The proposed Summer Undergraduate Research Experience in Toxicology (SURE Tox) program at the University of Illinois will provide high quality research experiences for junior and senior undergraduate students during the summer academic break. The SURE Tox program will have its own identity, but it will also complement existing funded programs for undergraduate and medical students at the University of Illinois such as the Environmental Interdisciplinary Toxicology Program, the Summer Research Opportunities Program, the Toxicology Scholars Program, and the Summer Research Program for Veterinary Medical Students. The SURE Tox program will partner with several undergraduate universities with a high percentage of underrepresented minorities, the Native American House, and the Summer Research Opportunities Program to recruit high quality minority candidates into the program. The program will involve active participation by faculty members from several departments and colleges at the University of Illinois, all of whom have expertise in toxicology and experience training undergraduate students. The proposed training program will enroll 6 junior and senior undergraduate students who will spend 10 weeks over the summer in the program. The specific goals of the program are to: 1) match participants with faculty mentors who will direct the student to complete a hypothesis-driven project in the field of toxicology, 2) help each student learn laboratory techniques and research skills, 3) provide didactic training on animal use in research, the responsible conduct of research (e.g., research misconduct, mentor-trainee relationships, and data management), and use of the electronic library, 4) train students to prepare scientific posters and to present their work at scientific meetings, 5) provide networking opportunities for students to meet other students and faculty members in research, and 6) provide students with information on academic vs. industry careers in toxicology, and 7) provide each participant the opportunity to participate in GRE Institute workshops to prepare for the Graduate Record Exam. At the conclusion of the program, each student will present his or her work in a poster session held on campus. This training program will provide a unique opportunity for undergraduate students, particularly minority students, to obtain training and research experience in the field of toxicology at a research-intensive university with outstanding toxicology programs.
The proposed Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Toxicology (SURE Tox) will provide undergraduate students who are underrepresented minorities with high quality research experiences during the summer academic break. Students will receive extensive research training in the field of toxicology, participate in a number of workshops on research ethics, use of animals in research, academic and industry careers in toxicology, how to apply to graduate school, how to write and present scientific papers, and optional Graduate Record Exam workshops.