SRI Events

SRI & College of science EVents


NIH-SACNAS Virtual Lunch

Everyone is welcome!

Stay connected with other SACNISTAS and join us for a virtual lunch on Wednesday, June 22. Share a meal, chat, de-stress, and remember you have a community of SACNISTAS you can stay connected to.

This will be online only. Registrants will receive meeting information prior to the event.

For any questions, please contact Dr. Moraima Matus-Nicodemos @  moraima.matus-nicodemos@nih.gov

Who are we? We are a professional SACNAS chapter that provides a supportive and welcoming environment for Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans trainees and staff at the NIH to get together, exchange ideas, network, share successes, and strategize about future goals. Our chapter holds monthly meetings focus on scientific communication, networking, outreach, and career development to provide our members with resources and tools to improve and advance their careers. We are part of the National SACNAS organization (Society for the Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science). We welcome everyone to be part of our events.  If you are interested in joining the chapter, please sign-up to our list-serv (NIH-SACNAS)

Registration Link:

https://www.training.nih.gov/events/view/_2/6449/NIH_SACNAS_Society_for_the_Advancement_of_Chicanos/Hispanics_and_Native_Americans_in_Science_Chapter_Virtual_Lunch

SRI Careers

SRI News


Science Research Initiative (SRI) Fellow

Salt Lake City, Utah

The College of Science at the University of Utah invites applications for a scientist or mathematician with a Ph.D. in astronomy, biology, chemistry, environmental science, mathematics, physics, or related fields to help support teaching and research in the Science Research Initiative ( SRI ). The SRI is a unique program that focuses on providing undergraduate students with authentic research experiences during their first and second year of college. For more information on the SRI please clickhere (https://science.utah.edu/sri/) .

The SRI Fellow position will provide three (3) years of funded training in mentorship and teaching, as well as the opportunity to develop high-impact undergraduate research experiences at an institution with a world-class research infrastructure and community.

SRI Team

SRI Team


Josh Steffen, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Lecturer

Josh Steffen, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Lecturer
Josh received his BA in biology and secondary education from St. Olaf College. He carried his Ph.D. and post-doctoral research at the University of Utah where he studied plant reproductive development with Gary in the lab of Gary Drews. He carried out post-doctoral research in the lab of Richard Clark where he studied natural variation in gene expression. Over the past 8 years he has held faculty positions at Colby-Sawyer College and Utah Valley University where he focussed on undergraduate education. In 2018 he accepted a position in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Utah. Currently, Josh manages the Science Research Initiative (SRI), teaches courses associated with the SRI, and mentors multiple undergraduate research groups. Undergraduates working with Josh are using metagenomic approaches to characterize pollinator foraging behaviors, attempting to identify novel antimicrobials, and carry out genetic analysis of maize mutants.
 joshua.steffen@utah.edu

Heather Briggs, Ph.D.

Associate Instructor

Heather Briggs, Ph.D.

Associate Instructor
Heather completed a M.S. at the University of Michigan (Natural Resources) and a Ph.D at the University of California, Santa Cruz (Environmental Studies & Ecology and Evolutionary Biology). She went on to complete two postdoctoral positions, first at Harvard, then at UC Irvine. Heather now helps manage the SRI where she empowers students to work through hypothesis generation, experimentation, and interpretation. As an evolutionary community ecologist, Heather’s research is motivated by the desire to understand how variation in community context influences the outcome of biotic interactions. Through the exploration of the various determinants of insect behavior, plant ecology, and floral evolution, her research considers the importance of context-dependent interactions from both the plant and pollinator perspectives.
 heather.briggs@utah.edu

Ryan M. Stolley, Ph.D.

Associate Instructor

Ryan M. Stolley, Ph.D.

Associate Instructor
Ryan received his BS in chemistry from Fort Lewis College and Ph.D in organic chemistry from the University of Utah. He then conducted a post-doctoral appointment at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’ Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis. After PNNL, he was a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow in the US Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies office. Ryan is currently an assistant research professor in the chemistry department where he works with numerous groups as a synthetic chemistry specialist, co-director of the SRI, and chairperson of the Salt Lake section of the American Chemical Society. Ryan’s research is in fundamental organic and organometallic chemistry uncovering new reaction paradigms using underexplored or entirely new functional groups, exotic ligands for rare-earth element coordination, and a variety of exotic conducting materials.
 801-581-6538
 ryan.stolley@utah.edu

Laura Rupert

SRI Project Coordinator

Laura Rupert

SRI Project Coordinator
 L.rupert@utah.edu

 

 

SRI Students

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.

