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The College of Public Health’s undergraduate research program fosters student curiosity and development through mentored, self-directed work. This program offers students extensive opportunities to conduct original research on meaningful public health issues as they work with faculty mentors. Research opportunities include assisting with literature reviews, administering surveys and interviews, analyzing data, presenting at conferences, and preparing manuscripts for publication.

CPH 395

Many students begin research with CPH 395, Undergraduate Independent Studies in Public Health. In this course, students work one-on-one with a faculty member on a research project. Students also have the opportunity to complete funded semester and summer research fellowships.

CPH students who have engaged in undergraduate research while pursuing a Bachelor of Public Health degree often report that their experience with research helped shape their career and improved their preparation for graduate school.

Mentored Research

Each semester, students have the opportunity to apply for CPH 395, Undergraduate Independent Studies in Public Health, for the following semester. Applications are typically open in early October (for spring) and March (for fall). The spring application window is now open through Oct. 15, 2023. Please watch the announcements in BPH Undergraduate Canvas page for more information.


Undergraduate students in the College of Public Health have several opportunities for research funding each year. Funding is limited, and students who have already been involved in undergraduate research are encouraged to apply. The spring application is now open through Nov. 1, 2023.

  • Summer Research Fellowships allow students to work on projects over the summer.
  • Semester Research Fellowships fund students to work on a project outside of CPH 395.
  • Travel Fellowships provide funding for students to present their research at off-campus conferences or travel to work on a project.


What would I do as part of a CPH 395 class?

Student research responsibilities vary by project but may include assistance with literature reviews, survey administration and interviews, analysis of existing data sets, analysis of interview transcripts, conference presentation and preparation, and manuscript preparation.

What is the time commitment?

For each credit hour, you spend about three hours per week on your CPH 395 project. This means for a three-credit hour class, you commit to nine hours a week. You may enroll in one to three credit hours per semester and earn up to six credits. Credit hours count as a BPH elective.

Who is eligible?

All BPH students with 60 hours of completed coursework may apply for this opportunity. However, CPH 395 is selective. In general, students must have a high GPA in order to participate. Submitting an application does not guarantee placement.

How am I matched to a faculty member?

Students are matched to faculty members based on research interests and skills. You will identify your research interests and skills in the application, and then your materials are sent to a potential faculty member. This faculty member then reaches out to you to talk about the research they are working on and how you can contribute. If you want to work with a particular faculty member, you should talk to that faculty member. If they are interested in working with you, you can indicate that as part of the application process.

How do I apply?

Applications for CPH 395, semester and summer fellowships are made available through the CPH Undergraduate Canvas webpage each semester. The CPH 395 application requires students to submit an unofficial transcript, an academic writing sample, and a resume. The semester and summer fellowships require students to identify a research mentor and submit research proposal and resume.

Students applying for the spring 2024 semester of CPH 395, can apply by Oct. 15, 2023. To apply for the course, fill out the spring 2024 CPH 395 application form here.

To apply for the Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, students need to: 

  • Identify a faculty mentor (in Public Health or another college) for the project. 
  • Write a proposal (1-page or less) that describes the work you will complete. This proposal should clearly describe the purpose of the project, the data to be collected/analyzed, and the methods that will be used to analyze the data. In addition, the proposal should discuss the steps you have taken related to this research and describe your role in developing the research project.   
  • Submit a resume that highlights relevant research or public health experiences. 
  • Applications for the fellowship should be submitted using this Qualtrics Survey link. You have until Nov. 1 at 11:59 p.m. to submit an application. 
  • Ask your mentor to write a letter of recommendation and email it to Dr. Sarah Vos ( by Nov. 1 @ 11:59 p.m. This letter should evaluate your ability to complete the proposed project and the quality of your work to-date. 

Anyone with questions can email Dr. Sarah Vos at

Are travel fellowships available?

Travel Fellowships are available on a rolling basis to any student who needs to travel to present or conduct research.  To apply for the Travel Fellowship, please email Dr. Sarah Vos ( The email should state the reason for the travel and provide documentation (e.g., acceptance email to present at a conference).

Director of Undergraduate Research

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Dr. Sarah C. Vos

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