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SIRE Program

The Scholarly Inquiry and Research Experience (SIRE) Program (Formerly Research Partners Program) is a hands-on research experience designed for undergraduate students who are entering research for the first time. Students in the humanities, arts, social sciences, and sciences are connected with faculty mentors who are seeking research assistants.

The SIRE Program enables students to:

  • Participate in weekly classes on research skills and other support to help students be effective researchers.

  • Understand what research in a discipline looks like up close.

  • Work closely with world-class professor on a faculty-led research project.

  • Be a part of a multidisciplinary community of undergraduate researchers.

  • Gain vital experience communicating research through public speaking and poster presentations.

Program Structure

Students can apply with or without a prearranged faculty mentor. Students who do not yet have a faculty mentor identified are supported in finding a mentor/research project during the first few weeks of the fall semester. All applicants should commit to working with their faculty mentor for a full academic year.

Students attend a weekly class called SIRE 299. Students selected for the program must be available to enroll in the SIRE 299R course occurring on Fridays at various times. Classes are instructed by Graduate Fellows and cover topics from presenting research to research ethics. The Graduate Fellows mentor undergraduate SIRE Scholars and support their research experience throughout the year.

Students engage in a maximum of 15 hours of research each week during the school year under the direction of their research mentor. Students will be compensated for their research time with either course credit or Federal Work Study (FWS) funds.

Eligibility and Requirements

  • Rising second- or third-year students.

  • Students in all majors.

  • Students who will be enrolled at Emory College during the program.

  • Students in good academic standing who are not on academic probation.

  • Students who have little to no prior research experience.

  • Work with a faculty mentor for a full academic year on the research project.

  • Work up to 15 hours per week in their research space.

  • Participate fully in weekly workshops and other program activities for a full academic year.

  • Create a research poster and give a presentation about their research at the Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium.

  • Complete a Research Portfolio.

Work Study and Course Credit Compensation

Students may elect to be compensated for their participation in the program through course credit or federal work study. All students receive one course credit for SIRE 299, regardless of electing to use federal work study or course credit. Even if eligible to receive federal work study, students may elect to participate in the SIRE program for course credit.


If a student chooses to receive pay as an eligible federal work study student, he/she will be monetarily compensated through a combination of federal work study and URP program funds. If a student’s federal work study funds are exhausted, the student will be able to participate in the program for course credit. Students receive payment every two weeks through the University. If you are unsure about your eligibility for work study, contact Emory’s financial aid office.

If a student chooses to receive course credits for the time they spend in their research space, additional SIRE research credits may be awarded based on research hours. Faculty mentors must support and document research hours worked.

Mentor Selection

Finding a mentor before admittance into SIRE is a great option, especially if you plan to work at a place with high clearance, such as Yerkes, which requires much training and paperwork. Also, your mentor could provide light assistance with your application.

When you complete the SIRE application, you will indicate whether your status is "unmatched" or "pre-matched." Keep in mind, your mentor status will not affect your acceptance into the program. Visit our Finding a Mentor page for tips on researching and connecting with faculty.


An unmatched student has not yet made an agreement to work with a faculty mentor. In your application, you will be asked to identify four potential faculty mentors whose research you are interested in.

A pre-matched student has made an agreement to work with a specific faculty mentor if accepted into the program. Applying "pre-matched" does not guarantee you will be accepted. Students who are pre-matched should indicate in their application the faculty mentor and project title.

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