Fall Year 1

Enroll in a 1-credit class in which you will learn about how science happens, join a community of researchers, and determine placement in a lab based on your research interests.

1
Spring Year 1

Begin the scientific journey in your selected lab. Students will engage in research activities for approximately 10 hours per week.

2
Fall Year 2

Continue in your selected stream and keep building upon your skills as a researcher. Students are given various opportunities to share research findings and mentor new students.

3
Beyond

Stay involved with the SRI community. Connect with new research and professional development opportunities in both SRI & College of Science.

4

FAQ


SRI Research Streams

SRI Research Streams - Spring 2022


College of Science faculty are engaged in research across disciplines. SRI scholars will have the opportunity to interact with faculty and determine which research stream best meets their interests during the spring semester of SRI participation. Research can be performed for credit, and scholarship opportunities are available.

Click on a tile to learn more about the stream.


 

PN Pollinator Networks
Pollinator Networks

Stream Leader: Dr. Heather Briggs

SG Seed Genetics
Seed Genetics

Stream Leader: Dr. Gary Drews

Seeds directly or indirectly produce 50% of the calories provided in the human diet.  In cereal grains, such as maize (corn) many of the calories are stored in a tissue called endosperm. Research in the Drews lab focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating endosperm development.  Using reverse genetic approaches in maize, the Drews lab has identified a collection of genes that are turned on in tissues that play essential roles during normal seed development.

The Drews lab research stream will focus on using genetic approaches to understand the function of the genes turned on in endosperm.  As a first step, the Drews lab has generated mutations in a series of genes of interest using the CRISPR Cas9 systems.  Initial analysis suggests that mutating single genes fails to reveal the function of genes of interest.  Students working with professor Drews will be involved in identifying and characterizing plants with multiple genes removed (double mutants).  Preliminary results suggest that eliminating redundant gene products results in profound seed developmental defects.

While working with professor Drews you will be introduced to the biology of plant reproduction and seed development, and modern approaches to genetics.  Undergraduate researchers will be taught a variety of key molecular biology research skills including, but not limited to, DNA extraction methods, PCR, and electrophoresis, and will be taught common computational approaches for evaluating DNA sequences.

AC Ant Cultivated Fungi
Ant Cultivated Fungi

Stream Leader: Dr. Bryn Dentinger/Kendra Autumn

Attine ants are fungus farmers who feed, weed, and eat their crop. There are two types of attine ants that each farm a different kind of fungus. Both fungi are found exclusively under agriculture by attines, but have close free-living relatives. The close evolutionary relationships of ant-cultivated fungi and their free-living relatives provide an opportunity for insight into the evolution of ant fungal crops and their association with their farmers. In particular, I am investigating defensive compounds produced by ant-farmed fungi. I hypothesize that the farmed fungi will possess a different complement of defensive compound-producing genes than their free-living relatives, due to the role of many defensive compounds in making fungi unpalatable to invertebrates, as well as evidence of reduction of defensive compounds in human-farmed crop plants. Students will contribute toward this effort by helping to sequence museum specimens of free-living relatives of the ant-cultivated fungi, and will learn DNA extraction, PCR, and DNA sequence analysis in the process.

EN Evolution of Neural Circuits
Evolution of Neural Circuits

Stream Leader: Dr. Sophie Caron and Chelsea Gosney

An organism must adapt to its environment to ensure the survival of the next generation. The ways in which neural circuits evolve to different environments is largely unknown. To understand how the brain changes in response to varying ecologies, we use the Drosophila olfactory circuit as a model. In this stream, students will have the opportunity to determine which odors are important for species with vastly different ecologies. Students will be working with four species of Drosophila: D. melanogaster and D. simulans, which can be found worldwide, and D. pseudoobscura and D. persimilis, which are native to the American West. Students will test which odors are important to stimulate egg laying between the varying species to begin to identify which pathways within the olfactory circuit are under higher selection.

