Frequently Asked Questions
For Mentors


What is the Life Science Freshman Research Scholars Program?

The Life Sciences Freshman Research Scholars (LSFRS) Program is designed to involve dedicated life sciences students in research on campus. Modeled after the Office of Scholar Development’s Freshman Research Scholars Program, our students find faculty mentors and write a research proposal in the fall. In the spring, they conduct authentic research with their mentors so they can present their work during our annual poster symposium. Their findings will be published in a collected journal at the end of the school year which appears online and in print. This program was made possible by initiatives created by the OSU-HHMI program.

What is the OSU-HHMI Program?

This program was made possible by a 5-year grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute which was awarded to Oklahoma State University through the Science Education Program in September 2014. The mission of this grant was, and is, to create authentic research (AR) experiences for undergraduate students in the life sciences and increase persistence among majors in the life sciences. Our main goal is to shift the culture regarding the relation between education and research campus-wide, with STEM undergraduate majors being energized through AR, faculty mentorship, professional development, and opportunities throughout the research community.

You can read more about us and our initiatives here.

What are the requirements for LSFRS?

  • Enrollment & Completion of A&S 2000 course (Fall term – starts September 17th)
  • 5 page (max) research proposal by end of Fall term
  • Signed Mentor Agreement (due November 18th, 2019)
  • 2-4 research hours per week during the Spring semester dedicated to project
  • Poster Presentation at LSFRS Symposium (April 25th, 2020) or other HHMI/mentor approved conference or meeting before the end of the semester
  • Final manuscript with mentor (and co-author) approval by end of Spring term: This document will be published for public access in an exclusive collection of reports for the OSU-HHMI program and will appear in both online and hard copy format.
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA in at least 12 hours per semester
  • Remain in an eligible life science major throughout freshman year
  • At least 1 mandatory meeting with HHMI Team (program coordinator) per semester


How do I sign-up to be a mentor?

You can fill out a short form describing your project and availability at the link here.


What if I am not a “life science” professor?

That is okay! Students can work with any faculty as long as the project itself is in the life sciences. For example, we have previously worked with Psychology and Entomology faculty with projects related to Biology, Zoology, Physiology, or Microbiology.


Do students need to come up with their own research idea/project?

No. Most students will understand you will have established research in which they will be joining. A new research idea/project is not required.

What if I decide to take more than one student?

This is excellent! We encourage team work and group projects. Students have the option to work together as a group (one compiled proposal, poster, and manuscript) or separately – it will be up to you and your students to decide what will work best. Students working in teams should understand thy share the benefits and the responsibilities for their single project.


What are the deadlines and dates I need to be aware of?

  • Mentor Agreement – due November 18th, 2019
  • Research Proposal – due December 6th, 2019
  • LSFRS Research Symposium – Saturday, April 25th, 2019 | 12:00-3:00PM | 3rd floor Atrium NRC
  • Final Manuscript – due May 8th, 2020
    • Will need your email or signed approval before submission. Your approval signifies the approval of all those who worked on the project and mentored your LSFRS student (grad students, post-docs, etc.)

Is the OSU-HHMI journal an official scientific publication?

Our students’ final manuscripts will be compiled into a journal which will be made available online (ex: Google Scholar) for public access as well as a printed copy for both you and your students. It will also be made available in the Edmon Low Library. This journal is our mechanism to highlight the accomplishments of the participants during their freshman year. It is not peer-reviewed and is not expected to replace any scientific papers you and your student might publish, nor is it to be considered a final and complete study.


Does a student’s project need to be complete by the time they present their work?

No. We have many students who are in this position. Students will simply present their work as it stands at the time of presentation – if there are no data, they can present primarily on their methods. We will work with them in presentation practice sessions to make sure they communicate their positions appropriately.


What if I do not want my data published/public?

You have options!  

We understand some data may not be final and is sensitive until completion of study. When you approve your student’s final manuscript, you have the option to: 

  1. Have report made available online and hard copy print
  2. Have report made available in PRINT only
  3. Do not have report made available in any format
  4. Remove your name as co-author altogether

When students submit their manuscript, you will receive an electronic link to submit your accessibility approval.


Will students receive training on how to present their work?

Yes! We have a dedicated team of graduate students, staff, and student ambassadors (LSFRS alumni) who will provide sessions on both poster-making and presentation practice.


What are the requirements of manuscripts?

You can find the manuscript guidelines here.

Important note: Students will need your final approval before submitting their paper. You will receive an electronic link to sign off on once their paper has been submitted – this short form will include the aforementioned options for publicizing the work. All other co-authors (fellow undergrads, grad students, post-docs, etc.) must approve the paper as well.


What if my student is not showing up or following my lab protocol?

If you have any issues with your student, please make sure to notify our office immediately so we may consult with the student as quickly as possible. 

Can students work primarily with my graduate student(s) or post-doc(s)?

Yes. Many students end up working more with their graduate students due to faculty’s schedules, but will ultimately need your approval on all major components (research proposal, final manuscript, etc.). Communication is key here – please make sure to inform our office of any graduate students they would be largely working with who typically make day-to-day decisions in the lab. There is an option on the student’s mentor agreement form to notate these students’ names and their contact information. We will do our best to make sure your students are informed of any major updates throughout the year.


What if I have other questions?
Please visit with our Program Coordinator, Coral Rewasiewicz, in 206 Life Sciences West, or contact her at 405-744-5664 or email: .