Scientific Research and Design [SRD, PEIMS: 8724.H900.Y (fall) and 8724.NC10.Y (spring)]. However, students may withdraw from the University course at any point during the semester.

Summer: Student Fellowships

Over the summer, research fellowship will be awarded to fund one student from each campus to conduct research at the partnered FRI lab.