The First Year Research Experience in STEM aims to build a community of STEM students, faculty and professionals to support STEM majors or potential majors as they form identities as members of the scientific community. FYRE is supported by funding from the Helen Clay Frick Foundation.


FYRE is an applied learning program designed to connect first-year students with authentic hands-on research experiences in a variety of STEM-related disciplines.  Students selected for the FYRE program enroll in an introductory research seminar course that exposes them to research methods and are matched with research positions in WSU labs actively involved in scholarly STEM research. FYRE students will be better prepared for advanced careers in STEM fields and will develop important skills in critical thinking and problem-solving that can be applied to careers outside of research.

  • The FYRE in STEM program is open to ALL first year students at Wichita State University. This includes transfer students in their first year as well as traditional freshmen, even those who may have enough credits to be considered a sophomore.
  • Students need not be a member of the Honors College, but should have a strong interest in STEM fields.
  • For the purposes of the FYRE program, we will use a broad definition of STEM that is not limited to basic sciences, engineering and math, but could also include exercise science, health professions (including CSD, public health, nursing, medical laboratory sciences, etc.), psychology, and education majors focused on STEM firelds.
  • Build a community of STEM students, faculty, and professionals that support young STEM majors as they form identities as members of the scientific community, thus improving the likelihood that they will persist in STEM majors.
  • Provide a gateway to understanding scientific research that begins early in undergraduate career to increase likelihood of continuing research projects beyond the first year.
Benefits for Students 
  • Participate in faculty-mentored research which contributes new knowledge to your discipline
  • Receive training and support in finding a research mentor
  • Be part of interdisciplinary network of peer, academic and professional mentors
  • Discover funding, career, and advanced opportunities in research
  • Honors credit
Benefits for Faculty
  • Supports academic success through increased recruitment, retention and engagement
  • Creates a network of undergraduate and graduate researchers to increase the overall numbers of WSU STEM majors, graduates and professionals
  • Matched with pre-vetted undergraduate students interested in research early in career with no long-term commitment required
  • Opportunity to recruit and retain UG researcher in your lab for 4 years
Time Commitment
  • Students should expect a weekly time commitment of approximately 1 hour of in-class meetings and 2-3 hours of out of class for homework/class-related activities for the introductory STEM research course
  • Students should plan on an additional 8-10 hours of research per week under the supervision of a faculty mentor
  • FYRE students must participate in a research poster session to be held in the last week of the semester during the class period
Previous FYRE in STEM projects

View the previous work in the "FYRE in STEM" collection:

Application Information

The application includes the following:

  • Demographic inforamtion about the applicant
  • Major/STEM interests
  • Essays: (250 words or less for each)

Essay prompts include:

  1. Explain interest in selected research areas.
  2. What are your current career goals? Why did you choose this career path adn what other options might you consider? It is fine to be undecided at this point, but please indicate thetypes of career paths that interest you.
  3. Please describe why you are interested in taking part in becoming part of a research group, what benefits do you hope to gain from being part of a research group?
  4. Describe a scientific discovery you have recently heard/read about in popular media and explain why you found it interesting.
  5. A range of academic interests, personal identities, and life experiences among people in STEM fields is valuable. Please describe an interest, identify, or experience that will help you make a distinctive contribution as a FYRE Scholar.
  • October 10 - Deadline for student applications
  • October 15 - Deadline for faculty mentor applications
  • Mid-October - Interviews between potential mentors and selected students
  • December - Final notification of matches
  • November 8 - Enroll in HNRS 310X 
  • Winter Break - Meet with your mentor to learn about project
  • Spring 2023 - Start work in the lab and HNRS 310X course
  • Finals Week - Present at FYRE in STEM Showcase (poster or oral)
For more information please contact Dr. Moriah Beck, Faculty Director of FYRE, at or 316-978-5476