Accelerating Success by Providing Intensive Research Experience (ASPIRE)

The ASPIRE program offers a select group of UC Davis undergraduate students a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience conducting research under the mentorship of world-renowned UC Davis faculty.


Each year, a small group of students in their first or second year of undergraduate study are selected to enter the program. These young scholars immediately begin conducting research under the direct supervision of a faculty mentor in their chosen area of study.

Instead of just learning about past research, ASPIRE scholars have the opportunity to make new discoveries and become knowledge creators. Early in the program, ASPIRE scholars gain substantial background knowledge and learn advanced research skills. By their senior year, they are ready to embark on a significant honors thesis, in which they take a leading role in designing and implementing a novel research project.

The ASPIRE program was created in 2014 by Emily Kappenman and Steve Luck, and it is currently co-directed by Michaela DeBolt, Steve Luck, and Erie Boorman.

ASPIRE Spring Research Symposia took place in May 2015June 2016June 2017, and June 2018. Follow the links for photos of these events and details of the research presented.

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Visit the Information for Prospective Students page.

Meet the ASPIRE Faculty Mentors.
Read about ASPIRE alumni.
Support ASPIRE with a private donation.
Contact the program director at