DT Diagnostic Technologies, ARUP
Diagnostic Technologies, ARUP

Stream Leaders: TBD

The ARUP research stream will provide novice students with introductions to fundamental scientific principles in the context of clinically relevant diagnostic technologies. Students will be introduced to diagnostic assays, the dynamics of clinical testing, the process of developing and comparing new diagnostic technologies, and receive introductions to the challenges of interpreting data resulting from testing assays.  The ARUP research stream will provide students the unique opportunity of shared mentorship by both ARUP and SRI-associated research staff and faculty.

CB Cancer Biology
Cancer Biology

Stream Leaders: Gennie Parkman and Dr. Sheri Holmen

Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer resulting from the abnormal growth of melanocytes, which are the pigment-producing cells of the skin. Despite novel therapies that have greatly advanced the landscape of melanoma treatments, once distant metastases are evident, patient prognosis is still quite dismal. Interestingly, Utah has the highest rate of melanoma per capita, thus making it an especially relevant cancer to study here. Utah’s melanoma rate has more than doubled in the past 17 years. Furthermore, according to Cancer Stats and Figures 2020, melanoma is the 5th most common cancer for males and the 6th most common cancer for females. To develop new treatments for melanoma, we must first understand more about the genetics of this heterogeneous disease.

Multiple screening efforts have led to the discovery of new genes that may be responsible for the initiation or progression of melanoma. However, these genes need to be functionally tested before we are able to truly understand their impact on this disease. Our research will employ molecular cloning methods to study these novel genes and their impact on cellular signaling pathways. Over the course of a year, undergraduates will learn to design and synthesize a target gene, construct an expression vector, transfect cells with the transgene, and characterize it at the mRNA and protein expression levels by RT-PCR and western blotting. These will then be tested functionally using various in vitro assays to gain an understanding of the gene’s effect on melanoma cell proliferation, invasion, and migration. By achieving a better understanding of the role of target genes and their contribution to melanoma, we will be able to identify therapeutic targets that may advance the outcome of melanoma therapies.

PM Pollen Metagenomics
Pollen Metagenomics

Stream Leader: Dr. Joshua Steffen

Utah is home to an astonishing diversity of native bee species.  Recent estimates suggest that over 900 bee species call Utah home including more than 100 at Red Butte Garden alone.  Compared with honey bees, relatively little is known about the vast majority of these native bee species.  To support native bees, and the plant species they pollinate, we need to gain a better understanding of their basic biology.

Most research describing the foraging behavior of bee species uses approaches that are quite labor-intensive or require specialized expertise.  We are developing and testing molecular approaches that allow us to more efficiently categorize the pollen, microbes, and fungi collected and distributed by pollinators.  Our research group will be employing a molecular approach called DNA metabarcoding to assay foraging behavior.  DNA metabarcoding has the potential to reveal all the species in an environmental sample based upon the DNA sequences that are present in that sample.  Over the course of the next year, undergraduates working on this project will test molecular protocols, collect native pollinators in the field, and use bioinformatic tools to provide accurate descriptions of the foraging behavior of native pollinators.  By gaining a nuanced understanding of foraging behavior we will be able to better inform practices used to support the health and diversity of plants and pollinators in native ecosystems.

UM Underexplored Molecular Architectures
Underexplored Molecular Architectures

Stream Leader: Dr. Ryan Stolley

Our lab focuses on developing new organic chemical reactions that have heretofore been ignored or alluded synthesis. In our lab you will get training on working in a synthetic chemistry laboratory, working with general and advanced analysis instruments, and building the knowledge base of fundamental organic Chemistry.

EC Electrosynthetic Chemistry
Electrosynthetic Chemistry

Stream Leaders: Dr. Shelley Minteer and Dr. Henry White

Chemists and engineers strive to develop safe, efficient, and environmentally sustainable chemical synthesis for the production of high-value molecules, such as those used in medical applications. Advances by electrochemists have demonstrated remarkable new means for improving product selectivity under mild reaction conditions. Unexplored realms of chemical synthesis are now attainable using electrons at the primary reactant.

Supported by the National Science Foundation Center for Chemical Innovation (Links to an external site.), chemists at the University of Utah and across the country are embarking on a collaborative project to employ the extensive knowledge of electrochemists, materials scientists, and physical chemists in using electrons to make new molecules.  The overarching goal is to deploy this exciting new knowledge to advance chemical synthesis.

Undergraduates participating in this SRI project will demonstrate how using electrons as reactants can make pharmaceutical synthesis greener, safer, and environmentally friendly. Students will work towards learning advanced electrochemical methods for carrying out chemical transformations.  Working as a team, they will participate in designing a research plan for developing a general electrochemical route for introducing chemical functionality into molecules, and then demonstrate the general application of their method in the chemical syntheses of a series of molecules.

