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Biology First-Year Research Initiative (FRI)

Biology FRI
Priscila Salinas [left] and Emma Voigt [right] present their poster from the Penn State First-Year Research Initiative's poster night, from the Spring 2019 semester.


Penn State Biology's First-Year Research Initiative (FRI):
Two-semester sequence that gives students an authentic experience that provides a bridge to working in research laboratories. Students are supported by faculty and by undergraduate FRI alumni in the sequence.

How to sign up? Students sign up during New Student Orientation (NSO) in the summer before their first-year. The only requirements are that you are interested in research and you took high school calculus or your ALEK score suggested MATH140B. Interested individuals should contact Academic Adviser, Joel Waters (

First semester: In lieu of the regular BIOL110 lab, you will explore biological research practice and design your own short research project with the support of undergraduate learning assistants (FRI alumni) and the faculty below. 

Second semester: Students work with a Biology faculty on authentic research, which replaces your BIOL230W: Molecules and Cells lab. Click research faculty names below to access their websites and learn more about their research. 

Associate Professor of Biology, Biology Ombudsperson