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Pathways to Success in STEM

Early Research

This program pairs first-year, first-generation students with a faculty mentor to work on a research project together. These paid positions are designed so new students receive an inside look at what it really means to be a scientist.  There are no prerequisites or previous experience required, just a curiosity about science and research!

Key features of the Program:

• No previous research experience is required.

• The Program is competitive; not everyone who applies is guaranteed a position.

• The Program starts at the beginning of each semester and continues throughout the term.

• Participants are paid $12/hour for the 6-8 hours/week they are expected to spend on a research project.  

• Participants coordinate their research schedule with their faculty mentors.


  • “This program is incredibly empowering. I didn’t think I could become a scientist, but now I know that I can do anything. That message needs to be sent to every first generation student.” -Early Researcher

  • “I am so thankful for being part of this program. I am glad I got to experience research situated in the academic world. It really showed me what is expected of a scientist and how a scientist has to think. I am glad this opportunity is offered to first-generation students who might not know what it takes to become a scientist.” -Early Researcher

  • “First-year, first-generation students struggle with feelings of not belonging. Having a “home” on campus with a family, in the other students in lab, helps demystify what being in college is like. They also get a taste for what doing science is like, and even if they cannot contribute much for a while, the lessons of persevering, and learning from mistakes, and working hard and making progress -which they see from all other students in lab as well- are valuable to these students in not thinking they are the only ones that struggle.” -Faculty Mentor

  • “Not only did I have an amazing job, but I formed real friendships and a great support system.” -Early Researcher

Pathways to Success in STEM

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