The project will provide students with a working knowledge of many aspects of organic preparatory chemistry, the physical chemistry of electron-transfer reactions, catalysis, materials chemistry, and quantitative analytical measurements, providing a foundation for future advanced research in all areas of chemistry.  Biweekly meetings of the entire team with the project leaders (Profs. Minteer and White) will focus on discussion of individual student results and the overall progress of the team.

CM Crystallography and Molecular Structure
Crystallography and Molecular Structure

Stream Leader: Dr. Ryan Vanderlinden

The crystallographic X-ray lab collaborates with labs across campus to determine the three-dimensional molecular structure of their novel molecules. The method we use for molecular structure determination is called X-ray crystallography. When an intense x-ray beam is passed through a singular crystal a diffraction pattern can be collected that contains information about the relative position of the atoms that make up the crystal from which a structure can be derived. The information gathered from the structure determination is used for compound identification or to understand the structure-function relationship. An undergraduate research student that joins the Crystallographic X-ray Lab can expect to learn the fundamentals of x-ray crystallography: grow crystals, collect x-ray diffraction data, process data, solve structures and build models.

MB Making and Breaking Bonds
Making and Breaking Bonds

Stream Leader: Dr. Peter Armentrout

My group is focused on measuring thermodynamic information although we obtain kinetic and often dynamic information about chemical reactions as well. Using an instrument called a guided ion beam tandem mass spectrometer (GIBMS), We examine how reactions of cations and molecules change as a function of the available kinetic (sometimes electronic) energy. When the reaction is endothermic (requiring extra energy), we can measure a threshold for the process, which directly provides the thermodynamic information of interest. We have applied this technique to a range of systems, simple atom + diatom reactions (most recently of lanthanide and actinide elements), hydration of metal ions, up to fragmentation of small biomolecules.

SB Sense of Belonging in STEM Classes
Sense of Belonging in STEM Classes

Stream Leader: Dr. Gina Frey

Students in introductory STEM courses often have concerns about whether they will be academically successful in large university courses, but many have an additional concern that maybe “people like me don’t belong in this course.” This concern is called belonging uncertainty and is related to the insecurity someone feels because of their identities.

In our group, we are studying the effect that course-level student belonging has on student performance and retention in the course. We have found at two different institutions, course-level belonging affects student performance in large general chemistry courses. We are also finding a similar effect in introductory physics. To better understand these effects and what we as instructors can do to create a more inclusive classroom, our group is interested in understanding the mechanism of how social belonging affects course performance and retention.

S Spintronics
Spintronics

Stream Leader Dr. Christoph Boehme

The research of the Department of Physics & Astronomy's spin electronics group is focused on the study of spin-selection rules on electronic transitions in condensed matter. Spin-selection rules are quantum mechanical processes that allow the spin of electrons to govern the probability of electronic transitions such as spatial changes, i.e. electric current, or energetic changes, i.e. optical emissions. The electron spin is what gives an electron its magnetic moment. Thus, our work explores the connection between magnetic and electric properties of materials and the this could lead to new electronic (actually spintronic) devices applications such as spin-based quantum sensors and quantum memory.

MM Mathematical Modeling and Pandemics
Mathematical Modeling and Pandemics

Stream Leader: Dr. Fred Adler

In addition to disrupting about every aspect of normal life, the COVID-19 epidemic has brought unprecedented attention to the importance of mathematical modeling and data analysis. The tools needed to understand and predict this epidemic run the gamut from differential equations and large simulations, with methods coming from statistics and applied mathematics. Data are noisy and complicated, and raise many questions about the challenges of counting cases, tracking their sources, understanding viral spread, and quantifying stresses on the health care system and the economy.

We will access the vast quantity of available data, and use them to study the spread and genetics of this virus. Recent studies have shown that the spike protein, that lives on the outside of the virus and is critical for it to enter cells, has mutated in ways that might affect its ability to infect people.

Our SRI team will take an interdisciplinary approach to this aspect of the pandemic. Students will learn the skills needed to download and visualize genetic data using R and python, link these data with fundamental mathematical models of epidemiology, evolution, and the physics of viral entry. Working in teams, we'll investigate hypotheses about the causes consequences of viral evolution, and learn to effectively communicate and display these results to audiences ranging from scientists and decision-makers to the general public.

