Please read our program application information.
This occurs each fall semester during spring course enrollment. All FIRE-participating students are encouraged and allowed to pick any FIRE stream that fits their interests and schedule. Students need not necessarily pick streams perfectly aligned with their majors or career interests. In fact, FIRE can be the perfect time to do research in a field that a student might not otherwise explore. Stream enrollment is mediated by course enrollment. Thus, a FIRE student can pick any of our research streams but a stream becomes unavailable for selection when all seats have been registered.
Yes! Each innovation & research stream is fueled by the commitment of trained peer mentors. Each year, a percentage of students from each stream will be recruited and trained to remain with their group for an additional year in a leadership role that allows them to play a central role in the training and mentorship of the next cohort of students.
Generally speaking, FIRE requires between 7 and 9 hours of commitment per week. You are in class 1 hour per week. You are in a research setting 6 hours per week. You schedule the research time (during UMD business hours) in a way that fits your schedule. This time commitment is commensurate with the 3 credits your are earning per semester and is generally manageable.
Students who participate in the FIRE program are well versed in the practice of innovation and research. The skills and experience developed during this program are now ready to be applied in any number of ways. The Maryland Center for Undergraduate Research can help match you up with a faculty member on campus or regional institute looking for your experience and perspective. The Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship might be a good choice if interests in design, development and entrepreneurialism have been sparked by your FIRE experience. FIRE students are well prepared to competitively apply for National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) summer opportunities and other internship opportunities.