Grants and Contracts Details


Abstract The Summer Undergraduate Research in Environmental Health Sciences (SURES) program at the University of Kentucky is designed to introduce students to the highly interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of environmental health science (EHS) research that is focused on solving key global health problems. An additional focus is to prepare underprivileged and under-represented students for successful careers in relevant fields. This is a competitive renewal application seeks support to continue our 10-week summer program and support fellowships for 10 students. The SURES program leverages the substantial and ongoing efforts at the University of Kentucky driven to enhance the undergraduate research experience with the robust environmental health science research programs of involved faculty mentors. The specific aims are to 1) enhance student understanding and interest in EHS and 2) improve student scientific and career skills. Towards this end, students will be recruited from the Commonwealth of Kentucky with an emphasis on those from the Appalachian region as well as from a variety of undergraduate institutions in order to create a cohort of participants representing diverse populations. The SURES program will commence with a week-long session that introduces students to research, laboratory safety and scientific ethics. The students will then experience hands-on research by performing experiments in the laboratories of their chosen mentors. Professional development and a sense of belonging to the EHS community will be built via student participation in weekly lunches with EHS researchers and professionals, net-working opportunities and tours of research facilities. In addition, students will be paired with a near-peer mentor and engage in weekly activities that include a “citizen science” lead collection group exercise, a theatre improvisation workshop, community-building circle on mentoring, “painting their projects” and viewing a discussing a film on climate change. Each participant will create an EHS-relevant podcast. The SURES program will culminate in a campus-wide poster session attended by the faculty, staff, students and student family members. Success of the program is indicated by the engagement of prior participants in careers in university research (13%), industry (16%), government/nonprofits (11%) and pursing graduate (16%) /professional (37%) education. Dissemination of the approaches used in this program and their outcomes will build upon the expansion of the traditional environmental health sciences research training from the graduate and post-doctoral level to the undergraduates at a national level.
Effective start/end date5/1/1710/31/27


  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: $270,000.00


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