Are you interested in pursuing a career in research, teaching, or another science-related path? Futures in Research, Science, & Teaching (FIRST) is a student organization dedicated to preparing students for pursuing a career in STEM!

FIRST was founded by Professor Monica Dus in the fall of 2019, with undergrads Xiaohan Wu and Maria Ghalmi acting as the first co-presidents, with T.J. Waller assisting with event planning and structuring the org during the first year.  For the last few years, TJ has been running the organization.

Their first event was a panel of professors giving advice on grad school admissions, graduate research, and PhD-based careers; many students who attended the panel joined to form their initial cohort, which has since grown to over 275 members. Since then, FIRST has worked hard to demystify the graduate school application process and to build a community of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty in the sciences.

Currently, FIRST’s events are focused on graduate school and research. In the fall of 2021, they held a panel of faculty, post-doctoral researchers, and grad students to discuss the grad school admissions process and career options post-PhD. They also host statement writing and research presenting seminars to prepare undergrads for the application process, and in the winter they usually give an overview of different undergraduate research programs available during the summer. Additionally, the organization held a seminar series where both undergraduate and graduate student researchers can present their research.

Due to the pandemic, they have not been meeting in-person; however, FIRST’s leadership hopes to introduce a social element to FIRST in the future.

STEM students interested in attending grad school are welcome to get involved with FIRST. Anyone interested in joining can sign up here.

Also, FIRST is looking for more undergrad leadership in the organization, for those interested in their mission and community (no previous experience needed)!