The Undergraduate Research Education Program (Undergirding Potential Program: UP Program) in Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) is a collaboration among the University of Michigan (Michigan), Hampton University (Hampton), and Fisk University (Fisk) with the goal of increasing diversity in the EHS research workforce and accelerating improvements in environmental quality and public health. Faculty from Michigan's EHS Department (School of Public Health) with robust research programs on NIEHS priority areas will mentor four undergraduate students per summer. Hampton and Fisk Universities are historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with developing research interests in EHS among both faculty and students. Students will be co-selected by Fisk, Hampton and Michigan UP Program leaders (Drs O'Neill, Charles, Heyliger and Martin) and matched with faculty mentors. These faculty will also explore future research and training collaborations in EHS across the institutions. Selected students must have completed two years in an EHS-relevant baccalaureate degree program, in biology, chemistry, environmental sciences, physics, engineering, or mathematics. Trainees will have summer research experiences at Michigan with continued communications throughout the year. Topics for research projects include epigenetic and genomic impacts of exposures, and human health aspects of environmental exposures (including cancer and other outcomes associated with pesticides, heavy metals, components of plastics, air pollutants, and climate-related exposures). The partnership between Michigan and the HBCUs will increase the HBCU student's interest in EHS as a career and achieve the long-term goal of diversifying the EHS workforce by providing `early pipeline' opportunities to underrepresented students in EHS. Students will receive both hands-on research experiences, education, and skills needed to pursue graduate school and careers in EHS. Participants will receive up to two summers of training and education, including a full-time summer mentored research experience in EHS at Michigan, training in responsible conduct of research, educational activities, lectures, and group collaboration. They will benefit from coordination with several existing undergraduate internship programs at Michigan, and the EHS Environmental Toxicology and Epidemiology Program (ETEP) T32 training grant for pre- and post- doctoral students, now in its 33rd year of NIEHS support. Trainees will have access to graduate students, including those from under-represented backgrounds, with first-hand knowledge of the process and career options. The Michigan-Hampton-Fisk UP Program R25 is structured to specifically meet the goals of: (1) diversifying the EHS workforce and (2) advancing the NIEHS mission, and (3) enriching EHS scholarship and training at all three universities.

Public Health Relevance

This Summer Research Education Experience (Undergirding Potential ? UP Program) collaborative training program is a partnership among University of Michigan and two historically black universities, Fisk University and Hampton University. We will train Fisk and Hampton undergraduates to be future leaders in environmental health sciences to accelerate discoveries into how environmental exposures affect human health and promote improvements in public health. Our program intends to contribute to a more effective and diverse workforce in environmental health sciences by engaging underrepresented students in research intensive experiences and inspiring them to continue their professional careers in environmental health sciences.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZES1)
Program Officer
Humble, Michael C
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
Ann Arbor
United States
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