About Us


The Office of Undergraduate Discovery Programs was created in 2008 to implement the UH Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP): The Learning through Discovery Initiative. The Office of Undergraduate Discovery Programs functions under the aegis of the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. This alignment facilitates central coordination among various implementation partners and will centralize support for students, faculty, and staff.


Dr. Veronique V. Tran is the founding Director of the Office of Undergraduate Discovery Programs at the University of Houston. She led the UH QEP planning process from its early stages through the successful on-site SACS review.  Since 2008, she has coordinated the implementation of the UH Learning through Discovery Initiative – the UH QEP focused on undergraduate research.  

Dr. Tran was invited by SACS to serve on a QEP Director’s panel and host a workshop at the SACS QEP Summer Institute [Houston (2009)].  She has also presented roundtables, concurrent sessions, and half-day workshops at the SACS-COC Annual Meeting on topics such as “Involving Key Stakeholders and Partners in the Development and Implementation of the QEP” and “Capitalizing on the Transformative Power of the QEP” [San Antonio (2008), Atlanta (2009), Louisville (2010)]. Dr. Tran continues to offer consultation and advice to other institutions about the QEP development process.

Dr. Tran received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston in 1991. After more than five years of industry engineering experience in the energy and health sectors, including positions at Shell, ExxonMobil, and Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Tran pursued her graduate studies at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, completing her doctoral research on cellular engineering strategies for treatment of Type 1 Diabetes. She completed her postdoctoral training at Yale University in tissue engineering and drug delivery. From 2004-2006, Dr. Tran was a UH faculty member in the Biomedical Engineering Program with a joint appointment in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She developed and taught courses in the undergraduate biomedical engineering curriculum, and coordinated the design of the Biomedical Engineering Research Core Laboratory (BMERCL). She mentored both undergraduate and graduate students and served as the Faculty Advisor for UH Chapters of the Biomedical Engineering Society and Engineering World Health. During her one year appointment as Executive Director of the Department of Bioengineering at Rice University, Dr. Tran coordinated constituent relations including communications, student career development, faculty awards, alumni relations, corporate relations, and the External Advisory Board. She received the 2007 Impact Award from the Rice Women's Resource Center and was noted in particular for her service to Rice bioengineeirng students and faculty, and involvement in K-12 outreach to promote math and science education. In Fall 2007, Dr. Tran returned to the University of Houston to coordinate the development and implementation of the UH Quality Enhancement Plan.  She continues to participate in K-12 outreach through hands-on sessions with Girl Scouts and middle school students.  She has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the UH Engineering Alumni Association (EAA) since 2008.