Undergraduate Researchers Exploring CRISPR (UREC)

About the Program

This program funded by the University of Houston Cougar Initiative To Engage supports an 8-week summer research opportunity for rising University of Houston sophomores, juniors, and seniors to learn how to perform CRISPR-mediated gene editing. Students will actively participate in the full process of genetic engineering from the development of a research question all the way through the production and characterization of a novel genetic model. Along the way students will develop a broad understanding of gene editing technologies, their application in basic and translational research, and the bioethical challenges they raise.

The objective of this summer program is to provide students a unique opportunity to develop a research skill-set that is largely only available to upper-level graduate students. This unique intensive summer program will allow students to gain hands-on experience in an R1 research laboratory. By the end of the experience, participants will have developed a set of specialized, marketable skills, and broadly applicable experience in conducting research.

The purpose of this experience is to support natural and social science undergraduates as they learn to apply scientific content to solve practical problems; exercise scientific reasoning to investigate observed phenomena; and interpret, design, and evaluate basic research.

Students will be provided a $3,000 stipend for participation in the program , which will run Monday-Thursday from 5th June – 28th July 2023.

Prospective students might be majors in:
CNSM: Biology, Biochemistry, Mathematical Biology, Biomedical Sciences.
CLASS: Communication Sciences and Disorders, Exercise Science, Psychology, Sociology.
COT: Biotechnology.
COE: Health, Human Development & Family Sciences.
CCE: Biomedical Engineering.

Megan Lean, a current UH senior in the Alward lab, using molecular techniques to identify signaling pathways for androgen receptors, a gene the lab has edited using CRISPR

Application Overview

Applications to UH-UREC for Summer 2023 are now CLOSED

This program is open to rising University of Houston sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Students graduating in spring and summer 2023 are not eligible for this program.

We will consider applicant’s experiences, attributes, and goals in addition to their academic standing to identify people likely to be successful in the research.

Please use a word processor to prepare your responses to the application prompts listed below, and then go to the Apply Now button at the bottom of this page to open the application form and fill it out with your information.

If you encounter difficulties completing the form, or have any questions about the program or application, please email Andrew Hoadley (aphoadley@uh.edu) with “help with UREC application” in the subject line.

Application Components

A complete application consists of the following:

  • Your information, submitted by completing the application form, which you can get to via the button at the bottom of this page. You will need to log in with your cougarnet credentials to access the form.
    • A completed application form, to collect basic information about you.
    • An unofficial transcript, please use the filename LastNameFirstName_transcript and save it as a .pdf file.
    • Responses to the following prompts. For each, please don’t use more than 250 words (about half a single-spaced page). We encourage you to consider sharing your draft with a faculty member to provide feedback prior to submission. Put your responses together as a single file with the file name LastNameFirstName_application and save as a .pdf file.
      • Describe a previous research experience. The purpose of this essay is to learn about your experience in a research setting. What question were you addressing, and what was your role in the project? If you have not yet participated in a research project, please answer using an experiment or project from a class that was meaningful to you.
      • Describe your academic and career goals. The purpose of this essay is to learn about your academic and career interests and how participation in the UREC program will help you achieve them.
  • One to two letters of recommendation. Please ask your reference(s) to address your creativity and innovation, commitment to long-term goals, resilience and adaptability, academic preparation, leadership and work experience, and research experience. Your letter may be from a faculty member in the sciences, but we are open to any recommender that can best speak to these traits. Please ask your reference to send their letter to Andrew Hoadley at aphoadley@uh.edu with your name in the subject line and the file name.

Target Date

We will begin reviewing applications on April 12th. For full consideration, please complete your application by this date.

PLEASE NOTE Application review began on the 12th. We will accept applications that arrive later than this; but if we fill all our slots before it comes in then the program will be closed, and you’ll be out of luck.

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