Apply to SURE-EH

Program Summary

The SURE-EH program provides up to two years of hourly employment to UW students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to conduct research in areas relevant to the environmental health sciences and the mission of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Students can work up to 40 hours per week over the summer, and up to 15 hours per week during the academic year.

Current Application Period

Applications will open on Monday, April 25, 2022 and close on Sunday, May 8, 2022 at 11:00pm.

After a short review period, top applicants will be contacted to set up in-person interviews during the last half of May.  Offers will be made before the beginning of the Summer 2022 quarter.

Please note: In the event that qualified candidates are not found, applications will be re-opened until all positions are full.

Available Positions

We are now accepting applications for the following projects. Please read and review as you will be asked to rank up to three choices in the application (you also have the option of choosing only one). You should also note the specific desired qualifications for each position.

Project # 1:  Supporting Community Resilience in the Face of Climate Change

Description: We have an opening for a highly motivated undergraduate student to assist with research projects in the CEER lab centering around climate change & health. The UW Collaborative on Extreme Event Resilience (CEER) lab works to build community resilience to disasters and climate change. We bring together researchers, scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and community-based organizations to create and evaluate evidence-based health policies and practices that reduce health risks related to our changing climate including extreme heat and wildfires. Climate Change is one of the most pressing public health challenges we face. Students will learn important technical skills including community and partner engagement, risk communication, and evaluation methods. Students will also have the opportunity to practice scientific writing including meeting abstracts and research articles, and to present their own research findings at local, national, and international conferences including UW Mary Gate’s Undergraduate Research Symposium, and Washington State’s Environmental & Public Health Associations.

Desired qualifications: Undergraduate at junior level with completed course work in technical writing/communication and foundational biostats/statistics. Interest in environmental public health research is a must!

Project # 2:  Methods for enrichment and sequencing of antibiotic resistance genes in environmental samples

Description: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the most pressing issues in global public health. AMR is most commonly studied through clinical isolates, yet many microorganisms are not culturable and non-pathogenic microorganisms carrying resistance also pose a threat. Metagenomic sequencing, or sequencing all DNA in a sample, is a promising tool for detection of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) but lacks sensitivity. We are seeking a motivated undergraduate to assist in the development of targeted sequencing laboratory methods for antibiotic resistance genes and develop pipelines to analyze targeted sequencing data. We aim to develop methods that are sensitive enough to detect low abundance resistance genes in complex environmental samples. The student will gain experience in PCR and long-read nanopore sequencing. In addition, they will have the opportunity to learn how to analyze sequencing data using python, R, and bash. The student will be mentored by Dr. Fuhrmeister with an emphasis on developing their own independent project.

Desired qualifications: Undergraduate coursework in microbiology. Coursework in computer science and experience in programming using bash and python a plus.

Project # 3:  Detecting enteric pathogens for understanding the effects on human health and gut microbiome

Description: We are seeking a motivated undergraduate student to assist with a project on detecting enteric pathogens in vulnerable populations.  Our lab is working to understand the relationships between enteric pathogen infection, diarrheal disease, growth and health outcomes, and the gut microbiome.  We work with a diverse array of populations, from babies in low and middle income countries, to people experiencing homelessness in Seattle.  The student will work in our lab under supervision of the lab manager and/or research scientist.  The student will learn important skills including sterile technique, sample collection and concentration methods, nucleic acid extraction, media preparation, bacterial culture, PCR, and qPCR.  The student will also have opportunities to attend a scientific writing workshop series, write meeting abstracts, contribute to research articles, and present their own research findings.

Desired qualifications: Undergraduate at junior or senior level with completed course work in microbiology. Interest in public health research.

Project # 4:  Using mobile monitoring to understand the effects of air pollution on health

Description: We are seeking an undergraduate student data analyst to assist with a mobile monitoring research study and related research projects that are intended to improve our understanding of people’s exposure to traffic-related air pollution and the effect of this exposure on the brain.  We have been measuring traffic-related air pollution using a mobile monitoring platform and have generated a large quantity of data. The student would work with these data under supervision of a research scientist and graduate student to support analyses, conduct independent analyses, and ensure data quality. 

Desired qualifications: Undergraduate at junior level with completed course work in statistics or biostatistics.  A statistics or related major preferred.  Knowledge of the R statistical package. Interest in public health research.        


Apply Now

The SURE-EH application consists of an application survey, several short (300 word) essays, and up to 3 faculty references (email addresses).  The Application portal will open on April 25, 2022 at 6:00am. You can access it then and begin your application by clicking HERE.