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STEERing Students into the Environmental Health Sciences

By Jerry Phelps
July 2006

Mike Humble of the Cellular, Organs and Systems Pathobiology Branch in DERT presented a new program for concept clearance at the June 1 meeting of the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council. STEER, which stands for Short Term Educational Experiences for Research in the environmental health sciences, will provide biomedical research opportunities for talented high school and undergraduate college students.

The Program, which was developed by Humble along with Carol Shreffler and Pat Mastin, is designed to contribute to Goal VI of the NIEHS Strategic Plan to "recruit and train the next generation of environmental health scientists."

Applications will be accepted from universities and research organizations from across the country. Each award is expected to support 4-8 participants who will spend 8-12 weeks working in intensive laboratory settings on projects they will help to design and carryout. The new program will also include seminars or other formats of informational exchange so that student participants will learn about the breadth of environmental health science research. All students will have mentors to guide their research projects and to encourage the participants to consider the environmental health sciences as a career path.

The concept received kudos from the Council and was approved. Humble is now well into the process of writing the Request for Applications that will announce the program and provide necessary information to potential applicants. Humble expects to receive the first applications in the fall of 2006.

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