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OUR First Year Research Experience (FYRE)

OUR FYRE is a program for high performing, incoming freshmen to engage in research.

student and mentor in water conducting research

FYRE participants will be assigned a faculty research mentor to work with for the academic year.  Faculty mentors will be selected from the student’s major department or one closely aligned with the discipline and will have a strong history of working with early program researchers and those with little or no previous research experience.  Funds will be provided to purchase materials and supplies for the research project.

Learn more about FYRE by clicking on this link to a program description: OUR First Year Research Experience (FYRE)

  • Build a cohort of early researchers
  • Build strong, early, long-lasting relationships between students and faculty
  • Build student research skills that can be utilized and strengthened throughout degree plan

Students in the FYRE program are expected to complete a research project, though not at the level of independence or depth of a more senior-level research student.  Students are also expected to meet the following targets:

  • Make consistent progress toward your research project during the fall and spring semesters.  Students who fail to make consistent progress toward their research projects may forfeit all or part of their research supply funds and may be asked to leave the FYRE program. 
  • Complete a research compact with your faculty mentor before beginning your research project – research compacts will include a plan for the research question(s) you will address, anticipated dates for reaching target goals, a plan for communication between the mentor and mentee, etc. 
  • Write an abstract of research projects/results suitable for submission to an external research conference, such as the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) – these will be submitted to OUR by the end of November unless an extension request is requested in writing by the faculty mentor. This early deadline is so students and mentors can consider submitting the abstract to NCUR to meet the early December deadline. OUR recognizes that much of the research will not yet be completed by this deadline; however, writing a conference abstract before the completion of research is very common in professional research and is, therefore, a valuable communication skill to gain experience.
  • Present your research at the UWF Student Scholars Symposium - an annual campus-wide research celebration. Abstracts are typically due in early March, and the Symposium is typically held on the third Thursday in April. Event details and information will be shared with all FYRE students.
  • Submit a FYRE program survey – this will include questions on the impact of the research experience and FYRE program. Surveys will be completed/submitted online and emailed to all participants.

  • Incoming Pace Presidential Scholarship recipients and National Merit finalists and recipients are invited to participate in the OUR FYRE program. 
  • Students who accept the invitation will be matched with a faculty mentor from their major department and will work with their mentor to develop a research project plan and schedule.