Undergraduate Summer Research Program

Environmental Health Research Experience Program (EHREP)

Student of EHREP sits on top of a rock after a hike.

Environmental and Occupational Health Science is an interdisciplinary field that uses the tools of science to solve human health problems related to the environment. If you want to use your science background to help people live healthier lives, this research program is for you.  The Environmental Health Research Experience Program (EHREP) is a funded, nine week, summer experience for talented undergraduates who express strong interest in environmental health science research. Each year, the department will select 7 students from a national pool of applicants and pair each with a faculty mentor.  To gain a better understanding of the potential projects, please see the previous research projects page.

Students from populations traditionally underrepresented in the sciences are encouraged to apply. The program is made possible by a five-year grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and generous, ongoing support from department faculty.

The experience will:

  • Provide first-hand experiences in laboratories of leading environmental and occupational health researchers
  • Introduce students to key environmental and occupational health concepts
  • Offer academic research exposure that will help students be more competitive for graduate school.

Application and Program Dates

The program dates for 2016 are June 20th to August 19th. Students must be able to be in Seattle for the full duration of the program, so confirm the end date for your spring term and the start date for your fall term before you apply.

The deadline for the 2016 program is February 1st 2016. All applicants will be notified of the decision by email, and all notices will be sent by April 1st.


EHREP Student has discussion with two lab employees.

This program is for current undergraduates who will be graduating in 2017 or later. Students who will have completed their degree prior to the program start date are not eligible to apply. Funding requires that participants be US Citizens or US Permanent Residents.

One of the goals of the EHREP program is to diversify the field of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. Therefore, students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the sciences are strongly encouraged to apply. Underreprented groups include: first generation college students; students with disabilities; students from an economically disadvantaged background, and students from racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented, such as: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.

Students from all majors may apply, although the program is most appropriate for those studying any science, mathematics, engineering, environmental health, and public health.  To be considered, students must have completed at least one year of a lab science sequence (college biology, general or organic chemistry, physics) at the time of application.  The most competitive applicants will have completed 2 or more years of lab sciences.


Students will receive a stipend of $5,200.


EHREP students are responsible for providing their own housing.  Students have the option of staying in UW housing for summer, this is the option most EHREP students select.  The cost is approximately $32 per night for housing in a single bedroom in a shared apartment.  At this nightly rate, total cost for housing will be approximately $2000 for the duration of the program.  Please see the UW Housing website for more information on the accommodations.

Application Instructions

All applicants will be notified of the decision via email by April 1st, 2016.
All applicants will complete the online application form. To begin the application, follow this link: https://catalyst.uw.edu/webq/survey/tsterry/281142

A complete application consists of the following 3 items, all which must be submitted by February 1st, 2016, 5pm Pacific Time. 

1. Completed Online Application and Personal Statement: The suggested length is 500 words. In your statement, address the following items:

  • Identify your research area interests: From the list below, select and rank the top *two* areas of Environmental Health Research you are most interested in. In your personal statement you will be asked to describe why you're interested in conducting research specifically in the areas that you identified. If you are selected as a final candidate, we will attempt to match you to a faculty member whose research mostly closely fits with your interests.
    • Occupational health and safety
    • Environmental chemistry
    • Measurement of chemical exposures
    • Mechanisms by which environmental exposures cause disease (toxicology)
    • Environmental microbiology
    • Epidemiology of environmentally caused diseases
    • Clean water
    • Air quality
  • Prior Research/Positions of Responsibility: Tell us about any prior research experience you have.  If you don't have prior experience, tell us about a position of responsibility you've had which might help you be successful in EHREP.
  • Why are you applying for EHREP:  How do you see this program preparing you for your future academic/career goals?  
  • Educational Challenges/Personal Hardships (if applicable): Describe any personal or imposed challenges or hardships you have overcome in pursuing your education. Examples: a serious illness, a disability, first generation in your family to attend college, significant financial hardship or responsibilities associated with balancing work, family, and school.

2. Letter of Recommendation: You should choose someone who can speak specifically about your academic achievements and your potential to engage in academic research. Give the following instructions to the person writing your letter. You may have your recommender email the letter directly to , or you may forward it yourself. 

  • file format: save the recommendation letter as a PDF file and name it: LastName_FirstName_Letter (where the LastName and FirstName are those of the applicant)
  • subject line of email: put the following information in the subject line of the email: LastName_FirstName_Letter (where the LastName and FirstName are those of the applicant)
  • email address: email the pdf letter attachment. You may have your recommender email the letter directly to , or you may forward it yourself.

3. Unofficial Transcript: Degree audits or summaries are not acceptable in place of a transcript. If you are not sure how to obtain an unofficial transcript, contact the Registrar’s Office of your College/University. 

  • file format: save your unofficial transcript as a PDF file and name it: LastName_FirstName_Transcript (where the LastName and FirstName are those of the applicant)
  • subject line of email: put the following information in the subject line of the email: LastName_FirstName_Transcript (where the LastName and FirstName are those of the applicant)
  • email address: email the pdf letter attachment to

If you have questions, please contact:

Trina Sterry
Undergraduate Program Manager & Adviser
ehrep@uw.edu or 206-543-4207