Seeking Proposals for the Spring 2017 ISU Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) Research Streams

Picture of students working with laboratory equipment

The Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) at ISU introduces freshman undergraduates to authentic research. The goal is to engage more freshmen students in doing science, increase their enthusiasm for science and start to develop the skills involved in asking scientific questions that can be systematically investigated. To reach a large number of freshmen students, the FRI project consists of streams that have 10-20 freshmen students working collaboratively on a research project. This model complements the traditional model where one or two freshmen might work in a research lab. Some background and references on types of FRI projects can be found by visiting Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) website. We currently have five FRI streams in place during Spring 2016, visit Freshman Research Initiative Streams website for details.

We invite faculty members or departments to submit a proposal for a FRI research stream in STEM and encourage faculty to envision research streams that are closely aligned with their research programs.

We are currently accepting proposals for streams that will start in Spring 17.

For more details, download Request for Proposal PDF.  Please send proposals email Elizabeth Sandquist by April 1, 2016.

To engage as many students as possible and to maximize flexibility a stream can

  • Utilize publicly available data in your research area or remote-accessible instrumentation, which reduces the learning curve for freshmen students and reduces demands on your time and lab facilities.
  • Be part of the Broader Impacts section of an NSF proposal
  • Connect to research being done in either your lab, or a research center on campus
  • Involve service learning projects.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) grant will provide up to $6000 funding in the first year to help each FRI stream get started. These funds can be used for equipment, supplies and/or salary support for teaching assistants or a postdoc to develop the stream. For example some streams have used a ¼ time TA for a few months to expand one‐on‐one research projects into a research stream. Some projects use part of the funding to help with the first year of operational costs. However, part of the goal is to work with each stream to develop a plan to have ongoing operating costs not paid by the HHMI grant. We are encouraging streams to include sustainability from the outset.

If you have questions please email Jeff Essner or email Craig Ogilvie

Supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Senior Vice President and Provost