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2018 Freshman Research Initiative Conference

FRI Conference Logo

REGISTER HERE (Registration Deadline: 9/28/18)


October 3-5, 2018 in Austin, TX

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

The conference will include sessions of 10-minute speed talks in which institutions can share their design for early undergraduate research and other experiential learning programs. Apply here.


The Conference Steering Committee

Sarah Eichhorn, The University of Texas at Austin, UT FRI

Stacia Rodenbusch, The University of Texas at Austin, UT FRI

Patrick Killion, The University of Maryland at College Park, UMD FIRE

Megan Fegley, Binghamton University - SUNY, BU FRI

Nancy Stamp Binghamton University - SUNY, BU FRI


Conference Organizer

Jo-anne Holley, The University of Texas at Austin, UT FRI

  1. conference
  2. course-based undergraduate experiences
  3. CUREs
  4. Undergraduate: Freshman

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