What is i3?

The iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3) is an undergraduate research and leadership development program that prepares students from underrepresented populations for graduate study and careers in the information sciences. Only 25 students from across the country are selected each year to become i3 Scholars. Those students undertake a yearlong experience that includes two summer institutes hosted by the University of Texas at Austin’s iSchool and a research project spanning the year. i3 prepares students for the rigors of graduate study and serves as a pipeline for i3 Scholars into internationally recognized information schools—the iSchools. Most importantly, i3 empowers students to create change and make an impact on the people around them.

i3 Scholars at a Glance

  • Cohorts range in size from 20-30 students per year
  • Over 200 students have participated in the program since 2011
  • 90% i3 Program Completion: Students have completed all components of the yearlong program
  • 60-70% Non-STEM to IS: Students who have enrolled in graduate programs in the information and computing sciences were non-STEM majors in their undergraduate education
  • 60 Publications: i3 team research projects have produced publications at peer-reviewed academic conferences, including: iConference, CSCW, IEEE SeGAH, Serious Play Conference, and SOUPS
  • 70% in Grad Programs: Students who have completed an undergraduate degree and the i3 program have applied to, started, or completed a graduate degree – 2 times the national average
  • 100% Graduate School Acceptance Rate: All i3 scholars who applied to graduate school have been accepted to one or more IS programs
  • 99% Graduate School Retention Rate: Students who attend graduate school are retained in their programs through the continued support i3 offers

Program Structure

Students across all years at US-accredited colleges and universities, as well as recent graduates, are encouraged to apply.

Depending on their universities, students may have the opportunity to earn academic credit for the yearlong project.

Introductory Institute: Summer 1, June and July, Four Weeks

Held at the University of Texas at Austin

  • Special-topic workshops that highlight the many specialties and research areas in the information sciences
  • Professional development sessions led by industry and research experts
  • Research Design and Computational Tools Modules
  • Students select research mentors and form teams for their yearlong research project

Team Research Project

i3 Scholars return home and work with team members remotely to complete a yearlong project

  • Students return home to work in distributed teams
  • Each team is supported by a research mentor
  • Gain experience with project management tools and collaborative technology
  • Interdisciplinary project topics blend social and technical aspects
  • Opportunity to present preliminary projects and get feedback at international conferences

Concluding Institute: Summer 2, June and July, Two Weeks

i3 Scholars return to the University of Texas at Austin to complete the program

  • Develop a research poster, video abstract, and presentation and co-present your team’s project
  • Learn about ways to leverage results for real-world impact
  • Finalize research papers for publication and submit research projects to leading research conferences
  • Network with the new cohort of i3 Scholars and join the i3 Alumni Association

Program Funding and Benefits

i3 Scholars get full funding for program expenses, including transportation to and from Austin, campus housing, and most meals.

i3 Scholars also receive a stipend:

  • $1,200 for the Introductory Institute
  • $600 for the Concluding Institute

i3 Scholars get out of i3 what they put into it, but all i3ers have the opportunity to leave with:

  • Mentorship. i3 Scholars have the opportunity to build relationships with multiple mentors over the year, including i3 Leadership, research project mentors, and peer mentors from previous cohorts. During the program, i3 Scholars receive hands-on mentorship and personalized 1-on-1 feedback.
  • Research Experience. Unlike many summer programs or semester projects, i3 Scholars co-create their research projects based on their interests and work through the research process from start to finish with their teams and mentors over the course of the year.
  • Professional Development. i3 Scholars participate in professional development sessions and leave i3 with interview experience and professional portfolios including resumes, cover letters, and graduate school / scholarship application materials.
  • Community. In addition to living and learning with their cohort of 25 students and i3 Leadership, i3 Scholars are introduced to a network of over 210 i3 Alums & ~100 i3 Leaders in Academia & Industry across the country.
  • Leadership Experience. i3 Scholars participate in leadership development workshops throughout the summer, learning digital collaboration tools and strategies for success. They put their training into practice during their rotation as Project Managers during their yearlong research projects.
  • Exposure. i3 Scholars participate in a myriad of workshops with experts across a range of topics within the information sciences and develop projects to connect their individual interests to the field.
  • Grad School Preparation. i3 Scholars work with faculty to walk through the graduate application process step-by-step, participate in free GRE preparation, and have the opportunity to meet with graduate program representatives from schools across the country.
  • Transferable Skills. For those who are uncertain about when or if grad school is for them, all i3 Scholars walk away with training and hands-on experience with leadership development, collaboration in geographically distributed teams, networking, presenting and public speaking, critical thinking, and exposure to industry-leading computational tools.
  • Opportunities to Publish. i3 Scholars have the opportunity to submit their preliminary and final research projects for publication and presentation at peer-reviewed, international research conferences.
  • Academic Credit. Depending on their universities’ policies, students may have the opportunity to earn academic credit for the yearlong project.

2023 Program Dates

The Introductory Institute—for new i3 Scholars—will be held from June 18, 2023 – July 15, 2023.

The Concluding Institute—for returning 2019 i3 Scholars—will be held from July 1, 2023 – July 15, 2023.

The BUILD Summit and the i3 Reunion will be postponed until July 2024.


“Inclusion” for our institute means everyone can participate in this research program. The program is committed to the four core values of the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin: Information Serves Humanity, A People-First Perspective, Technology for Social Good, and An Interdisciplinary Approach. i3 is committed to social justice in the information sciences (one of the UT iSchool’s undergraduate concentrations in the Informatics major).