First Year Research Experience. Photos of students presenting their research posters to peers and faculty


Contact Us About FYRE

Martha Weber
Coordinator of Undergraduate Research
King Library Suite 122

First Year Research Experience (FYRE) Program

The FYRE program provides students with authentic, hands-on research experiences in small teams led by research-active faculty during a two-semester course sequence. Student researchers review their topic, design a study, and complete necessary training during the fall semester; they implement the study, analyze data, and present the results in the spring. This experience prepares students early for subsequent research opportunities such as summer research positions across the nation and independent research supervised by Miami faculty.  REQUIRES BOTH UNV 171 (fall semester), UNV 172 (spring semester)

Why Join the First Year Research Experience Program?

  • Develop important skills
    • Learn new techniques, analytic methods & communication and professional skills
    • Attend monthly colloquiums on research-based careers or a departmental seminar in any discipline
  • Break new ground
    • Work with your peers in small teams, directly with faculty on their current cutting edge research project
    • Incorporate the framework of research and inquiry into your college experience
  • Forge lasting relationships - build academic and social mentoring relationships
    • Get to know your professors outside of the classroom for sustained interaction over your college career (and beyond)
  • Present and publish as a student
    • Support for travel to present research at national conferences and possibly co-author with faculty mentors on papers in academic journals
    • Students can get involved in enriching educational opportunities, such as workshops, trainings, and field trips

Who Can Participate?

FYRE Program invites first year students in any department or major to apply. Students who join MUST agree to a year-long commitment which includes UNV 171 in the fall semester (2 cr.) and UNV 172 in the spring (2 cr.). As part of these courses, students are expected to dedicate 2-4 additional hours per week to their faculty-mentored team research projects.

What Types of FYRE Program Research Experiences Are There?

FYRE Research Track (RT) project themes vary by semester depending on the faculty involved and the resources available. 

Open Reseach Tracks for AY 2017-18 are:

UNV 171 HA: Urban geochemistry and pollution (course meets on Miami Hamilton campus)
UNV 171 C: Making sense of everyday interactions (course meets on Oxford campus)

What is Expected of FYRE Students?

  • FYRE students must enroll in UNV 171 (fall) or UNV 172 (spring) and meet together twice a week in a 2-credit hour course. The weekly seminar meeting introduces the students to concepts necessary to conduct undergraduate research (e.g., research design and analysis), whereas the weekly team project meetings allow students to apply these concepts to their own projects (e.g. designing their own study and analyzing the data they collect.
  • Depending on the nature of the research project, students will need to contribute to their team-based projects outside of their weekly meeting times. This might involve library research, writing, development or preparation of project materials, data collection, data analysis, or other relevant tasks. 

What are the FYRE Course Descriptions?

UNV 171C Making sense of everyday interactions

Research doesn’t always happen in a lab. Qualitative research involves making sense of peoples’ thoughts and actions, and has applications in a variety of fields to include marketing, education, architecture/design, strategic communication, and many others. Rather than using numeric measurements to test or compare something, qualitative researchers use techniques such as human observation, artifact reviews, interviews and focus groups to understand a particular situation, concept, or experience from another’s perspective. Student research teams will select a topic appropriate for qualitative research  and subsequently develop and implement a qualitative study. 

UNV 171HA Urban geochemistry and pollution

Research teams will investigate street and drainage sediment and air samples from outside Chicago to understand the nature and extent of metal pollution. Student teams will develop hypotheses for sources as well as the nature and spatial distribution of pollution, then analyze sample sets to test them. Students will go “hands-on” with bulk chemical techniques in the trace element lab housed in the Geology Department, and equipment in Miami University’s Center for Advanced Microscopy and Imaging (CAMI) to better understand the sources and causes of metal pollution, explain why pollution varies in these urban systems, and assess health and ecological risks. Students who apply to participate in courses on the Hamilton campus can use free bus transportation via BCRTA The Hamilton connector bus R3 runs throughout the day between Miami Oxford and Miami Hamilton Campus. Anyone can view the bus location in realtime on the web  Or just down load free app.

[FYRE Research Track UNV 171B Enrollment is full for 2017-18

Reading the mind using EEG
Neuroelectric imaging refers to the mapping of brain function using a dense-array version of the electroencephalogram (EEG). The ongoing, scalp-recorded EEG provides a window into brain activities underlying our cognitive processes. These technologies measure brain activity by recording changes in the electro-magnetic fields generated by ensembles of neurons that are synchronized in their behavior. This electrical activity changes quickly and can be related to specific events. Students in this research track will learn how to use EEG to explore relationships between brain activity and cognitive processes such as attention, working memory, and consciousness.

What Does a Typical FYRE Research Track look like?

FYRE Research Tracks are conducted by a combination of faculty, graduate assistants, and peer mentors. Students thus benefit from a constant, open line of communication with both faculty and students. Furthermore, students are not simply engaged in prescribed research experiences, but rather play a central and equal part with faculty and graduate students in developing and implementing the research projects.

The faculty lead is responsible for developing the overall theme of the RT, providing project guidance, and leading the weekly seminar meeting. During these meetings, students are introduced to the general nature of the research enterprise as well as the basic concepts necessary to conduct research in the discipline of the RT. For example, students might learn the difference between an independent variable and a dependent variable.

The graduate assistant is responsible for supervising the weekly project team meetings, where FYRE students work in teams to apply the basic concepts introduced in the seminar to their own research projects. For example, students might determine what the independent and dependent variables will be for their project, and how they will be measured. A peer mentor with extensive undergraduate research experience is assigned to each student team to assist in all aspects of project development.

It is common for representatives from other university offices (e.g. University Libraries, Howe Writing Center) to contribute to instruction in UNV 171 and UNV 172. Additionally, there are several workshops, colloquia, and other professional development opportunities that are offered, some of which are exclusive to FYRE students.