Reuel A. Stallones Building in the Texas Medical Center in Houston
At six campuses across Texas, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health works to improve the state of public health in Texas every day. Each of our campuses is strategically placed to meet the public health education and research needs of the diverse populations across Texas. UTHealth School of Public Health is the only school of public health in the nation with regional campuses.
The main campus, located in the heart of Houston’s Texas Medical Center, offers students unmatched opportunities for research and employment. The School of Public Health’s five regional campuses are in Austin, Brownville, Dallas, El Paso and San Antonio. Each campus has its own faculty and research specialties. Students can attend class at any of the six campuses via Interactive Television (ITV).
UTHealth School of Public Health is one of six schools of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), the most comprehensive academic health system in The University of Texas System and the U.S. Gulf Coast region. In addition to the School of Public Health, UTHealth is home to schools of biomedical informatics, biomedical sciences, dentistry, medicine and nursing. It also includes a psychiatric hospital, multiple institutes and centers, a growing network of clinics and outreach programs in education and care throughout the region.
The School of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) and the university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Summer 2020 UTHealth - Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)
Innovation in Cancer Prevention Research Experience for Undergraduates
June 1 through August 7, 2020
Stipends for 10 weeks are $6,000, fully funded by the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas grant.
Do you like to think outside of the box?
This quality cancer education and career development program offers placements with accomplished researchers at • McGovern Medical School (Houston) • UTHealth School of Biomedical Information (Houston) • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center-UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (Houston) • UTHealth School of Public Health (Austin, Brownsville, Dallas, El Paso, Houston and San Antonio).
The program’s unique focus on helping trainees learn to ask important research questions and apply cutting-edge methods to stimulate innovative thinking to their projects.
“I really appreciated not only doing the scientific research but also the training we received on innovation and public speaking. I also enjoyed going to the research poster/speech event before going to the mid-course dinner. The program was excellent and I would recommend it to others.”
“I loved this program. Great program for undergraduates to see into the world of research through great mentors.”
“All in all a wonderful experience, I learned a lot.”
“Overall, the experience in this program was excellent!”
Finding the right question: Good questions are ambitious and unbiased. Central problem statements are questions that have the greatest potential to generate surprising and useful answers have several characteristics—big and ambitious, unbiased by pre-existing beliefs, plausible, actionable, and useful.
Observation: Innovators must be acute and perceptive observers. Normal observation is anti-innovative.
Analogy: One of the most commonly used methods to promote innovation. Analogies are associations in which we find commonalities between things including similarities and differences.
Juggling induction and deduction: Inductive reasoning is the process of generalizing based on individual instances. Deductive reasoning starts from assumptions that are stated as axioms or givens, and these are used to reach a logic based conclusion. Whereas induction moves from observation to theory and deduction moves from theory to observation, innovation often combines the two.
Changingpoint of view: Each of us sees differently based on our perspective. Innovators change their point of view to modify approaches to intervention.
Broadeningperspective: Innovators benefit from broadening our perspective. It greatly expands the range of novelty.
Dissecting the problem: Dissecting the problem leads to convergence. Divergent thinking is the spawning of a wide array of ideas in response to a problem. Although generating many novel ideas drives novelty, the testing of very specific ideas and components of ideas allows us to converge on a single best solution so as to assure scientific progress.
Reversal: Reversal works either by flipping assumptions or by realizing the import of a serendipitous twist. This is a potent trigger for innovation. Innovators grasp the implications of finding the reverse of what is expected.
Recombination and rearrangement: These tools help us to mix up elements, expand, dissect, and reverse our problem statement or its solutions. Innovators can rearrange and recombine parts from other ideas, inventions, or disciplines to gain originality.
Power of groups: Groups can be more intelligent, more efficient, and even more innovative than a single person. The power of numbers as well as the synergies among people with different types of expertise can accelerate discovery.
Frame shifting: Normal thinking involves using tried-and-true expectations to process new information and make inferences. Linguists call these expectations or assumptions cognitive frames. Frames are fundamentally constraining, so a shift in a frame can create a major innovation.
Ness, Roberta B. Innovation Generation: How to Produce Creative and Useful Scientific Ideas. Oxford University Press, 2012.
Mentors have proposed cancer-related projects that provide a wide variety of experiences. Be sure to click on the project name to read the description and see learning objectives and activities. Mentor’s CVs are posted on the websites of their schools.
