Fast Facts

Fast Facts

What is the High School Research Initiative (HRI)?

The HRI is a program that values authentic research experiences in open-inquiry and collaborative research. The program, therefore, is working with research faculty at UT, on developing stand-alone modules that can be used in a variety of courses. 

How does this differ from the previous HRI program?

The original HRI program was created to be a yearlong course in which students were engaged with three different inquiries throughout the year. For one of the inquiries, teachers and students worked with one member of the UT research faculty. The yearlong course was taught at high schools in central Texas close to the UT campus.

The new focus of the grant is to work with educators in rural school districts across the state of Texas. The new iteration of the HRI program will give teachers across Texas in rural districts access and training to inquiry modules lasting anywhere from one to five weeks. Teachers can pick and choose from the modules to implement throughout their course. Teachers will have the ability to teach up to seven modules from seven different UT Research Faculty. Teachers and students will also have the opportunity to visit and learn from research faculty members and undergrad mentors throughout the school year during virtual office hours. 

Who is the target audience for the new modules?

The target audience for the HRI modules are students in rural districts across Texas. However, the modules will be accessible to everyone. These modules will fit best within CTE health science classes, life sciences, and the scientific research and design course. 

Who teaches the modules?

The high school teacher selects and teaches the inquiry modules they want to integrate into their course. After an intensive, virtual, 3-4-week professional training over the summer, the high school teacher is equipped with the curriculum and training to teach the modules. The teacher can choose to teach any or all of the modules. 

Where can I find the modules?

The first modules are currently being developed by research faculty at UT. The launch date of these modules is expected to coincide with our first professional development in June 2023. 

Is there a stipend for the summer professional development?

Yes! We value your time and want to ensure you are compensated for you work. The stipend amounts vary. 

Where is the course taught?

The HRI modules are taught on the high school campus.

Who pays for this program?

This work is supported by an NIH Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA).

How much does it cost to participate in the HRI program?

The NIH SEPA-funded HRI program is at no cost to high school students. Currently, the HRI program receives most of their funding from the NIH SEPA award, with additional support from the school and/or school district. The program does have a small budget to provide teachers with equipment and consumables. 

As a student, how may I register for the module training? 

Please talk with your school counselor to learn if these modules are offered at your campus. And – thank you for your interest!

As a teacher, how may I begin implementing the modules?

Please contact one of the program administrators. And – thank you for your interest!

What's the difference between UT's High School Summer Research Academy (HSRA) and UT's High School Research Initiative (HRI)?

Both the HSRA and the HRI offer inquiry-based research experiences for at least a portion of the experience. However, the two experiences differ in that the HSRA offers a non-credit research course over the summer, while the HRI offers a dual-enrollment (HS and University credit) course over the school year.