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Learn By Doing in the SRI


Want to learn how to conduct research and create connections with faculty and other College of Science students? Join the Science Research Initiative (SRI)!

SRI offers College of Science students the opportunity to participate in discovery-based scientific research starting on your first day on campus, with no prior research experience required. You will gain research skills that will help you in science classes, learn with College of Science peers, and connect with faculty across the University. The SRI will jumpstart your path academic success, and give you needed skills to prepare for an internship or a career - whether that's in a research lab, an office, or one of the many other opportunities open to our graduates. Find out more below, or email us for more information.

The SRI is a program for first- and second-year students that enables them to start working in an SRI stream, or research experience, at the beginning of their journey at the University of Utah. This program assumes incoming students will not have any college-level research experience; instead, you will learn alongside your fellow students to gain research skills, technical experience, and the unique opportunity to learn from faculty.

Getting research experience early in your college career is one of the most effective ways to put you on the path of employment in the STEM economy. Whether your goal is to go to graduate or professional school, or begin working upon graduation, participation in the SRI will open doors for your future success. You'll gain practical experience, connect with faculty and researchers that can help you, and explore career paths early in your college experience. Utah's STEM economy is predicted to grow significantly in the coming decades, and the SRI will prepare you to be on the forefront of that growth.

Unlike other research programs, you are not required to have any experience in the lab in order to qualify. All the skills you will need to be successful will be integrated into your training. However, you are encouraged to take science and math courses in high school to prepare you for your degree in the College of Science.

Yes, the SRI is a program specifically designed for College of Science students. First-year students are encouraged to declare their intended major as soon as possible. Your advisor can help you determine which major will be suit your interests and goals.

The College understands that goals and interests of our students may change during your time at the University of Utah. If your academic goals change, your advisor can help you find the path that is right for you.

SRI staff will work with you to find a stream that interests you. You will have the ability to rank your preferences based on stream availability. You will be asked to commit to your SRI stream for a year; however, if there are extenuating circumstances and you need to change your plans, speak to your stream leader ASAP.

You can apply as soon as you receive your acceptance to the University of Utah, or when scholarships for the next academic year open (December 1st for the 2021-2022 academic year).

The SRI application uses the same platform as all University scholarships. You can apply using the link above. To apply, you will need:

  • Acceptance to the University of Utah
  • Plan to declare a major in the College of Science
  • First- or second-year status, or a transfer student

SRI students are expected to participate in the following:

  • Enroll in SCI 1500, a 1-credit class that will cover research practices, scientific inquiry, and other topics that will help you be successful.
  • Commit to 10 hours of work per week in your research stream.
  • Participate in an end-of-year research symposium to highlight your research and hear what your peers have accomplished.

There is no cost to SRI students to take SCI1500 during the fall semester. During the spring research semester, students can either receive college credit or work-study funds. Limited scholarships are available, and the opportunity to apply will be given to students accepted into the SRI program.

More information


SRI Research Streams

Current research stream opportunities

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Current Students

Information for current SRI students

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SRI Leaders

Join the Science Research Initiative faculty.

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