The MD Anderson Cancer Center UPWARDS: Underrepresented Minorities Working Towards Research Diversity in Science Research Training Program addresses the lack of diversity afflicting the cancer research workforce and educational pipeline via early intervention programs that foster sustained interest in cancer research for young scientists. Our comprehensive UPWARDS Training Program focuses on major barriers deterring and preventing many minority students from pursuing and succeeding in graduate programs and in cancer research careers.
In addition to the academic year-long program, we also have a summer program for high school and undergraduates students. Click here for more information on the summer program.
The MD Anderson UPWARDS Undergraduate Academic Year Research Training Program will cultivate undergraduate minority scientists with the goal of increasing diversity in biomedical graduate programs and in the cancer research workforce by supporting ten undergraduate trainees per year. The program offers stipends, fringe benefits, parking allowance, and provide a modest travel allowance. UPWARDS Undergraduate Academic Year Program trainees will be appointed for one year with competitive renewal option for up to two years. Renewals will be dependent upon successful academic and research progress, participation in activities related to the UPWARDS Undergraduate Academic Year Training Program (e.g., an annual presentation, journal club meetings) and competition with new applicants.
Accepted students will take part in a paid part-time year-long research experience at MD Anderson. Through this experience, students will be paired with a faculty member working in his /her lab gaining hands-on research experience, participate in didactic coursework and training, and receive mentoring to guide the trainee in their future academic and professional pursuits.
All trainees accepted into the UPWARDS undergraduate academic year research experience will be required to participate in two outreach activity during the course of the program. The leadership team will work with each trainee to identify opportunities around their school and lab schedules. Additional details will be provided upon acceptance into the program.
All applicants must be an undergraduate who identifies as an underrepresented minority in science which includes ethnic or racial minority groups (African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Pacific Islander/native Hawaiian), economically disadvantaged, educationally disadvantaged, with disabilities, or first-generation students.
The 2022-2023 application cycle is now closed. The following items are required as part of the application: personal and demographic information, resume, unofficial transcripts from undergraduate institution, personal statement, and one letter of recommendation from a STEM (science, technology, engineering, or mathematics) professor. The letter must be on institutional letterhead and should be signed by the referee.
Program Leadership & Contact Information
Khandan Keyomarsi, Ph.D. (left in photo)
UPWARDS Program Director
Stephanie S. Watowich, Ph.D. (right in photo)
UPWARDS Program Director
Questions? Contact us!
Please reach out to the Administrative Program Director, Kara Lewis, DrPH, MPH (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions that you may have regarding the program and/or the application process.