FIRE provides first-year UMD students a

faculty-mentored research experience that drives accelerated professional development.


FIRE is designed to give you authentic, marketable skills that will advance your career no matter your major or FIRE research stream chosen.

Gear up with FIRE.


Ready for an easy, passive exposure to research?  

You have come to the wrong place.

FIRE places you in the middle of the greatest challenges of our time - and provides the mentorship to succeed.


FIRE is about giving you not just access but membership to the research enterprise of the University of Maryland.

Ready to get to work and have a great story to tell future employers?

FIRE combines research experience with career readiness ...

Research Experience

This is what you will  do as a FIRE student.

Guaranteed, every single one of our research streams use these principles.

Authentic & Contemporary Methods

Use authentic & contemporary practices, dealing with real-world gotchas and uncertainties


Engage the process of creating new knowledge.


Do work that is broadly relevant to the greatest challenges of our time.


Repeat or revise aspects of your research to address problems or inconsistencies, rule out alternative explanations, or gather additional data.

Career Readiness

These are the ways in which you will grow as a FIRE student.  Guaranteed, every single one of our research streams drives these outcomes.

Critical Thinking

Learn to use sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome problems. 


Gain capacities to articulate ideas clearly. 


Learn to build relationships representing diverse cultures, races, genders, religions, and viewpoints.


Develop accountability and effective work habits.


Leverage the strengths of others to achieve common goals, and use interpersonal skills to coach and develop others.

The 2019-20 class of 600+ FIRE Participants

The FIRE Process for Students

FIRE Semester 1

In the first semester, you come to fully understand the mission of the program and develop initial capacities in selecting and evaluating literature, working with large datasets, critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration with teams, communication and professional management of research projects.  All of these outcomes help you select and succeed in the FIRE stream that you join in your second semester.


Course Information for Participating Students:  The course for FIRE Semester 1 is FIRE120.  This course earns 3 credits of General Education Scholarship in Practice.

FIRE Semester 2

In the second semester, we start square-zero training, deep immersion and research mentorship within the specific research stream you have chosen.  You will come to understand the broad research mission of the group and the components of it that you will own.  You will develop a close community with your fellow stream members and the stream Research Educator.

Course Information for Participating Students:  The course for FIRE Semester 2 is FIRE198.  This course earns 2 credits.

FIRE Semester 3

In the third semester you transition from trainee to experienced practitioner.  You drive your research project to completion and communicate the results to a broad audience and potentially national conferences.

Course Information for Participating Students:  The course for FIRE Semester 3 is FIRE298.  This course earns 3 credits of General Education Scholarship in Practice.

FIRE Summer Fellows Program

The mid-point of the FIRE course sequence is the summer between a student's first year and second year. FIRE students can apply during the spring of their first year to be a part of our FIRE Summer Fellows Program. This is an optional part of the FIRE experience.

FIRE Next Steps

In the final semester of program affiliation, FIRE students can choose a number of options to help facilitate a professional next step.

Benefits of Completing the Three Semester FIRE Sequence

Students who complete all three semesters of FIRE:

  • Earn a UMD Transcript Citation:

  • Earn 6 General Education Scholarship in Practice credits

  • Earn candidacy for the FIRE Peer Mentoring Program

  • Earn candidacy for FIRE Next-Step Assistance

  • Have a FIRE faculty member who has worked with them for a full year and is able to write strong letters of recommendation that include details on learning and ownership of research accomplishments.

University of Maryland

Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost

The First-Year Innovation & Research Experience

Dr. Patrick Killion

Director of Discovery-Based Learning

Email: pkillion@umd.edu

Tel: 301-405-0057