First Year Research Experience (FYRE)

The First Year Research Experience (FYRE) matches eligible incoming freshman with faculty mentors to learn about research and creative activity in the mentor’s field and to participate in a manageable research or creative project(s) that will keep the students engaged for the academic year. FYRE participants commit to 5-10 hours per week of participation and will attend a monthly seminar by the Office of Undergraduate Research to prepare students for a successful first year at Nebraska. Optional monthly activities will also be led by current Nebraska graduate students and may include lab tours, field trips, industry visits, and more.

How it Works

The FYRE Program allows eligible full-time, degree-seeking freshman to use their Federal Work Study award to find a job in a research or creative activities position under the supervision and guidance of a faculty mentor. Students are employed by the Office of Undergraduate Research and are matched with a position on campus.

Faculty members who wish to be considered for a FYRE placement  for the 2021-22 academic year will complete the job description form by May 15, 2021. The job description form includes the project/job title, project description, potential tasks and responsibilities, desired student qualifications and characteristics, and a place for additional comments. All job descriptions will be added to a directory of FYRE opportunities.

Eligible students will be invited in summer 2021 to review the directory of FYRE opportunities and to complete a short application form that includes selecting their top three job choices. The Office of Undergraduate Research will share applicant information with faculty for all students who have selected the mentor's project in their top three choices. Faculty will make a shortlist of candidates and return to the Office of Undergraduate Research who will make the final placements. While there is no guarantee of a match or placement, every effort will be made to make a connection that works for both the faculty mentor and the FYRE student.

Student Eligibility

Eligible students will be identified and recruited by the Office of Undergraduate Research and the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid in summer 2021. Eligibility requirements include:

  • Having a minimum 2.5 high school GPA
  • Completing the FAFSA and accepting a federal work study award
  • Committing to at least 5 hours per week on the assigned project

Faculty Considerations

We are currently seeking faculty mentors who are interested in developing projects and opportunities for freshman and who are committed to student success through high-impact learning experiences like undergraduate research. There is no financial commitment required from the faculty mentor or department. The Office of Undergraduate Research will provide funding for the program.

Faculty should set their expectations appropriately and be prepared to spend the necessary time acclimating their FYRE student to their jobs and providing guidance and assistance throughout the year. We encourage faculty mentors to introduce their FYRE students to the other members of your lab or research group including post-docs, graduate students, and other undergraduate students, but faculty mentors should commit to working directly with their FYRE student on a consistent basis.

Contact Justina Clark at to learn more about the program.

Program Timeline

  • July 16: Student priority deadline (faculty will receive access to their applicants and may begin developing their shortlist now)
  • July 30: Student final deadline
  • August 9: Faculty shortlist deadline
  • August 23: Student notification of FYRE placement
  • August 30: FYRE begins

Apply to FYRE Now