PROGRAM BENEFITS

There are lots of great reasons to join FIRE.

This page identifies some of the biggest benefits FIRE students enjoy through participation in the program.

access to research

ACCESS TO RESEARCH

The FIRE program provides first-year students accelerated access to research at a top-tier university. There are a variety of opportunities to choose from, including in the natural sciences, social sciences, and technology & applied sciences.

FACULTY MENTOR

Every FIRE stream is led by a FIRE Faculty Leader. They work shoulder-to-shoulder with a small cohort of FIRE students (~35) over multiple semesters and they get to know their students incredibly well.

faculty mentor
course credit

COURSE CREDIT

FIRE students earn course credit for their participation in the program.

Completing the program also fulfills the university's GenEd: Scholarship In Practice requirement. This means no matter what a student's major is (or might become), FIRE provides meaningful, portable credits that help students advance towards graduation.

COMMUNITY

When students join a FIRE stream, they start at the same time as everyone else and go through the experience together as a cohort.

Even though FIRE students earn course credit, the research experience encourages interaction and collaboration. FIRE students are not sitting in a lecture hall; they are peers in a lab on  working on shared objectives.

community
leadership opportunities

LEADERSHIP

FIRE students take ownership of a part of their FIRE stream's research mission and drive research results to completion.

FIRE students also have the option to apply for a Peer Research Mentor position after completing the program. Students in this role serve as senior student researchers and help onboard and mentor the next cohort of FIRE students.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

FIRE students go through a unique experience that helps them develop as both researchers and professionals.

FIRE students also receive programmatic support so that they can effectively communicate their experience in places like their resumes. This helps them be more prepared when targeting future next-steps.

professional experience
transcript citation

ACCOLADES

Students who complete FIRE earn a transcript citation and a graduation cord.

(Our pictured alum was very accomplished. The FIRE cord is the red & black one.)

MICRO-CREDENTIAL

The Researcher micro-credential affirms a FIRE student's research experience.

 

Once earned, FIRE students can opt to publicly display the digital micro-credential on  places like LinkedIn and Portfolium. Metadata will confirm that it was 

awarded by UMD, and it includes specific information on research methods training and accomplishments.

researcher micro-credential
free t-shirt

FREE T-SHIRT

Need we say more?