Steps for Admission Into the Program

Applying for this program requires the following:

Step 1 – Letter of Intent

Eligible students interested in applying to the program should prepare a Letter of Intent that will serve as a pre-application step. The Letter of Intent should consist of 1-2 pages indicating the student’s interest in participating in this program, and a brief description (250 words) of a potential Gene-Environment Interaction research project. The letter should also be signed by the student’s advisor. If the advisor is not part of the program’s faculty, please indicate if he/she has sent a letter to the program manager to be considered for inclusion. The procedure for becoming a new faculty mentor is detailed in the Program Eligibility page.

The Letter of Intent should be sent via email, as a PDF attachment, to Mary Dusing by March 29, 2013Letters submitted by fax or regular mail will not be accepted.

Selected applicants will be invited via Email to submit a Full Application.

Step 2 – Full Application

Applications should be submitted online no later than the deadline given in the invitation letter to submit a full application. All additional materials and recommendation letters must be on letterhead and signed, and received by the same deadline. Applications without a prior Letter of Intent and invitation to participate will not be accepted.

Components of the Application

The application process requires completion and/or submission of the following:

  1. the application form (on-line)
  2. a personal statement
  3. two letters of recommendation
  4. a biographical sketch (NIH style, new format)
  5. research proposal – Research Proposal Guidelines
  6. copies of school transcripts (undergraduate and current)
  7. GRE score. International students should also submit a copy of their Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score.

Application Form - All items on the application form must be completed in order to submit it electronically. Part I must be completed by the student. Part II must be jointly developed by the applicant with his/her current faculty mentor.

Core Competencies - Please identify and mark the competencies you have already achieved. If none, leave blank.

Mentoring Plan - This section must be completed by the student’s mentor. The mentoring plan must include the outline (or method) for incorporating the second mentor, and any future joint activities. The plan should also describe how the mentors will provide opportunities for the applicant to achieve her/his career goals, and how the applicant will complete the required core competencies. Please include any additional comments you feel will be beneficial to the reviewers.

Additional Mentor - With the help of your current mentor, identify a potential co-mentor with complementary expertise to that of your current mentor. You can list more than one secondary mentor if necessary. Be sure to talk to the faculty and obtain an agreement before listing their names in your application. The responsibilities for mentors are listed in the Participating Faculty section in the program’s main page.

Responsible Conduct of Research – Please indicate if you have completed any formal training in the responsible conduct of research, such as a biomedical ethics course. If you have not done this already, you should include your plans to take this course, or an equivalent, in the mentoring plan section.

Personal Statement - The personal statement should be typed, limited to one page, and include the following:

  • Area of interest,
  • professional goals,
  • reasons for desiring to participate in the Houston Laboratory and Population Science Training Program in Gene-Environment Interactions, and
  • a brief description of your current area of research and how it integrates with the goals of the program.

Letters of Recommendation - The letters of recommendation should be from current professors who can evaluate the applicant’s scholastic performance, scientific background and ability, creativity, desire to become a scientist, laboratory and/or technical skills, and personal characteristics such as personality and character. One of the letters should be prepared by the student’s current advisor.

School Transcripts – Students must submit transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate coursework. Official transcripts are preferred but unofficial transcripts will be accepted.

In addition to the documents listed above, applicants must submit a current NIH-style biographical sketch, and although not required, a copy of one published paper if available. All documents other than the application form must be sent as PDF attachments via e-mail to Mary Dusing no later than the deadline given in the invitation letter.

Students accepted in the program will be notified by the beginning of August 2013.  Appointments to the program are from September 1, 2013 to January 31, 2015.


Checklist for Applicants & Deadlines

  • Letter of Intent Deadline: March 29, 2013
  • Complete application that includes all the documents listed below:
    • Application form
    • Personal Statement
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • Biographical sketch
    • Research Proposal
    • GRE score
    • TOEFL score (international students)
    • Copy of one published paper (optional)
  • Interview – July 2013
  • Notification to selected candidates – August 2013
  • Training Program begins – September 1, 2013