Picture of students visiting Window Rock

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 majoring in STEM at UArizona who are seeking a research experience for the summer between their freshman and sophomore year.  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.

Summer 2023 EHS-RISE participants will:

  • Be provided a lab placement with an EHS-RISE faculty mentor (see list below), with whom they will conduct research on a full-time basis (35 hours/week) for 12 weeks of the summer.  Participants will be paid $14.50/hour.
  • Receive free on-campus housing (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 an orientation week at the start of the summer, as well as the 2023 UBRP Ethics Retreat at Biosphere 2 in June.
  • Present a poster of their research at the UBRP Conference in January 2024.


  • University of Arizona Native American and Alaska Native undergraduates, who are currently in their freshman or sophomore year, or are transfer students
  • Majoring in a science, technology, engineering, or math field, and has a suitable interest in obtaining research experience in environmental health sciences
  • Good academic standing (overall University of Arizona GPA of 2.0 or higher).
  • US Citizen or permanent resident
  • Be 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 15 and August 20, 2023.

Summer 2023 EHS-RISE 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

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:

To apply, download the EHS-RISE Summer 2023 Application Worksheet and follow the directions to submit your final application online via Qualtrics by 5:00pm Arizona time on April 1, 2023. Please note that you will also need to upload an unofficial UArizona transcript and a Certificate of Indian Blood or Tribal Enrollment Record.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

A letter of recommendation from a tribal elder or leader, or a teacher, is also required for EHS-RISE. Please direct your recommender to send the letter to Jennifer Cubeta, UBRP Director, via e-mail at or by postal mail at PO Box 210106, Tucson, AZ 85721-0106. Your letter must be received by 5:00 p.m. Arizona Time on April 1, 2023, to be considered.

Finalists for EHS-RISE positions will be selected by early April. The program begins with a mandatory orientation week on May 15-19, 2023.  Attendance at the two-day UBRP Ethics Retreat on June 8-9 is also required.


Please contact Jennifer Cubeta ( or Agnes Attakai (