First Experiences in Research

Research in Your First Year and Beyond

Through our First Experiences in Research (FE-R) program, Dietrich School students can gain meaningful, hands-on research experience in their very first year. And we’re not just talking about white coat, test tube, science lab research. Research projects with Pitt’s world-renowned faculty are available across all disciplines. How about analyzing camera angles in Breaking Bad? Or creating snow fences alongside an acclaimed studio artist? Or interviewing actual lighting designers on Broadway? Or dispelling stereotypes about refugees? 

Anthony Sciulli

“[Before I started at Pitt] I believed research was reserved for the elite, the geniuses, who spent time locked in a dark, mysterious lab like those on CSI—certainly not for an inexperienced freshman. But… I was wrong."

—Anthony Sciulli (Rehabilitation Science)

Read about Anthony Sciulli's experiences in FE-R.

In this program, you’ll participate in the FE-R course to learn the fundamentals of research and showcase the work you’ve done in a campus-wide Celebration of Research at the end of the term. Students conduct research for five or 10 hours per week to earn one or two academic credits.

Ready to get involved?

Get started in FE-R by attending one of the regularly held fall information sessions. Check out the dates and times for FE-R information sessions. 

Dig Deeper: Continuing Experiences in Research

Undergraduates explore their FE-R research project more in-depth through Continuing Experiences in Research (CE-R). By continuing work with their FE-R faculty research mentor for a second consecutive semester, students strengthen research skills, earn additional credits, and delve deeper into research. The accompanying CE-R course introduces students to writing conference, article, and independent research proposals. Note: Because the CE-R research projects require basic research skills, participation is limited to those students who complete the FE-R program.

"The unique part of [Continuing Experiences in Research] is that it acts as the transition between being a research assistant and becoming an independent researcher. My professor, Dr. Andrew Lotz, connected me with multiple resources that supported my own individual research endeavors. He helped me to craft my first grant proposal, which was successful accepted into the Brackenridge Fellowship program."

- Reena Naik (Economics and Political Science)

Read about Reena Naik’s experience in CE-R. 

Become a Faculty Mentor

Dedicated faculty research mentors are essential to FE-R. The Office of Undergraduate Research solicits faculty research mentors for FE-R each summer through the early fall term. If you are interested in submitting your own research project to FE-R, please call 412-383-5960.

Learn more about becoming a faculty mentor.