Loyola University Chicago

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First-Year Research Experience

The 2021-22 FYRE application will be available in late summer/early fall 2021. 

Prospective Loyola Students

Are you interested in a career in science, health, engineering, mathematics, or computer science? Do you want to work on a research project with faculty and other students? Do you want to be part of a community of students who explore career planning, diversity in science and math fields, and strategies for success in medical or graduate school? If so, FYRE is for you! Please contact fyre@luc.edu with questions or for more information about the FYRE program. 

Loyola has a great opportunity for you.

The First Year Research Experience (FYRE) is a unique opportunity for first-year students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. The program will welcome up to 100 FYRE Scholars in fall 2020 (number may vary depending on available funding), and has a few main components

  1. Beginning in the second-half of the fall semester, you will be a part of the FYRE Community. FYRE will provide study groups, be a place to get information about campus, support social events, and connect you with undergraduate mentors familiar with the FYRE Program. 
  2. In the spring, you will be enrolled in a mandatory, one-credit Loyola Seminar course (UNIV 102) taught by science, math, or computer science faculty. This will be an introduction to research practice, ethics, and career opportunities in STEM fields, as well as to the projects being conducted by Loyola faculty, staff, and students right here on the Lakeshore campus, at the Health Sciences Division (HSD), or at the Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Center (LUREC).
  3. The best part is that during three weeks of the summer, FYRE Scholars will work on a research team with professors and students, conducting research in an area of interest to you. This is a full time commitment and will require you to conduct research and work in teams for 40 hours a week. During this time, you may live on campus or commute. The program will include evening activities that are not all mandatory, but highly encouraged. This is a great chance to see how the science and math you learn in your classes applies to the real world and benefits society. It is also a fantastic resume builder.

To be eligible, you do not need prior research experience, but you need to take an introductory science or math course in your first semester and also enroll for one in the spring. Applications will be accepted from all students, but to ensure a diverse community, preference will be given to students from underrepresented groups, women, and first-generation college students. Preference will also be given to students interested in research in Bioinformatics, Chemistry, Chemistry Education, Computer Science, Engineering Science, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics.

Benefits to You:

  • FYRE Community tailored to make your transition into college easier
  • Experience working with Loyola professors, staff, and students on important research projects (For example, you could learn about invasive species and why they are a problem, be involved in getting rid of them at the Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus (LUREC), and study the methods and initial impacts of their removal. Or you could learn how to use mathematics to propose solutions to social justice issues such as minimum wage, drug addiction, and environmental concerns. Or you could use molecular dynamics simulations to understand the interaction of proteins with ligands. Or you could study the presence of lead in soil from communities in Chicago.)
  • Research experience to add to your resume
  • During the three-week Summer Research Experience*: A stipend of $1,000 and room and board for those living on campus
  • Friendships with faculty, staff, and students who share similar interests in math, science, and technology
  • Discussions and speakers about diversity in STEM fields, research opportunities available to undergraduates, graduate school, and career planning
  • Contacts and experience that can help you discover future academic, research, and career opportunities


The application for the 2021-22 FYRE program will open in late summer/early fall 2021. 


*Please note that the FYRE summer research projects may be subject to modifications (including a shift to remote mode, where possible) or cancellations, based on University policies related to COVID-19. We will make every effort to provide a meaningful summer research program for all accepted FYRE scholars. Updates will be provided as they become available.

This program is supported in part by a grant to Loyola University Chicago from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the Science Education Program.