Picture of students visiting Window Rock

Environmental Health Sciences - Research for Indigenous Student Engagement (EHS-RISE)

EHS-RISE is an introductory summer research program which aims to increase the representation of Native Americans in the STEM workforce, while supporting students’ cultural identity.

The program is designed uniquely for Native American and Alaska Native freshmen, sophomores, and  first-year transfer students majoring in STEM at UArizona who are seeking a summer research experience.  EHS-RISE offers participants a full-time, paid 12-week research experience on a project related to environmental health sciences (environmental factors that impact human health) and provides housing, professional development workshops, and spiritual and community activities.  The content and structure of EHS-RISE has been deliberately selected to address the whole person, complementing the Native traditional belief that the body, mind, and spirit are interrelated.

EHS-RISE is housed under the umbrella of the Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP) to promote relationships, connections, and continuity with the larger UArizona undergraduate research community.

EHS-RISE participants will:

  • Be provided a lab placement with an EHS-RISE faculty mentor of interest (see list below), with whom they will conduct research on a full-time basis (35 hours/week) for 12 weeks of the summer.  The hourly pay rate for Summer 2024 will be $15.00/hour.
  • Receive free on-campus housing through UArizona Residence Life (double occupancy with another EHS-RISE student) for the summer.
  • Attend weekly professional development workshops and scientific seminars with the UBRP community, and have the opportunity to participate in optional educational field trips, social events, and community service activities.
  • Participate in spiritual and cultural activities, peer mentoring, and networking activities with fellow Native American and Alaska Native college students.
  • Attend a full-day orientation session on May 13, 2024, as well as the UBRP Ethics Retreat at Biosphere 2 in June 2024.
  • Present a poster of their research at the Annual UBRP Conference in January 2025.


Applicants must be:

  • University of Arizona Native American and Alaska Native undergraduates who are graduating in  December 2024 or later.  Priority will be given to freshman and transfer students in their first year at UArizona, but all applicants will be considered.
  • Majoring in a science, technology, engineering, or math field, and has a suitable interest in obtaining research experience in environmental health sciences.
  • In good academic standing (holding an overall University of Arizona GPA of 2.0 or higher)
  • U.S. Citizens or permanent residents.
  • Willing and able to conduct research on a full-time basis (35 hours/week) for a minimum of 12 weeks in the interval between May 13 and August 25, 2024.

EHS-RISE Faculty Mentors:

Paloma Beamer - Public Health

Scott Boitano - Physiology

Jeffrey Burgess - Public Health

Eli Chapman - Pharmacology & Toxicology

Yin Chen - Pharmacology & Toxicology

Nathan Cherrington - Pharmacology & Toxicology

Karletta Chief - Environmental Science

Zelieann Craig - School of Animal & Comparative Biomedical Sciences

Xinxin Ding - Pharmacology & Toxicology

Matthew Dodson - Pharmacology & Toxicology

Joseph Hoover - Environmental Sciences

James Galligan - Pharmacology & Toxicology

Mary Kay O’Rourke - Public Health

Donata Vercelli - Cellular & Molecular Medicine

Marc Verhougstraete - Public Health

Georg Wondrak - Pharmacology & Toxicology

Donna Zhang - Pharmacology & Toxicology

Qing-Yu Zhang - Pharmacology & Toxicology


Application Process:

Download an EHS-RISE Application Worksheet and follow the directions to submit your final application online via Qualtrics by 5:00pm Arizona Time on March 1, 2024.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.  Please note that as part of the application you will also need to upload an unofficial UArizona transcript and a Certificate of Indian Blood or Tribal Enrollment Record.  A letter of recommendation from a tribal elder or leader, or a teacher, will also be required for EHS-RISE.  Please direct your recommender to e-mail the letter to Jennifer Cubeta, UBRP Director, at  Your letter must be received by April 1 to be considered.

Your final online application must be submitted in Qualtrics no later than 5:00 p.m. Arizona Time on April 1, 2024.  Finalists for EHS-RISE positions will be selected by April 15, and EHS-RISE staff will assist students with research placements with a faculty mentor of interest.  The program begins with a mandatory full-day orientation on May 13, 2024.  Attendance at the two-day UBRP Ethics Retreat in June 2024 (dates TBD) is also required.


Please contact Jennifer Cubeta (

Group picture of EHS-RISE and NACP students at the 2023 SING Consortium