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FYRE (First Year Research Experience)

The Honors First Year Research Experience (FYRE) is open to new Honors College students from all majors. Through a competitive application process students are matched with ongoing research projects led by OU professors in numerous disciplines. Selected students will participate in active laboratory research for 8-10 hours per week, culminating in a poster presentation about their work. Students meet regularly with the FYRE program directors throughout the semester.

Students selected for FYRE are required to take online safety training modules and purchase any safety equipment needed in their assigned lab (for example: goggles, lab coat, etc.). They are also responsible for expenses related to producing the final research poster. 

The FYRE application/interview process occurs in the fall semester. Students earn 3 hours of Honors credit and a letter grade for successful completion of FYRE. Students are only eligible for FYRE in their first year of being an Honors student at OU.

First Year Research Experience 

  • The OU FYRE program allows select first-year Honors students and students who concurrently apply to Honors College to conduct a semester-long internship in a participating research group on campus and participate in a colloquium providing perspectives in STEM fields.  
  • Participation in the FYRE program provides three hours of graded Honors credit (HON 2970)
  • All first-year Honors students as well as students who concurrently apply to the Honors College, regardless of major, are eligible to apply. 


Application Deadline is Friday, October 6th 

FYRE Application

FYRE Spring 2024 - Project Descriptions (PDF)

Other Student Roles and Responsibilities

  • Meet with your potential (paired) FYRE mentor(s) to discuss project opportunities and topic.
  • Finish the FYRE mentor-mentee pairing (i.e. decide your faculty mentor and lab)
  • Work with your mentor to determine and finalize your research schedule for Spring 2024
  • Complete any required laboratory and safety (e.g., biosafety) training before your physical work in the research lab.

FYRE Director

Dr. Heather Ketchum
Dr. Heather Ketchum

FYRE Director


Phone: 405.325.6202


Ph.D., Texas A&M University, Entomology

M.S. Biology, California State Polytechnic State University

B.S. Biology, University of California at Riverside, San Luis Obispo