Launch a Stream

How faculty can explore starting a research stream at UT Austin

The Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) at UT Austin is the largest program of its kind in the country. Over 1000 students each year join Research Streams and conduct faculty-led research while earning course credit. FRI works because of the involvement of UT faculty!

Why Launch a Stream?

  1. Research streams can help you get funding! Include FRI in the broader impacts in grants.
  2. Make progress on your research. FRI offers many hands and minds to help solve problems.
  3. Publish! Faculty have published 200+ papers with FRI student co-authors.
  4. Recruitment. You will be able to find and cultivate the best and most interested students and invite them to join your lab after they complete FRI.
  5. Get energized by the enthusiasm that young students bring to research.

How does FRI Work?

Faculty-led research groups engage ~35 undergraduate students in a Research Stream—a two-course (Spring & Fall) sequence plus optional summer participation—with the assistance of a Ph.D. faculty member, the “Research Educator,” undergraduate peer mentors, and sometimes other members (graduate students, post-docs, etc.) of their laboratory. Research streams span the disciplines including astronomy, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, pre-health, and many are interdisciplinary.

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For sustainability, faculty contribute to the cost of their Research Stream. The average contribution is roughly 25% of the cost of the stream, around $25K per year for stream supplies or Research Educator salary. 

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please contact:

Dr. Kara Rogers, Director of Freshman Research