Environmental Health Sciences - Transformative Research Undergraduate Experience (EHS-TRUE)

Arsenic in drinking water: colorless, odorless, tasteless, and responsible for one in five deaths in Bangladesh today!  Chemicals in plastics can mimic sex hormones.  Early-life exposure to farm animals prevents childhood asthma.  Environmental health scientists at the University of Arizona work at the cutting edge of understanding the relationships between environmental exposures, altered biological processes, and human disease.  Now you have the opportunity to work with them in researching environmental health problems, through the EHS-TRUE program!

Picture of an EHS-TRUE participant at the lab bench

The UArizona Environmental Health Sciences Transformative Research Undergraduate Experience (EHS-TRUE) program is a prestigious, National Institutes of Health-funded, two-year undergraduate research training program for students from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences, which provides pay for participants to conduct environmental health science research with some of the leading experts in this exciting area.  The program offers each participant two years of paid year-round (15 hours/week during classes and 35 hours/week in summer) training and research experience in EHS-TRUE faculty mentors’ research groups to help develop an understanding of environmental health sciences, to apply classroom learning to research in environmental health, and to aid in deciding on a career path.  Students take a professional development and career exploration course and an environmental health sciences colloquium during their two years in the program, and participate in activities (workshops, retreats, scientific conferences) to expand their research experience.  The goal of EHS-TRUE is to prepare undergraduates from underrepresented backgrounds to enter graduate programs in the environmental health sciences.

Because EHS-TRUE is offered under the UBRP umbrella, please be sure to read about UBRP on other parts of this site so that you understand the organization, expectations, and benefits of participation.

Participants in the EHS-TRUE Program will be involved in research for 12 weeks full time in the summer and part time during the academic year.  This level of participation in research should allow participants to develop a scientific project to a level that can be presented at a scientific conference, and in many cases published with the student as a co-author.

Mentors & Projects

The following mentors can serve as research mentors for EHS-TRUE students:


EHS-TRUE is a prestigious opportunity for the highest caliber undergraduates, from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences, to work with leading experts in environmental health sciences in developing research projects to serve as the focus of a two-year training program in environmental heath science research.  Eligible students can be from any major but must be undergraduates who:

Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP) undergraduates are eligible for EHS-TRUE prior to completion of a Bachelor’s degree.  Upon completion of the Bachelor’s degree and conversion to graduate standing, AMP students are no longer eligible for this program.

Application Process

You will be asked to write a personal statement as a part of the application. Please be sure to include the reasons you want to participate in the EHS-TRUE Program. A good resource for general information regarding environmental health science is the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, www.niehs.nih.gov.

Download an EHS-TRUE Application Worksheet and follow the directions on the worksheet to submit your final application online via Qualtrics. Your final online application is due by 5:00 p.m. Arizona Time on February 1, 2024. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

A letter of recommendation is only required if you have prior independent research experience. The letter of recommendation must be from a member of the research group, preferably the primary scientist. Please direct your recommender to e-mail the letter to Jennifer Cubeta, UBRP Director, at cubeta@arizona.edu. Letters must be received by 5:00 p.m. Arizona Time on February 1, 2024, to be considered.

EHS-TRUE applicants will be screened, and finalists will be interviewed during February.  Those selected for the program will be notified by March 1 and will have the month of March to interview with prospective EHS-TRUE mentors.  Mentor/mentee pairings will be finalized by April 1 and the mentor will complete a commitment form indicating who the student’s immediate supervisor and time approver are.  Applicants selected to participate must attend a full-day UBRP summer orientation on May 13, 2024, and the UBRP Ethics Retreat in June 2024.

If you have questions, please contact Jennifer Cubeta, UBRP Director, at cubeta@arizona.edu.