• CPRIT Summer Undergraduate Fellowship in Computational Cancer Biology
    Funded by Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) RP140113

    This training grant has been submitted for renewal with an expected notification of December, 2016. Should it be renewed, then a notice will appear here about applications for a summer program in 2017. The dates, expectations for applicants, and activities would be similar to those listed below.


    2016 Summer Program: June 1 - August 5, 2016  
    This is a unique opportunity for undergraduates interested in computational cancer biology!  

    Our Computational Cancer Biology Training Program offers selected summer research undergraduates the chance to work one-on-one in labs with postdoctoral fellows who have mentors at the interface of two different research disciplines: one computational and one biological. This unique program offers you the opportunity to gain an interdisciplinary outlook on the problems presented in fundamental cancer research.

    You will be matched for a research experience in labs at multiple institutions in Houston and Galveston, Texas, according to your interests, previous knowledge and/or experience, and the availability of positions. You will work full time (~40 hours/week) during the 10-week period on an ongoing project in the lab, learning lab protocol and techniques. Your mentor(s) will recommend scientific articles to read in preparation for your summer experience. 

    Program dates for 2016 are Wednesday, June 1 - Friday, August 5, 2016.
    Students are expected to participate in the entire program; time off for July 4th must be negotiated with your mentor.

    What will you do?

    • Complete an individual hands-on lab rotation
    • attend a short course on the responsible conduct of research
    • interact with and hear informal talks from postdoctoral fellows working in the field
    • prepare a scientific report and present your project in a formal poster session.   

    Who is eligible?    

    • US Citizens or Permanent Residents already holding a Green Card; some international students enrolled at UH may be eligible; UH determines this.
    • Rising college/university sophomores, juniors, or seniors whose majors are either quantitative or biological: 
      • statistics    
      • computational and applied math    
      • computer science   
      • biology   
      • biochemistry   
      • bioengineering
      • chemistry     
      • physics   
      Preferred are students who: 
    • are interested in going to graduate or medical school
    • have taken coursework in math, science, and/or computer programming
    • have computational / programming knowledge and skills, and/or lab experience
    • have completed two or three years of college / university 
    • are members of ethnic or racial groups who are under-represented in STEM fields

    What is the stipend?
    • $4,750 total stipend for the 10-week full-time summer research experience (Important: students are responsible for providing their own transportation and housing.). 

    What are the application components?

    1. Resume or CV: please include
      •  your contact email and cell number
      • the name of your home college/university, your year and major, and your current cumulative GPA 
      • a list of all previous jobs you have had (including jobs in a lab, if any)
      • any computer language / programming courses you have taken, or practical programming experience you have.  
    2. One-page statement (single spaced, 11 pt font, 1-inch margins; include your name at the top): about
      • why you want to do summer research in computational cancer biology 
      • what you hope to gain from this experience
      • what your educational / career goals are
      • in which type of lab you would prefer to be placed, wet lab or computational lab (your preferences will be taken into account, but not guaranteed)
      • whether you would like to be placed in a lab in Houston or Galveston  (your preferences will be taken into account, but not guaranteed)  
    3. 2 letters of recommendation from a faculty member or former employer; ask your references to email their letters directly to Vanessa Herrera (herrera@rice.edu) 
    4. Transcripts from all undergraduate colleges/universities attended; make sure the transcript from your current institution includes your Spring 2016 course enrollment. Unofficial copies are acceptable for your application; summer fellows will be required to provide official copies.

      All application materials must be received by Thursday, February 25, 2016 by mail at the address below, or by email to  herrera@rice.edu. All applicants will be notified of an acceptance decision no later than April 8, 2016.   
       Application materials can be emailed to Vanessa Herrera at herrera@rice.edu or mailed to the following address:  

                                Gulf Coast Consortia, MS 141
                                Attn: Vanessa Herrera
                                PO Box 1892
                                Houston, Texas 77251-1892                 

    For further information contact Vanessa Herrera at herrera@rice.edu.  

    The Gulf Coast Consortia administers this program; the GCC is comprised of Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, University of Houston, UT Health Science Center at Houston, UT Medical Branch at Galveston, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Institute of Biosciences & Technology of Texas A&M Health Science Center. Summer positions may not be available at all institutions during any given summer. 

    Summer 2016 activities:

    Orientation: Wednesday, June 1 from 10:00 am - 03:00 pm in BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC) 172, 6500 Main @ University. See map here.

    Other important dates for 2016 students:
    Thursday, July 28: abstracts due in Word format to herrera@rice.edu. Abstracts are maximum 600 words, single-spaced, black and white, 11 pt Times/Times New Roman. Vanessa will email you the full instructions about content. Remember to get your supervisor's and mentor's permission on all abstracts, reports, and posters before sending it to Vanessa.

    Thursday, August 4 (5 pm): final scientific reports due in Word format to herrera@rice.edu. Minimum 2 pages not including references (may be longer if you wish); Word format, single spaced, 11 pt Arial, 0.5 margins on all sides. Vanessa will email you the full instructions about content.

    Friday, August 5 (10am - 3:30pm): Poster session / lunch / awards - end of summer program. Vanessa will email you the full instructions about poster design and poster templates using PowerPoint (best is 3-panel, 36x48). Event will be held in the BRC 1st Floor Event Hall (next to the patio).   
    NOTE:You are required to acknowledge funding on your abstracts and posters. Please use this phrase: This research was funded by the CPRIT Summer Undergraduate Program in Computational Cancer Biology, training grant award RP 140113 from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). Vanessa will send you the GCC and CPRIT logos to use on your posters. 

    Scientific Communication training (Date TBD):
    Your BCM sponsor for this series is Susan Marriott. 

    •   Best Practices for Lab Notebooks - Why and How 
    •   Scientific Writing - Words and Sentences 
    •   Scientific Writing -  Paragraphs and Practice 
    •   Writing a Compelling Abstract 
    •   How to present posters (conducted by Dr. Suzanne Tomlinson, GCC) 
    •   Creating Great Figures and Posters  
    •   Preparing a Scientific Report     

    Opportunities to learn about graduate school (tentative dates):

    Monday, June 13: MD career panel and medical school fair. Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), cafeteria and Rayzour Lounge. Bring your ID for security. Your BCM sponsor is Sr. Assoc. Dean Dr. Gayle Slaughter.

    Monday, July 11: PhD career panel, and graduate programs fair. Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), cafeteria and Rayzour Lounge. Bring your ID for security. Your BCM sponsor is Sr. Assoc. Dean Dr. Gayle Slaughter. 

    Monday, July 18: How to apply to graduate school (including how to write an effective personal statement,  interviews skills, etc.). Baylor College of Medicine, 1st floor auditorium in Alkek Building. Bring your ID for security. Your BCM sponsor is Sr. Assoc. Dean Dr. Gayle Slaughter.


    Responsible Conduct of Research mini-course (optional):

    Date TBD: in BRC 280 (top of the outside stairs leading from the patio). This course does not fully satisfy all NIH requirements.