Austin UTHealth School of Public Health-Austin Campus
Mentor applications are due at 11:59 pm (CST) on January 17, 2020.
Mentors are not financially responsible for the trainee stipend. It is fully funded by the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas grant.
Comments from 2019 Mentors
"I have participated in the CPRIT Undergraduate Research Experience for the last few years and each time I find it to be an incredibly rewarding experience. The students get exposed to cutting edge approaches and topics in biomedical research, and the mentors get the satisfaction of introducing modern research to their trainees. In addition, the program really teaches the students to approach their research with an eye to innovation and impact. Most of the students that I have interacted with have found this program to be extremely useful in defining their future career goals." - Jeffrey Frost, Ph.D.
"Through the CPRIT Summer Undergraduate Research Experience, our entire team was urged to expand our viewpoints and reach for novelty in every aspect of our student’s project. We held a clear vision of our project goal, but let the methods for reaching that goal remain fluid. On the first day that our student arrived, she and I sat in my office and made a plan for her to produce a poster and talk that would win awards, and she did! More importantly, it was always our goal to generate a paper with our student out of her summer work, and we’re finishing that manuscript now." - Daniel Harrington, Ph.D.
"I have served as the mentor for three CPRIT undergraduate students over the past two years. It has been a very rewarding experience for both me and the summer students who worked in my lab. The CPRIT program allows the mentor and the students to work on biomedical research of their interests. All my CPRIT summer students were able to complete research projects that lead to peer-reviewed full articles." - Tao Cui, Ph.D.
"During 2015 summer, we actively engaged in the program and recruited a rising sophomore in Computer Science at UT Austin to our Patient Safety project. The experience stimulated enthusiasm for scientific research, which will be helpful for determining her career goal. On the other hand, her participation brought novel ideas to our project and accelerated our research progress." - Yang Gong, M.D., Ph.D.
"My CPRIT fellows were great. They were very creative, action-oriented, and hard workers. They contributed significantly to adding different perspectives/components to the operation of my projects. Specifically, they created a video that introduces our study to participants, set up the study's twitter and Facebook accounts, and study website. They also actively participated in weekly project meetings proposing new ideas and expressing their opinions. I believe that CPRIT summer program provides fellows with great opportunities to think creatively, implement their ideas, and learn how research is conducted, while tackling challenging issues encounter in project operations." - Kayo Fujimoto, Ph.D.
Frequently asked questions by applicants
Q: Who is eligible to apply? A: All undergraduate students in colleges and universities across the United States who will be sophomores, juniors, or seniors in the fall semester of 2020.
Q: Can I apply if I have a G.P.A of less than 3.0? A: Applicants with less than a 3.0 GPA will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
Q: Is this internship only for students interested in pre-medicine? A: No, we encourage students from all majors and programs to apply.
Q: Can I submit unofficial transcripts? A: Unofficial transcripts will suffice during the review of your application. If accepted to the fellowship, official transcripts will be required before you can be appointed. If you believe your official transcript will not arrive before the deadline, we suggest submitting unofficial transcripts with your application. Request official transcripts from your university as soon as possible.
Q: I am an international student on F1 visa. Can I apply for this fellowship? A: Yes. International students currently enrolled in a US college or university can also apply. After acceptance into the program you will be required to apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) from the office of international affairs in your home institution.
Q: Can I submit letters of recommendation, or do they have to be sent directly by the recommender? A: Our online application contains a section where you can identify your recommender. We will e-mail them the information required to submit your letter. Although we may accept letters sent directly by you, this practice is strongly discouraged.
Q: Do all materials need to be sent electronically? A: The application is now available online. You will have the opportunity to submit your materials within the application. Please follow the directions listed on the application regarding the naming convention of files. Official transcripts may either be emailed (if your institution participates in this practice) or sent directly to:
Kandace Parks UTHealth School of Public Health 7000 Fannin St., UCT 2510j Houston, TX 77030 Phone 713-500-9476 Email: CPRITSummer@uth.tmc.edu
Q: I was selected as a semifinalist. What does that mean? A: It means that you have been selected to indicate your top 5 project choices and to participate in interviews that will be conducted by faculty mentors. Final selections will be made based on the interviews. The mentors and their individual projects will be listed on the website under the "Mentors Profile" tab in late January.