Our Mission

Why we do what we do

Stream Researchers

FRI Mission Statement

The Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) provides early access to sustained, supportive, intra-curricular research experiences for a diverse undergraduate student population in CNS. FRI participants will clarify their career goals, develop skills transferable to other courses and future careers, and maximize their likelihood of graduating and persisting in STEM.

What the Data Show

FRI has become a national model for science education. Students in the program are more likely to stay in college, complete science and math degrees and earn more after graduation.

  • FRI builds confidence, problem-solving abilities and habits of critical thinking
  • FRI students are more likely to graduate with a STEM degree
  • FRI students effectively learn career readiness and transferable skills

Experiencing Long-Term Benefits
Students who participate in FRI not only are show greater college and STEM retention, they also graduate better prepared to pursue advanced degrees or jobs in the industry. 

Read about the research



Commitment to Belonging

In FRI, we aim to provide a supportive learning environment that promotes student belongingness, growth, achievement and success, as students develop as future scientists and innovators. 

A Model For Science Education

FRI is the nation’s first and largest program to place freshmen in dedicated labs doing real, original research. This program is modular, exportable and infinitely scalable, so it is changing the way students learn science at The University of Texas at Austin. It serves also as a model for other colleges and universities as they look to modernize their STEM curricula and priorities for the 21st Century.

FRI Replication Sites