What FIRE Students Say


FIRE students have let us know what this program has meant to them and how it has accelerated their professional development and opportunity.

Shyama Srikkanth

When I joined FIRE, I did not anticipate the level of research I would be engaged in, or the transferable skills that I would acquire. FIRE has truly allowed me to develop professionally throughout my time in the program.

Shannon McAvoy

I have learned what it takes to conduct good research and have been a part of incredible projects that will make a huge difference in the field. The fact I can say that I helped with such monumental projects, is something I will always cherish and will help me in reaching my dreams.

Sarah Curtis

Joining the FIRE program has allowed me to build a network of connections and gain research experience, which I never thought possible at such an early stage in my collegiate career. It has been a truly rewarding experience that I will cherish throughout college and for the future.

Sophia Aldridge

With the help of mentors and research educators, you have the guides you need to unleash your full research potential. The FIRE program has done so much to broaden my perspectives in the world of science and has given me a close-up look of what research is all about. FIRE is hands-down, one of the most beneficial decisions I’ve made in my college career thus far.

Ryan Mitchell

I am now performing research that I never could have dreamed of at such a young stage in my collegiate career, and quite frankly, I am very pleased that I was invited to join in on this wonderful experience, and would recommend it to all people with dreams.

Neilish Sud

If someone had approached me my freshman year and told me that I would be contributing to a laboratory where I conduct notable research with a talented team of doctors, undergraduates, and other lab faculty, I would not believe it.

Justin Mckillop

I never imagined in a million years that I would be doing the type of research and projects that I am doing right now. The FIRE program is one of the most exciting and interesting programs I have been a part of and I encourage everyone to join the program. I have already learned valuable information that will stick with me for the rest of my life.

Michele Keumeni

The most rewarding aspect of FIRE … is that our research will help in the fight against the antibiotic resistance. As an aspiring surgeon, this lab gave me an opportunity to conduct truly hands on laboratory research which was hard to find as an incoming freshman.

Kelsey Quinn

I love FIRE because I get to be involved in a genuine research experience where I feel like I’m making contributions to my field so early in my career …. FIRE has helped me form connections with leading researchers in my field which have served as great mentors for planning my future career.

Kasey Goon

The connections I've made with other FIRE members are just as valuable as the incredible amount of knowledge I've gained from the program. My research has also helped me to discover my passion for environmental science and sustainability, which are exactly the kind of experiences I am looking for to expand my career possibilities.

Gabriel Castro

I’ve gained invaluable research experience and skills that set me apart both in and out of the classroom. The faculty is engaging, knowledgeable, devoted, and has helped me realize my passion for research. FIRE has allowed me to form friendships with some of the most dedicated and intelligent students I’ve come across at College Park.

Jason Cho

Joining FIRE at such an early stage of my college career really helped me cement my choice of major, and gave me the opportunity to collaborate and interact with excellent faculty within my field. I initially believed research was about long hours grinding in a lab, repeating trials, and working alone. FIRE was a dynamic and fun environment that opened my eyes to what research could be.

Fatima Asif

At such a large university, many professors have hundreds of students and cannot remember everyone’s names, let alone have time to meet with all of them. I was able to connect with my FIRE mentor and unlike my other professors he knew my name, made an effort to connect with his students and had an open door policy in his office.

Chris Kuffner

FIRE offers undergraduates like myself a rare opportunity to project our knowledge beyond paper and into reality. A wide variety of research streams are available to choose from, giving students the chance to not only do real, impactful work, but to do it for something that matters to them. It is like starting your dream job straight out of high school!

Charles Bond

My stream has challenged me to think critically in ways I have never had to before. A lot of the time we are asking questions that no one in the entire scientific community has answers for.

Neilish Sud

If someone had approached me my freshman year and told me that I would be contributing to a laboratory where I conduct notable research with a talented team of doctors, undergraduates, and other lab faculty, I would not believe it.

Aidan Strother

FIRE has not only taught me how to be a great researcher - it has allowed me to be that researcher.

Ashley Alli

I will not only walk away from the FIRE Program with more knowledge and experience, but I will be able to walk away from it with a new network of connections that may benefit me in the future when I pursue an industrial biomedical research career.

Anu Ajith

As part of the FIRE program, I was able to be a part of a driven, multi-focus research team. I worked with patient mentors who were willing to teach me the basics of research and involve me in their projects.

Alyssa Goldsmith

Joining this program at the beginning of my college career was the best academic decision I have made and allowed me to flourish in research opportunities. My specific stream allows me to flourish in the studies of my major.

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