About Us

The Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) at ISU introduces freshman undergraduates to authentic research in the fields of chemistry, chemical engineering, biology, bioinformatics and computational biology, molecular biology, kinesiology, genetics and physics, and more! Streams of 15-20 students in introductory classes are co-opted into faculty members; research programs where students design their own experiments for course credit. These course-based research projects have the potential to reach more students than traditional one-on-one mentoring. Faculty in different courses are exploring a variety of ways to provide research opportunities in their classes.

Incoming freshmen — either in declared STEM majors or undeclared — will be allowed to enroll in one to three-credit courses. The research streams can substitute for an introductory lab or an elective, and may be housed within a learning community for support and discussion. Courses are typically led by a post-doctoral instructor, or a graduate TA, with undergraduate mentors.

Students in the Freshmen Research Initiative…

  • will meet other students interested in research
  • experience the day-to-day life of a scientist
  • generate their own data
  • learn about various fields of research within their major
  • may find opportunities to perform research throughout their undergraduate career

Research streams are very flexible. A stream might entail

  • Student extensions of inquiry labs
  • Class-wide, linked projects
  • Class integrated into faculty lab

Major funding has been provided by: