Pre- and Post-Doctoral Fellowships in Cancer Education
Welcome to The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health’s cancer education and career development program. We have both pre-doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships to launch your successful career in cancer prevention and control research.
The people—faculty mentors, the advisory committee and program directors—are the heart of our program.
Our interdisciplinary training program has an excellent track record: graduates go on to strong post-doctoral programs and faculty positions and become independent investigators. We work with three research centers at UTSPH: The Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research (CHPPR), the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, and the Institute for Health Policy (IHP). Our research centers are involved in a variety of projects which provide opportunities to work on research project teams and to advance research skills.
- More than 30 investigators with experience and training in multiple disciplines and training and cultural backgrounds who
- draw on a range of theories and models
- use both quantitative and qualitative methods for epidemiology, ascertainment, intervention, and diffusion research studies
- have built collaborative networks in the Houston community, in the State, and elsewhere in the U.S. and nationally and internationally
- are authors of widely used textbooks and editors and authors of other books
- are reviewers on NIH study sections and other review groups
- are members and chairs of influential task forces, boards, and advisory groups
- are winners of prestigious awards
- are committed to mentoring and recognized for mentoring excellence
- Funded projects addressing a range of important risk factors, most of which are focused on underserved Hispanic, African American, and border and rural populations and also on subpopulations—e.g., drug users, incarcerated men and women, and neighborhoods affected by inequitable environmental policy and enforcement.
Historically, 25% of our post-doc fellows have been members of under-represented groups. Our former post-doc fellows are members of the faculties at Duke, University of Arizona, Baylor College of Medicine, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, UTHealth School of Public Health and Medical School -Houston, University of South Carolina and University of Georgia.
Click on the links to the right to apply, or click on the other tabs to explore more aspects of our program.
Our funding from the National Cancer Institute provides four fellowships per year for doctoral students at UTHealth School of Public Health who have been admitted to doctoral programs in health promotion, behavioral sciences, epidemiology, biometry, policy sciences, or management and community health. Our Health Promotion/Behavioral Sciences Program was named #1 in the nation (see Ranking of Doctoral Programs in Health Education). The fellowships may be awarded at admission or to continuing students who show outstanding promise for research careers in cancer prevention and control. See expectations of pre-doctoral fellows, mentors, and program directors.
Pre-doctoral fellows receive:
- Support for up to three years
- $24,000 annual stipend at 100 percent time
- Excellent benefits, tuition, books, software, travel
- Statistical and writing consultation
- $4,000 for dissertation expenses (NEW)
- One position open for an international student beginning Sept. 1, 2015 (NEW)
A Quality Program with Career Gains
- A thriving interdisciplinary research environment
- New emphasis on dissemination and implementation research
- Ongoing emphasis on participatory research, disparities, and innovation
- Excellent faculty mentors
- A grant portfolio addressing diverse risk-factors with a strong orientation on underserved populations
- Established track record in training cancer prevention and control fellows
- Weekly contact with faculty, post-docs, and other doctoral students in an ongoing seminar focusing on career skills
- Collaboration of 3 centers: Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research, The Susan and Michael Dell Center for the Advancement of Healthy Living, and the Institute for Health Policy
- Students from all departments and all regional campuses are eligible to apply.
Our funding from the National Cancer Institute enables us to support 4 post-doctoral fellows per year. Post-doctoral fellows in cancer prevention and control must have a PhD, DrPH, MD or other doctoral degree in health promotion/health education, a behavioral science discipline, communication, epidemiology, or a related area of study. Over a 2-3 year period fellows build their publication records, gain valuable experience on interdisciplinary research teams, take selected courses, and write at least one proposal for their own funded research in cancer prevention and control.
Expectations of Post-doctoral fellows
Post-doctoral fellows receive:
- Excellent mentoring in a stimulating research environment; see CHPPR faculty, Dell Center faculty and Institute for Health Policy faculty and staff.
- $50,000 and up for full-time effort
- Experience working on research teams (30%-40% time) to advance research skills and experience and research productivity; see listings of CHPPR and Dell research projects.
- Full benefits and paid tuition for SPH and selected short courses, books, software, travel to national meetings, shared office space and a desktop computer
- Statistical and writing consultation
- Seminars on current topics in cancer prevention and control with MD Anderson Cancer Center cancer prevention and control fellows and faculty.
- Ongoing support and feedback in a research seminar for fellows and led by the program directors; sessions focus on work in progress; modeling of grant applications and resubmissions, manuscript development and submission/resubmission, job interviews and job talks; and on mentoring, authorship, and special research topics of interest; see sample syllabus.
All fellows have at least two mentors from complementary disciplines, and in addition fellows interact regularly with the Program Directors. Fellows have the opportunity to work with faculty members whose research represents a wide spectrum of research populations, methods, and theories (a table of mentor research interests and current research projects is available). Mentoring is taken seriously in the Center, and the Program has formalized expectations of pre-doc and post-doc mentors. Good mentoring is modeled by senior investigators and is practiced at all levels.
Patricia Dolan Mullen, DrPH, Program Director
Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences and Senior Investigator and Training Director, Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research
Research interests: Health promotion for disadvantaged women, including incarcerated women; motivational models of behavior change; informed decision making for cancer and other screening tests; sexual risk behavior; evaluation methods; systematic review, evidence mapping, and meta-analysis.
L. Kay Bartholomew, MPH, EdD, Co-Director
Associate Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences and Associate Director for Intervention and Education Core, Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research.
Research Interests: Self-management of chronic disease in children; health promotion intervention development and evaluation; promotion of cancer screening; asthma management
Sally W. Vernon, MA, PhD, Co-Director
Professor of Behavioral Sciences and Epidemiology, Director of the Division of Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion, and Senior Investigator, Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research
Research Interests: Breast cancer screening; prostate cancer screening; psychosocial aspects of genetic testing for hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer; and worksite health promotion
Our Advisory Committee represents wide-ranging expertise in cancer prevention and control and in training and mentoring pre- and post-doctoral fellows within the University of Texas School of Public Health, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, and other academic environments.
This internal advisory committee assists the Program Directors by:
- Recruiting—by suggesting additional recruitment strategies and using their own professional networks to expand the applicant pool
- Selecting candidates who are a good fit for the Program and likely to achieve the Program goals
- Reviewing training plans, appraising trainee progress reports, and suggesting strategies for addressing systematic or any individual problems that are identified, including recommendations by mentors or Program Directors that a trainee be terminated or not renewed
- Suggesting next steps, including specific faculty, post-doc, and other relevant positions to foster the careers of trainees completing the program
- Reviewing the curriculum and new components that will be developed
- Approving indicators of success and evaluating the success of the Program in achieving its aims
Shelley Bluethmann, PhD, MPH, MA
Postdoctoral Fellow, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
BA, English Language and Literature, University of Michigan
MA, Public Relations, Michigan State University
MPH, Public Health Leadership, University of North Carolina
PhD, Behavioral Science, UTSPH (May 2014)
Logan Thornton, DrPH, MPH DSRIP Project Manager, UTHealth
BA, Spanish, Randolph-Macon Woman’s College
MPH, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, George Washington University
DrPH, Health Promotion and Behavioral Science, UTSPH (May 2014)
Emily Neusel Ussery, MPH Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living
BA, Mathematics, Boston College
MPH, University of Texas School of Public Health
working on: PhD, Epidemiology, Austin Regional Campus
Naomi Chen, PhD, MPH Evaluation Fellow, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
BS, Biology, Wheaton College
MPH, Behavioral Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham
PhD, Health Promotion and Behavioral Science, UTSPH (August 2013)
Geoff Whitfield, PhD, MEd Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
BA, Spanish, University of Texas at Austin
MEd, Clinical Exercise Physiology, University of Texas at Austin
PhD, Epidemiology, UTSPH, Austin Regional Campus (May 2013)
Kymberle Landrum Sterling, DrPH, MPH Associate Professor (with tenure), Georgia State University
BS, Cell and Molecular Biology, Tulane University
MPH, Maternal and Child Health, Tulane University
DrPH, Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, UTSPH (August 2005)
Postdoc, University of Illinois - Chicago
Nynikka Palmer Assistant Professor, University of California San Diego
BS, Health Education, Morgan State University
MPH, Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University
DrPH, Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, UTSPH (Aug 2010)
Postdoc, Wake Forest University
Casey Durand, PhD
Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living
BA, Government, University of Texas at Austin
MPH, Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, UTSPH
PhD, Preventive Medicine (Health Behavior Research), University of Southern California
Marieke Hartman, PhD Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research
BS, General Health Sciences, Maastricht University
MS, Health Education and Promotion, Maastricht University
PhD, Public Health, University of Amsterdam
L. Aubree Shay, PhD Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research, San Antonio
BS, Biology, Trinity University
MSSW, Social Work, University of Texas at Austin
PhD, Social and Behavioral Health, Virginia Commonwealth University
William A. Calo, PhD, MPH, JD Postdoc, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
BS, biology, University of Puerto Rico
MPH, epidemiology, University of Puerto Rico
JD, University of Puerto Rico School of Law
PhD, Health Policy and Law, UTSPH (June 2014)
Kimberly Enard, PhD
Assistant Professor, St. Louis University
BA, Mass Communications, English/Theater
MSHA/MBA, Health/Business Administration, Georgia State University
PhD, Public Health, University of California
The places you'll go!
UTHealth School of Public Health's cancer education and career development program offers both pre-doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships. We are now in our eighteenth year of funding from the National Cancer Institute, and have an established track record (see Alumni under "People"). UTHealth School of Public Health is part of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). UTHealth is part of The Texas Medical Center (TMC), the world's largest medical center. TMC is located in Houston, TX, the fourth largest city in the United States. We work with three research centers at UTHealth School of Public Health: The Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research (CHPPR), the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, and the Institute for Health Policy (IHP). Houston is a major city with a low cost of living and a high quality of life: a lively theater arts community, grand opera, a symphony orchestra, ballet, and various chamber orchestras and chorals. We also have the Texas Livestock Show and Rodeo, which features a stellar series of concerts each year with artists running from Bob Dylan to Rascal Flats; the Art Car parade; excellent public transportation (the Metro light rail line stops outside our door!); world-class art museums; and restaurants featuring food from every part of the planet. Whether you like to shop for clothes, food, books, or hand-crafted items from around the world, Houston's the place for you. Hot? You betcha--you can swim ten (sometimes twelve) months out of the year, relieved by a month or two of cooler temperatures and once in a while a white Christmas. We are also the most air-conditioned city in the country--we invented the indoor ball stadium (the Astrodome) and the enclosed shopping mall. We're forty-five minutes from the beach at Galveston and you can walk for miles--literally--underground, in the pedestrian tunnels that connect all the major destinations downtown. Come to the sun belt and be cool! Read why Forbes ranked Houston #1 in their Top 20 Coolest Cities in America!