First Experiences in Research

Through our First Experiences in Research (FE-R) program, Dietrich School students can gain meaningful, hands-on research experience. 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? 

In the fall term, you'll be paired with an expert faculty member. In the spring term, you'll conduct hands-on research with that faculty member. Projects come from across all disciplines and areas of interest -- including biology, communications, economics, music, neurology, political science, studio arts, and theatre arts, to name a few. Students enroll in the spring term ARTSC 0120: First Experiences in Research course to learn the fundamental of research, and showcase their work in the campus-wide Celebration of Research poster session at the end of the term. Students conduct five or 10 hours per week to earn one or two academic credits.

Who is eligible for FE-R?

Any Dietrich School undergraduate who is interested in

  • joining a community of scholars
  • building a relationship with a faculty member
  • conducting research or creative activity outside of a prospective major

How do I start FE-R?

  • Make selections from a catalog of available research projects.
  • Once matched to a research project, interview with an FE-R Mentor 
  • Once approved by FE-R Mentor, enroll in a section of ARTSC 0120: First Experiences in Research for the spring term. If not selected, group sessions are available to discuss personalized research options. 
  • In the spring term, you will begin your mentored research!

Become an FE-R Faculty Mentor 

Dedicated faculty research mentors are the heart of First Experiences in Research. Faculty project submissions for FE-R 2023 are now open.