LSU Explorers Program

The LSU Explorers program is a one-year preparatory program for freshmen with Work Study funding who are interested in participating in faculty-mentored research.  This entry-level program prepares students for faculty mentored research experiences through a series of weekly activities including workshops, peer mentoring, and seminars.  Students accepted to the program will be matched with a faculty mentor who will train the student in research basics specific to their field.  All Explorer participants are paid an hourly wage for their time spent in the program through their Work Study funding. 


Application Information

Program Information

The Explorers will meet every Friday at 3:00-4:30 PM for programming activities.  Time spent at programming will be compensated with hourly wages through your Work Study funding.

  • Programming subjects
    • College 101
      • Study Skills
      • Time Management
      • Financial Literacy
    • Understanding Research
      • The role of Research Faculty at a university
      • Hear from Research Faculty about their current work
      • Hear from upperclassmen undergraduate researchers about what it's like to work with faculty on research
    • Developing Research Skills
      • Understanding the basics of research
      • Research ethics
      • Information Literacy
    • Peer Mentoring: discussions led by advanced student researchers
      • balancing schoolwork and research
      • advice on college involvement

Explorers can also participate in these optional activities (time spent in these activities also qualifies for hourly wages)

  • Science Cafe - monthly presentation of a professors research held at the Varsity; discussion with Explorers to follow
  • Visits to creative and research spaces around campus

Using your application essays, the Explorer program managers will select a faculty member to match you with.  You will meet with your matched professor at least once a week and that time will be compensated with hourly wages from your Work Study funding.

  • All Explorer students must complete the annual LSU employee trainings within the first month of the fall semester each calendar year (time spent on these should be added to your timesheet).  Certificates of completion should be emailed to  All trainings can be accessed here.
    • Title IX Training
    • Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics Training
    • Digital Resource and Content Accessibility Awareness Training
  • Research training (time spent on these should be added to your timesheet).  This must be completed before the end of the fall semester.
    • In addition to any trainings assigned by your faculty mentor, Explorer students are expected to complete the CITI Responsible Conduct in Research Training online module. This training can be accessed here.
      • There are 7 options for this training.  Choose whichever is most closely related to your faculty mentor’s area of research.  If  you’re not sure which to choose, ask your faculty mentor.
      • Certificates of completion for CITI should be emailed to

The goal of the Explorer program is to acquaint freshmen students with university research activities and support their success as students.

  • First year goals
  • Sophomore goals
    • continue research with faculty mentor or request to switch to new mentor
    • apply to university & summer research programs
    • present at Discover Day
  • Advanced goals
    • Presentation at a professional conference/event or a co-authored publication with faculty mentor
    • Off-campus summer research opportunity – details to be provided by LSU Discover