Students apply to the Freshman Research Initiative program during the spring of their senior year of high school. Participants are accepted based on AP coursework, GPA, extra-curricular activities, brief essays, and teacher recommendations. Over the first three semesters of college, participating students work on original research in STEM fields such as chemistry, nanotechnology, and astronomy. Students join research streams directed by faculty members, postdocs, research educators, and graduate students. Students are taught a wide variety of research techniques within their research streams.
Level 1 – The program has publically available descriptive data, including number of participants, and past research projects. A formal evaluation has been conducted, which demonstrated positive student outcomes, but the evaluation has not yet been published. In the near future, statistical analyses will be provided.