The Freshman Research Institute (FRI) allows 20 admitted first-year Honors students to become familiar with undergraduate research by meeting faculty, taking tours, attending workshops and participating in other activities. Participation in FRI offers a smooth transition to VCU and to future involvement in undergraduate research.
Note for applicants: The 2021 Freshman Research Institute may be canceled or conducted virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Check back periodically for updates.
The Freshman Research Institute is held in mid-August. There is no cost to participate and on-campus housing is provided. The online application, which can be accessed at the Honors Student Portal starting April 1, includes an essay about your research or creative interests and a description of your extracurricular activities, community service and research experience. The application deadline is June 30.
Students live in their assigned dormitory for the academic year. While this is typically within the Honors College, students living in other dorms as well as commuter students are also encouraged to apply.
The Freshman Research Institute is open to all majors, and provides an excellent opportunity for students who have not declared a major to explore the majors offered at VCU. Because the program is enriched by bringing students from various disciplines together, we encourage all first-year (non-transfer) students to apply.
Workshops are held with faculty members and students from various departments and programs, including Biomedical Engineering, English, VCU Arts, Psychology and the VCU School of Medicine.
There are no experiments run or studies conducted, as these take far longer than one week to complete. The Institute is a vehicle to introduce new students to VCU and to the research opportunities afforded to them across both campuses.