The Michael & Susan Dell Health Scholar program is a merit-based pre-doctoral program for students interested in nutrition, physical activity, and /or obesity. The Dell Health Scholar program is intended to provide training and research opportunities for doctoral-level students in health research enrolled at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston(UTHealth) School of Public Health. The Dell Health Scholar position, under direction of Drs. Deanna Hoelscher and Nalini Ranjit is a 12-month appointment, eligible for renewal.

For information on the Dell Health Undergraduate Scholar position, click here.

For pre-doctoral opportunities available through the National Cancer Institute, please visit the School of Public Health website

The Michael & Susan Dell Health Scholar program is administered through funding from the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, part of The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health in Austin. 


Dell Health Scholars have the opportunity to work closely with faculty and staff on research as well as Center functions and events. Dell Health Scholars gain hands-on experience with data management, data analysis, and manuscript preparation. Additional benefits include:

  • Funds provided to travel to one conference per year, provided the Scholar is presenting at the conference.
  • Full-time workstation on campus provided.
  • Pay at 50% time at a doctoral-level graduate assistant salary, including benefits.

Current Dell Health Scholars

JOVANOVIC Photo 28Aug2018

Christine Jovanovic, MPH - Christine is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences studying food systems, health equity, and food policy.  Her interests include the intersections of environmental health and human dietary patterns, especially the role of a plant-based diet in addressing these interconnected systems.  Christine’s previous work as a child health advocate, including her tenure as Texas PTA Healthy Lifestyles Chair, Texas CATCH Champion, and co-chair of the Community Collaborative for Child Health, informs and supports her continuing dedication to creating the opportunities for families to live their healthiest lives.  Her current research includes evaluation of Go Austin! Vamos Austin! and the assessment of the Fresh For Less initiative, FRESH Austin.  Christine will support and assist with many of the new activities for the new Center 2018-2022 grant, specifically related to participating in health communication and dissemination activities, creating products to support evidence-based health research and recommendations for health policy, and provide support to publication development and grant preparations.


Allen Hallett, MS - Allen is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences. He has received bachelor's degrees in psychology and kinesiology from Texas Lutheran University and a master's degree in exercise science from the University of Houston. Before joining UTHealth School of Public Health in Austin, Allen worked at the evaluation center for the CDC-funded Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Project 1.0. He has co-authored publications in American Journal of Public Health, Childhood Obesity, and Health Behavior and Policy Review, and presented at national and international conferences on policy environments that support physical activity and reduce less healthy food consumption across communities. Allen's major research interests focus on the evaluation of the effects of human movement and population-based approaches to chronic disease prevention and health promotion. His primary advisor is Dr. Harold W. (Bill) Kohl, III.   

Past Dell Health Scholars