ML Machine Learning Using Neural Networks
Machine Learning Using Neural Networks

Stream Leader: Braxton Osting

The abundance of data created in science, engineering, business, and everyday human activity is simply staggering. This data is often complex and high-dimensional, taking the form of video or time-dependent sensor data. Machine learning methods allow us to understand such data, automatically identifying patterns and making important data-driven decisions without human intervention. Machine learning methods have found a wide variety of applications, including providing new scientific insights and the development of self-driving cars.

One machine learning method in particular, neural networks, has emerged as the preeminent tool for the supervised learning tasks of regression and classification. Loosely modeled after the human brain and the basis for deep learning, Neural Networks use composition to develop complex representations of data. In recent years, researchers using Neural Networks have made tremendous breakthroughs in topics as varied as image processing, natural language processing, and playing board games such as Go.

VS Viral Suppressors of RNA Silencing
Viral Suppressors of RNA Silencing

Stream Leader: Dr. Sarah Hansen

RNA sensing and RNA interference (RNAi) are essential mechanisms for antiviral defense in many organisms. RIG-I and other RIG-I-like helicases are a family of enzymes that can detect (RIG-I, MDA-5) or cleave (Dicer) “non-self” double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) such as dsRNA from a viral genome. Additionally, these helicases initiate a larger immune response from the cell. To combat these types of antiviral defenses, some viruses evolved to encode viral suppressors of RNA silencing (VSRs).  The mechanism by which VSRs target different components of the RNA silencing pathways is poorly understood. The goal of this project is to study a known VSR protein from Nodamura virus. Students will work with this protein and potential targets (RIG-I, MDA-5, LGP2, and Dicer) in vitro to determine how this VSR inhibits the RNA sensing pathway in human cells.

This project will allow students to work in a biochemistry laboratory where they will get to learn:

1) to clone, purify, and do experiments with proteins and RNA in vitro

2) to work with human and bacterial cells

3) to perform in vitro experiments, and collect and analyze results from those experiments

4) skills related to scientific writing and communication

Additionally, students will be immersed in the Bass Lab, including group meetings and sub-group meetings with Prof. Bass, so they can learn about graduate-level research conducted in the field of protein-RNA biochemistry.

BIOLOGY
 

CHEMISTRY
 

MATH
 

PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY

SCIENCE EDUCATION

SRI Update

SRI Update


Many undergraduates major in science in the hope of doing research someday. The College of Science’s Science Research Initiative (SRI) is an innovative new program that puts students in a lab as soon as they arrive.

“The most consequential learning happens by doing, and that is especially true in the College of Science. Experiences in a laboratory-centered, team-based, interdisciplinary environment give students the skills to succeed and access opportunities in high-paying industries,” said Peter Trapa, Dean of the college. “The SRI offers incoming students, with no prior exposure to research, the opportunity to learn alongside their peers to gain hands-on, technical expertise, and learn directly from researchers as early as their first year at the U. The college’s exceptional faculty, world-class research facilities, and commitment to in-person experiential learning makes this unique program possible.”

Learning by doing.

Any student admitted to the College of Science can apply. During the first semester, the cohort of SRI undergraduates take a course that prepares them to work in a research lab. The course teaches principles of scientific inquiry, introduces students to the breadth of research in the College of Science, and breaks down the structure of a lab, such as the roles of graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and the principal investigator. After learning about the research projects, known as research streams, the students rank the labs they’d most like to experience. The program matches them to a SRI faculty scientist leading the project where they will work during the second semester. Then, SRI mentors help each student figure out a path forward, whether it be continuing with the research stream, switching projects, or even finding alternatives to lab-based research.

The SRI is led by three scientists and educators who specialize in diverse disciplines. Dr. Joshua Steffen, Assistant Professor Lecturer of Biology, leads a research stream that uses metagenomic approaches to understand generalist foraging behaviors. Dr. Ryan Stolley, Associate Instructor of Chemistry, leads a research stream building an underexplored class of molecules. Dr. Heather Briggs, Associate Instructor for the College of Science, leads a research stream focused on understanding how microbial communities in flower nectar impact the way pollinators interact with plants.

