Apply to SURE-EH

Program Summary

The SURE-EH program provides up to two years of hourly employment to UW undergraduate students 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 13 hours per week during the academic year.

Current Application Period

Applications will open on Monday, April 15, 2024 at 9:00am and close on Friday, May 3, 2024 at 5:00pm.

After a short review period, top applicants will be contacted to set up in-person interviews during the week of May 13, 2024.  Offers will be made by the end of May.

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 any specific desired qualifications for each position.

Project # 1: Co-Developing and evaluating wildfire smoke and pesticide safety messaging for agricultural workers

Description: We are searching for a motivated undergraduate student to join our project focused on developing and evaluating safety messages related to wildfire smoke and pesticide exposure in agricultural settings. 

This project aims to create impactful communications to mitigate the risks associated with these hazards for agricultural workers. Working under the guidance of the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health (PNASH) Outreach team, the student will engage in research activities that bridge environmental health science and public communication, focusing on populations at heightened risk due to their occupational exposure.

The student will collaborate closely with a team dedicated to enhancing the safety and health of agricultural communities through effective messaging. This role involves working with a diverse array of populations, from agricultural workers in various settings to potentially vulnerable groups within these communities. Under the supervision of experienced research scientists and outreach specialists, the student will learn and apply a range of skills, including:

  • Engagement and communication strategies tailored to diverse populations
  • Research methods for evaluating the effectiveness of safety messages
  • Data collection, analysis, and interpretation focused on public health impacts
  • Development and dissemination of educational materials
  • Techniques for effective public health messaging across various media platforms

The student will also have the opportunity to contribute to meeting abstracts, research articles, and presentations of their research findings.

Desired Qualifications

  • Undergraduate student at the junior or senior level, preferably with completed coursework in environmental public health, occupational health and safety, public health, communications, or related fields.
  • Keen to learn and apply communication strategies, research methodologies, and data analysis in the field of public health and safety.
  • Excellent communication skills and a commitment to contributing to team goals and project outcomes. 

Project # 2: Impacts of enteric pathogen infections in low- and middle-income countries

Description: We are seeking a motivated undergraduate student to assist with projects focused on understanding the impacts of enteric pathogen exposures and infections in vulnerable populations.

Our research aims to understand the relationships between enteric pathogen infection, diarrheal disease, the gut microbiome, and immune function. We work with populations from low- and middle-income countries in Ecuador and Mozambique, where there is a high burden of enteric disease due to limited water and sanitation resources. The student will work on lab and/or data analysis projects, depending on their research experience and interests, and will work closely with the lab manager, a postdoctoral research fellow, and/or graduate students. Students interested in laboratory research will learn important and transferrable skills, which may include sterile technique, sample collection and concentration methods, nucleic acid extraction, media preparation, bacterial culture, molecular assays, and data analysis. Students interested in data analysis will work to organize and analyze epidemiological data, including data on environmental exposures to pathogens, enteric pathogen infections in young children, the structure of the gut microbiome, etc. The student will have opportunities to write meeting abstracts, contribute to research articles, and present their research findings. 

Desired qualifications:  Undergraduate with completed course work in microbiology and/or epidemiology. Interest in public health research. Previous lab experience (including lab coursework) is desired but not required for students interested in working in the laboratory.

Project # 3: Measuring exposure to hazards in the environment and occupational settings in the U.S. and across the world

Description:  The research group of Dr. Chris Simpson is focused on measuring peoples' exposures to environmental and occupational hazards and associated health effects.  

Current projects include studying the relatively new industry of cannabis growing and processing in Washington and a second project in Kenya monitoring air pollution and exposure to toxic metals amongst a group of mothers and their babies.  Baby hair samples will be analyzed using laser ablation mass spectrometry to measure the exposure to metals during the time of their early development.  Urine is analyzed to measure exposure to organic pollutants in air.

Work will involve preparing supplies for field sampling, coordinating sample submission to analytical labs, and processing data.  Valuable skills acquired will include learning many lab analytical procedures, coordinating field and lab work, processing data using statistical software and improving lab procedures. 

Desired qualifications:  Undergraduate student entering junior or senior year in Fall 2024 with interest in environmental health or related fields such as public and global health.  Previous lab experience (including lab coursework) is desired but not required for students interested in working in the laboratory.

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 15, 2024 at 9:00am. You can access it then and begin your application by clicking HERE.  

Please note: Applicants will need to sign into Google to complete the application. You are limited to one application but will have the ability to make changes after submission.