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Student discussing research
Marine biology students
Student in a chemistry lab

Students who participate in research:

  • Develop the skills employers, graduate programs and professional schools are looking for, including communication, teamwork, problem-solving and critical thinking.
  • Improve their odds of getting a graduate school fellowship or admission to a professional school
  • Contribute to a variety of the planet’s most essential issues.

Student painting

While many research opportunities are reserved for upperclassmen, the SURE program provides a select group of first-year UT students an inquiry-based, hands-on head start to research. Led by Eric Freundt, director of the Undergraduate Office of Research and Inquiry, this selective cohort is introduced to research best practices through a special section of the First-Year Experience (BAC 101 and 102).

Within this small, discussion-based course, SURE students learn research basics and begin to see themselves not just as knowledge consumers, but knowledge producers at the forefront of their chosen discipline. In-class seminars allow SURE students to meet faculty and seasoned student researchers from across the University and learn about the projects they are currently working on. Each February, SURE students travel to attend the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference, one of the nation’s largest multi-disciplinary research events.

Through these offerings, SURE students gain exceptional access to research opportunities. SURE students frequently earn research apprenticeships with professors in their major at UT. Overall, SURE students are able to clarify their career trajectory, build their resume, develop relationships with faculty and their peers, and get early access to research opportunities that have the potential to continue throughout their time at the University.

Incoming student interested in SURE? Contact your Admissions counselor. Students must be nominated by their counselor to apply, as this program is limited to 15-20 students. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis during the preceding spring semester and will continue until all spaces are filled.

Tavya Benjamin

"Start early! Research opens up so many doors and helps mold you into a better scientist. It teaches you to always be critical, to always push to deviate from the status quo, and also to be patient, thorough and diligent."

— Tavya Benjamin '12, student research alumna, now medical doctor
student portrait

"Undergraduate years are the best time to learn the fundamentals of research because it can help you discover what you like and dislike or if research is the right track for you."

— Tara Temkar '15, student research alumna, now a research scientist
student and faculty research

"We are teaching them through our research. We are teaching them how to think scientifically and how to apply the things they've heard all about in their classes but now actually are doing."

— Eric Werner, professor of chemistry, faculty mentor