In order for the research activities in the U.S. to continue to excel, a new generation of scientists must be recruited and trained. This is especially true in environmental health sciences that require broad interdisciplinary training. However, graduate education and the expectations of active scientific research remain unclear, even to undergraduates already majoring in a scientific field. This project aims to immerse a small cohort each summer of talented undergraduate science students from colleges and universities in the U.S. in active research laboratories in the Center for Environmental Health Sciences (CEHS) for 10 weeks at the University of Montana in order to meet three specific aims: 1) To provide research training and exposure to environmental health sciences for undergraduate students. 2) To provide background training to improve the participants'preparedness for graduate school and encourage their graduate study in environmental health sciences, as well as expose students to various career options. 3) To increase the diversity of the pool of students progressing to graduate study in environmental health sciences. The CEHS has established a proven track record of success and careful assessment of the attitudes of participants upon completion of each year of the program in the first five years of this program at the University of Montana. This project will build upon these successes and to continue the work in order to expose more students to the opportunities found in research, and specifically in environmental health research.
This project will recruit six undergraduates each summer to spend 10-weeks conducting intensive research in active environmental health science laboratories to prepare for graduate education. In addition, the students will be prepared for successful careers in graduate education and careers in research.