President's Future Leaders in Research

For over twenty years, the President’s Future Leaders in Research (PFLR) program has offered a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to engage in research alongside an LSU faculty member while earning an hourly wage. This scholarship program allows students to take part in faculty-mentored research in any of the 75 programs of study that are offered at LSU.  The goal of this program is for students to achieve excellence beyond the classroom experience by learning research skills within their discipline throughout their college career.  The PFLR experience will provide a firm foundation on which to build future success.   No matter your major, a PFLR recipient can participate in a faculty-mentored research experience!


What is PFLR?

PFLR is a program offered to a select group of incoming freshmen who have the opportunity to be matched with a faculty research mentor as early as their freshmen year.  PFLR students are paid for their time working with faculty from their President's Student Aid funding from which recipients can earn up to $1,550 each academic year in wages.  PSA is available for no more than eight semesters (fall and spring semesters only).   Students can work up to 20 hours per week, though most work 5-10 hours per week depending on their course schedule.

Further questions about PFLR can be directed to 

The Process

  • Students are considered for PFLR when they apply for admittance to LSU.
  • Entering freshmen students eligible for PFLR will be notified by late June.  Within that email, you will find two important links:
    • A short survey to indicate your interest in the PFLR scholarship program
    • A link to this webpage
  • The PFLR scholarship is administered by the LSU Discover Undergraduate Research Program.  Communication about PFLR will come from LSU Discover staff via the PFLR email address .

  • In order to use your PFLR funding, you must accept the funding called President's Student Aid (PSA) in myLSU under "Financial Aid".

  • In the summer before your first fall semester at LSU, you will be contacted by the staff at the LSU Discover program via email to start the mentor matching process.  Make sure to read that email!
    • Students will be given a few options for matching with a faculty mentor:
      • 1) Send us the name of a professor you would like to work with and we will contact them to set up the match.
      • 2) Send us your intended major or general area of interest (math, art, business, etc) and we will recommend 3 faculty to you.  Let us know which one you like and we will set up the match.
    • To view the mentors, click here to access the mentor database.  An LSU login is required.
    • There’s no rush for matching so you can decide either during the summer or wait until you arrive at LSU in the fall.
  • During the summer, LSU Discover will host a table at each Information Fair held during the Bengal Bound Freshmen Orientations.  Feel free to stop by our table and ask questions!
  • During LSU Welcome Week, LSU Discover will host a meet and greet with LSU research faculty and our Research Ambassadors.  We encourage you to stop by to chat with faculty and research students to learn more about faculty-mentored research experiences at LSU.
  • In early fall, LSU Discover will host an orientation event for all PFLR students.  At the PFLR orientation, we will review the program’s expectations in depth, answer your questions, and take any final request for faculty matching.
  • At any point in time, you are welcome to contact us at with questions or concerns.

  • After a PFLR student is matched, they will meet with their faculty mentor (once they arrive on campus in the Fall) to discuss a work schedule, training, and tasks.  You will be taught everything you need to know on the job.
  • Students will submit their weekly hours in the WorkDay system, and be paid bi-weekly via direct deposit.  WorkDay can be accessed through myLSU.

  • All PFLR students must complete the following 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
    • Cybersecurity Awareness Training (to be taken in the first year only)
    • Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics Training (must be taken each year)
    • Power-based Violence Prevention & Response Training (must be taken each year)
    • Digital Resource and Content Accessibility Awareness Training (must be taken each year)
    • All trainings can be accessed here:
  • Research training (time spent on these should be added to your timesheet). 
    • In addition to any trainings assigned by your faculty mentor, PFLR students are expected to complete the CITI Responsible Conduct in Research Training online module.  This training can be accessed here:
      • There are 7 training options within CITI.  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
    • PFLR students are also encouraged to take any relevant workshops offered by LSU Discover.  See workshop schedule here:


PFLR students are expected to work towards the following goals. Faculty mentors should discuss how to achieve these goals with their mentees.

  • Minimum goals (expected)
  • Highest level goals (recommended)
    • Presentation at a professional conference/event 
    • Co-authored publication with faculty mentor
    • Off-campus summer research opportunity – details to be provided by LSU Discover
  • Student engagement recommendations

Recommended yearly activities and trainings:

*Click here to access workshops

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
    • Present at LSU Discover Day
    • Apply for a summer research or internship opportunity
    • Update your CV
  • Year 3
    • Present at a professional conference or at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research
    • Craft your Personal Statement
    • If you plan to pursue graduate education, med school, or law school, start researching programs and application requirements 
    • Update your CV
  • Year 4
    • Apply to graduate programs
    • Learn about fellowships and other funding opportunities for graduate school
    • Earn the Distinguished Undergraduate Researcher Medal at graduation!

Students must remain full-time (12 hours) throughout the semester to participate in this program.  Students who fail to meet the 2.0 GPA requirement at the end of the spring semester will be unable to participate in the program until a 2.0 cumulative GPA has been regained.