Students who participate in the SRI leave campus with more than a cool college experience; they will graduate with the technical expertise to rise to the top of a competitive job market.  A degree from the U is a pipeline to Utah’s STEM-based economy. Choosing to participate in the SRI is a fantastic path to a rewarding career and an opportunity to earn high-paying jobs in their field.

- by Lisa Potter

Joshua Steffen

“We want to give as many students as possible in the College of Science a research experience as soon as they get here, totally independent of grades or previous experience. We’re different than other research programs because we remove a lot of the barriers that typically exist to getting into a lab. It can be intimidating to talk with faculty. We have a structured program that navigates that for the student. It’s also about building community. Research opportunities are one reason why you come to a big university like the U, but it’s easy to get lost and it can be hard to develop a community. We’re also hoping that this can help students connect with peers and mentors that they can rely on.”

Heather M. Briggs

“There is often a disconnect between how we do science and how we teach science. At the SRI we empower students to work through hypothesis generation, experimentation, and interpretation. This holistic process encourages a deeper understanding of concepts in practice and allows our students to take responsibility for their own learning. The SRI experience provides a supportive learning environment that fosters self-generation of ideas and ultimately a continued interest in research science.”

Ryan Stolley

“SRI benefits students, but it’s also a great opportunity for faculty. We work with faculty to write SRI into the broader impacts section on grants. But also, most researchers will have an undergraduate researcher at some point—it’s sometimes a roll of the dice on how they perform. Now, we can have a structured program that has specific goals, outcomes, and it can train these students. And the faculty has the freedom to manage them as they want. We’d love to get excited researchers into the fold and pair them with students who are excited by the work they’re doing.”

Benning Lozada

A student majoring in biology who had previously worked in research labs. He applied to the SRI to get experience in a field he was passionate about.

“I wanted to get involved in research because it’s really important for graduate school. But it’s really difficult to do. You have to cold call or email professors and, often times, they don’t have a place for you. I think this program is really useful because the environment is more teaching focused. So, you’ll be able to learn the skills that you need to, if you want to eventually go out and do research in other areas. It gives you a good basis as to what research looks like, so that you’re prepared for that in the future. You don’t always get that training when working in labs.”

Nayma Hernandez

A third-year biology major who transferred to the U. “It was really hard to get into research where I transferred from because not every professor wants an undergraduate, and you’re not the only one trying. And here, well, as long as you’re in the program, you’ll be able to participate in research.

I think it’s always good to do some research, even if you don’t think you want to go to grad school. It’s always good to try something because you might end up liking it. I’ve had some students tell me that they changed careers because they ended up doing research and they’d rather do that. The SRI program gives you that initiative to actually start doing research.”

Give to the SRI

Demand for the Science Research Initiative is skyrocketing. More than 150 students have enrolled this year, and we are planning for 300 by fall of 2022.

Experiences in a laboratory-centered, team-based, interdisciplinary environment give students the skills to succeed and access opportunities in high-paying industries.
We know the majority of our students work at least part-time to make ends meet, and it is hard for many of these students to work in the lab instead of picking up hours at their jobs. Our goal is to remove this financial barrier by providing ongoing support for every science student who needs a scholarship.

If you would like to donate to the Science Research Initiative, the College of Science will match your donation dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000. Your donation can go further and help us provide this unique experience to more students. For more information please call 801-581-6958, or visit science.utah.edu/giving.

>> HOME <<

 

 

SRI Leaders

Inspire the Next Generation


The Science Research Initiative (SRI) creates opportunities for first-year and transfer students to join a research lab in the College of Science, to begin to learn and master the skills they will need for a successful career in a STEM field.

Faculty can lead a stream of SRI scholars (3-10 students) in their lab on a project of their choosing, that relates to overall research productivity. By participating, faculty can help students gain research skills and mentorship that lead to academic retention, a more positive undergraduate experience and paths to graduate school.

The SRI process:

1. First-year students, upon acceptance to the University of Utah, can apply to the SRI if they intend to declare a major in the College of Science.

2. Upon admittance to the SRI, students are placed into research streams - a group of fellow students working together in the same lab.

3. Once in a lab, the stream is taught the necessary lab skills they will need, as well as begin creating community with their fellow students, faculty, and research lab members.

4. Students work with their stream for an academic year. They will then have the choice to continue with the SRI for a second year, becoming mentors for the next cohort of students, or leaving the lab for new opportunities.

 

We want you to be involved! Email the SRI Director today.

 


SRI HOME