Undergraduate applications are now open until February 2, 2024! Apply here.
HEI is excited to launch its Summer Fellowship Program for a second year! The program aims to encourage undergraduate students from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the environmental health sciences to explore research opportunities in this area. Environmental health fields are defined broadly and include environmental exposure assessment, epidemiology, public health, and environmental justice among other areas. The 2023 fellows, mentors, and their projects are listed here.
The program provides financial support for a 10-week summer fellowship in 2024 and is run in collaboration with the International Society of Exposure Science and the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology. The fellowship is open to mentors and students based in the United States. Our joint HEI/ISEE/ISES committee will select prospective fellows and match them with mentors at academic, nonprofit institutions, and state or local government institutions.
Full-time, paid summer fellowship
Environmental health research
Undergraduate college students at U.S. institutions who will be juniors and seniors the fall after the fellowship
Background underrepresented in environmental health
U.S. based program
Expect to award 5 or more fellowships
Mentorship applications are now closed and will reopen in fall 2024 for the following summer. At that time, we will invite researchers at academic, nonprofit, and state or local government institutions to apply to host an undergraduate fellow in their group. Types of opportunities might include bench science, data analysis, field work, and modeling. Please note that HEI will financially support the fellows, facilitate the matching process, and provide office hours support, but that the mentors are expected to provide the research project and include their fellow in their lab or departmental activities.
The application will ask for information on the research opportunity, supervision, and work environment.
Mentorship requirements: Mentors should be based in the United States. We expect mentors to attend mentor training, to interact regularly with the fellow, to be available for in-person interactions during most of the 10-week fellowship period (June/July/August), to invite the fellow to attend lab meetings and trainings as appropriate, to help the fellow prepare a proposal and present after 5 and 10 weeks, and to attend the presentations if their schedule allows.
Fellows will spend the summer developing and conducting research alongside a mentor at an academic institution or non-profit organization. Applicants are not required to have a background in life sciences but should be motivated to learn more about environmental health sciences as a potential career path. We have lined up an exciting list of20 mentorsacross the United States who are excited to host fellows and share their knowledge and ideas and can give you a flavor of what environmental health research is like.
More detailed information about the fellowship can be found in the draft syllabus.
Potential applicants to the summer fellowship should self-identify as coming from an underrepresented or disadvantaged background defined as follows:
1) Indigenous or underrepresented race or ethnicity group in environmental health research as defined by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2) Individuals with disabilities (physical or mental impairments that substantially limit major life activities) 3) Other socially disadvantaged groups (first generation to attend college, sexual orientation/gender identity, or other)
Applicants should be authorized to work in the United States, be a junior or a senior the fall after the fellowship, and be available full-time for 10 weeks during the months of May through August. Start and end date will be flexible based on academic calendars, with office hours occurring between June 3 and August 25.
We expect to select 5 or more fellows and match each with a mentor of their choice. Decisions will be made no later than March 2024. Stipends will be $6,500 for a 10-week fellowship to cover travel, housing, and other expenses. To foster connections among fellows, we will plan several activities throughout the program, including office hours and career conversations. Fellows will be expected to work with their mentors to prepare a proposal describing their plans for the summer and to present their work after 5 and 10 weeks. More details will be provided to selected fellows.
Each application will be reviewed by one member of ISEE and one member of ISES. The joint committee including members of HEI staff, ISEE, and ISES will then select finalists based on the scoring of applications. Evaluations will be based on an applicant’s goals and motivation to pursue environmental health research, description of how the fellowship provides an opportunity not otherwise available, background and academic progress, and current skills and those the applicant would like to acquire. Finalists will be reviewed by the mentors identified by those applicants to ensure a good fit with the project. A final selection of 5 or more will be made by the joint selection committee. Decisions will be made no later than March 2024.
Twenty researchers at academic and nonprofit research institutions have volunteered to serve as mentors and host an undergraduate student in their group during the Summer of 2024.
Each mentor has indicated what the fellow can expect in terms of the research environment, who will supervise them and how often, how many fellow students they may interact with, and which portions of research and meetings will be in person versus remote.
Please review the list carefully and select 3 opportunities in which you are interested. The list is organized by geographic location, recognizing that it might be easier to attend an opportunity closer to where you live or attend school. In addition to the project itself, you should consider other factors that could help determine what might be a great opportunity for you, such as the type of research, what portion will be remote versus in person, and how many other students and researchers there are in the lab.
Expanding the Fellowship Program
We would like to support more fellows in coming years. HEI welcomes donations from individuals and organizations towards the program with the goal of supporting up to 10 fellows each summer, or even more if we can make that happen! If you would like to donate to the fellowship program either online or via mail, please visit the donation page.
HEI, ISEE, and ISES have formed a joint committee to manage the fellowship program. HEI thanks both societies for their support and time and prospective mentors for taking these summer fellows under their wing. Members of the joint committee are as follows:
Carrie Breton, University of Southern California and ISEE North America Chapter Executive Council Sarah Dee, ISES Executive Office Christine Ekenga, Emory University and ISES Diversity Committee Honghyok Kim, University of Illinois Chicago and ISEE Capacity Building and Education Committee (CAPE) Donghai Liang, Emory University and ISES Diversity Committee Peng Gao, University of Pittsburgh and ISES Diversity Committee Beate Ritz, University of California—Los Angeles and ISEE Capacity Building and Education Committee (CAPE)
Additional support is provided by HEI staff including Drs. Ellen Mantus, Elise Elliott, Allison Patton, and Annemoon van Erp, as well as research assistants Ada Wright and Samantha Miller. This program is also supported by Dr. Lenny Howard, ombudsman to HEI.