The CPRIT Research Training Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center congratulates our 2020 CPRIT CURE Summer Undergraduate Research Students. These 69 outstanding young scientists engaged in 10 weeks of cancer research remotely under the mentorship of our dedicated faculty mentors. In addition to research, they learned the fundamentals of cancer biology and participated in journal club and professional and career development enrichment activities. This year’s cohort was selected from >550 outstanding applicants from around the nation and world.
The COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted many of the brightest undergraduate scientists of the next generation. Research laboratory closures and cancelled summer research programs left undergraduates minimal opportunities to gain the critical research experience needed to apply for graduate programs and develop as scientists. Based on our strong training program history and unwavering commitment to undergraduate research training, and supported by an outpouring of interest from our mentoring faculty and undergraduate scientists, CPRIT CURE Program leadership redesigned our summer program. This year, we provided quality research, mentoring, and enrichment activities for our 2020 cohort with a twist – it was accomplished 100% remotely. Our trainees were matched with research mentors across many diverse departments, and contributed to research at MD Anderson through projects covering many facets of cancer research, including D3CODE COVID-19 in Cancer projects. We are grateful for the tremendous support from many institutional offices and our mentoring faculty, which allowed our program to re-emerge this summer as an innovative remote research program. We are also appreciative of funding from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) via our Research Training Award (RP170067), as well as the graduate school, which supported modest research scholarship awards for our trainees.
We are proud to continue leading efforts to fulfil MD Anderson and Program missions to provide quality research training to our undergraduates, despite COVID-19-related adversity. We are confident that the impactful research, mentorship, and training provided by our program during this unprecedented time will help to positively shape the lives of our young scientists and encourage them to pursue careers in cancer research.
2020 CPRIT CURE Program - Remote Research Showcase
2021 CPRIT CURE Summer Undergraduate Program
Applications for the 2020 CPRIT CURE Summer Undergraduate Research Program are closed. Due to COVID-19, a remote research and enrichment program was designed and implemented for our trainees this summer.
Applications for the 2021 CPRIT CURE Summer Undergraduate Research Program will open in November 2020.
Why the CPRIT CURE Program?
Since 2011, the CPRIT CURE Summer Undergraduate Research Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center has provided 345 undergraduate students with laboratory-based cancer research experiences. These 345 students represent 67 different colleges and universities. Of the 251 CPRIT CURE program alumni who have completed their undergraduate studies, 151 are currently pursuing an advanced graduate degree in a scientific field. An additional 88 CPRIT CURE program alumni are currently in the STEM workforce, including 22 who have already obtained their M.D., D.O., M.D./Ph.D., or Ph.D. degree. These 88 alumni are partaking either in academic research (26%), clinical research or care (36%), industry & technology (28%), or teaching and education (9%).
CPRIT CURE program alumni have and continue to contribute to academia, industry and government, by publishing their findings in high impact journals (n=35), presenting their research at local and national research conferences (n=400), and earning recognition such as the Fulbright Scholar Award, Karl H. Perzin Excellence in Pathology Award (Columbia University), Emil T. Hofman Scholarship Award (Indiana University), Infectious Diseases Society of America Education and Research Foundation Medical Scholar Award, American Heart Association Pre-doctoral Fellowship, T.C. Hsu Memorial Scholarship (MD Anderson UT Health Graduate School), Outstanding Scholar Award (Ferris State University), and the American Academy of Neurology Medical Student Prize for Excellence in Neurology. Each year, CPRIT CURE alumni are selected as Goldwater Scholarship nominees for their respective undergraduate institutions.
As our alumni network expands and provides outstanding contributions to science and medicine, the CPRIT CURE Program seeks motivated and innovative undergraduate students, who are interested in a cancer research career, for inclusion in our program.
Join our program for outstanding undergraduate students interested in cancer research.
The Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)-CURE Summer Undergraduate Program is a 10-week research program designed for outstanding undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing research-based (M.S., Ph.D., or M.D./Ph.D.) careers in cancer research.
Who should apply?
College or university students who have completed their freshman, sophomore or junior year by June 2021 and are in good academic standing are eligible to apply. International students may apply if they hold a current visa through the duration of the program. Undergraduates of all majors are invited to apply! A few faculty are specifically recruiting for undergraduates with backgrounds in physics, mathematics, and computer science backgrounds - applicants with these backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply will be matched in related research areas.
When is the program?
The 2020 program will take place June 15-August 21 in a remote research format. If your Spring or Fall semesters overlap with these dates, please contact the program manager for more information - this does not necessarily exclude you from participation. Dates for 2021 are not yet confirmed.
What will my days look like?
The CPRIT-CURE program offers an immersive laboratory research experience in cancer research with MD Anderson faculty mentors. Participants will receive hands-on research training in state-of-the-art labs, where they will interact daily with faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. Students will attend scientific lectures, seminars and career development events, and they will have the opportunity to present their work at a poster session at the conclusion of the program.
Students cannot earn credit from their home institutions for participating in the CPRIT-CURE program.
Participants receive a stipend of up to $6,000 for the 10-week program. This stipend amount includes allowances for housing, living, and travel expenses - no additional allowances are available. Paychecks and stipend are based on actual days worked and will be issued on the 5th and the 20th of each month, deducting the required federal tax.
CPRIT-CURE Faculty Mentors
CPRIT scholar faculty mentors serve as direct supervisors for CPRIT scholars. They participate in all aspects of the CPRIT-CURE training program, including formal instruction and supervision of research. Our more than100 program-affiliated faculty belong to more than two dozen different departments at MD Anderson and are engaged in many different areas of cancer research! If you are interested in a specific area of cancer research, please note this in your personal statement.
Applications for the 2020 CPRIT CURE Program opened on Friday, November 1, 2019 and closed on Thursday, January 16, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Applicants were notified with admissions decisions in mid-February via the email address submitted with their application.
Applications for our 2021 cohort will open in November 2020.
The following information is required on the application:
- Personal and demographic information
- Unofficial transcripts from undergraduate universities
- Personal Statement
- Two letters of recommendation uploaded by your recommender (At least one reference should come from a science or math professor. The other may be from an advisor, counselor or health care advisor/mentor with whom you worked in a prior program during the past four years. Once recommenders are added to your Discover account, an emailed link will be sent through which recommenders may upload their letters of recommendation.)
Applications must be completed and submitted before the above deadline. Incomplete applications will be purged after the deadline has passed. If the information found here did not provide the answers you need, please feel free to email the Program Directors, Dr. Stephanie Watowich (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr. Khandan Keyomarsi (email@example.com).
CPRIT-CURE Summer Undergraduate Program Contacts
Still have questions?
For all questions related to the CPRIT CURE Program, please contact Dr. Stephanie Watowich or Dr. Khandan Keyomarsi, Directors for the CPRIT Research Training Grant and Programs.
Stephanie Watowich, Ph.D.
Khandan Keyomarsi, Ph.D.