Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Honors College

Research Opportunities

Students in lab listening to instructor

Freshman Research Institute

The Freshman Research Institute is designed for 20 admitted first-year honors students. Students will become familiar with undergraduate research by meeting faculty, taking tours, attending workshops, and participating in other activities to make for a smooth transition to VCU and involvement in undergraduate research throughout their time at VCU. The 2015 Freshman Research Institute will be held Aug. 11-15. To ensure your candidacy, please apply early as applications are accepted on space availability. Additionally, there is no cost to participate and on-campus housing is provided. To apply, complete the online application, including an essay about your research or creative interests (e.g., biology, chemistry, history, politics, art and photography), a description of your extracurricular activities, community service and research experience by June 29, 2015.

Frequently asked questions

Where do students live on campus?
Students will live in their assigned dormitory for the academic year. While this is typically in The Honors College, students living in other dorms and commuter students are still encouraged to apply.

When can students move-in?

Students are allowed to move in on Tuesday, Aug. 11, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with orientation starting promptly at 3 p.m. No weekend move-in times are available, so students and parents must plan accordingly.

What if I plan to live off-campus during the academic year?
Students who live off-campus are eligible to apply. However, you must have reliable transportation to attend all activities.

What if I plan to major in the arts, humanities, or social sciences?
The Freshman Research Institute is open to all majors. Further, the program is enriched by bringing students from various disciplines together, and these students are greatly encouraged to apply.

What if I don’t know what my major will be?
FRI is an excellent opportunity for students who have not declared a major to be able to explore the majors offered at VCU. 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.

Will participants run experiments during FRI?
No, there are no experiments run or studies conducted as these take far longer than one week to complete. The Institute is merely a way to introduce new students to VCU and the opportunities afforded to them across both campuses.

How much does it cost to participate in the FRI?
The cost is free to participants; however, students should bring spending money for food and other miscellaneous personal expenses.

Can transfer students apply?
Unfortunately, this program is only available to incoming first-year students, and is thus not available to transfer students..

Students with questions about the Institute should contact:

Jacqueline Smith-Mason, Ph.D.
Phone: (804) 828-1803

Apply now »

You will be directed to the instructions for applying, after which you can submit your application online.