Binghamton University has $1.2 million in grant money to launch its Freshman Research Immersion program.

The project will afford freshmen a rare chance to do hands-on research.

The five year grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute followed a nationwide competition.

Of 170 institutions applying for money, 37 grants were awarded to research universities developing strategies to attract and retain students in science disciplines.

The local program will focus on 90 students in three research categories beginning in the fall.

BU hopes to increase the research streams to ten over the next five years.