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2021-22 Houston Scholars Program at the University of Houston

The Houston Scholars is a competitive program for high-achieving freshmen and sophomores to receive mentorship and scholarship funding to pursue research, internships, and other distinctive experiential learning opportunities. Through targeted programming, participants will benefit from:

  • Honing their academic and professional skills.
  • Developing connections with faculty.
  • Engaging in scholarly endeavors.
  • Preparing for applying to nationally competitive scholarships and top graduate school programs.

In addition to these benefits and participating in a motivated cohort of high-achieving students, Houston Scholars are well-positioned to take advantage of other Office of Undergraduate Research programs, such as the Houston Early Research Experience (HERE) and the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, which are supported with $1,000 and $4,000 scholarships, respectively.

In fall 2021, participants will earn a $500 scholarship that can be renewed for spring 2022, if they meet the following criteria:

Fall 2021

  • Attend three Houston Scholars seminar series about the theme of energy (Exact dates TBD, but will take place between late-September and early-November, respectively).
  • Attend the Houston Scholars winter program Jan 3-7, 2022. The week will introduce students to research and proposal development in preparation to apply for project seed funding for the summer and present their ideas for a solution on the theme of energy at the pitch party on April 18, 2022.
  • Enroll in the course Your World and Your Voice about current events and argumentative writing (2nd year cohort). 

Spring 2022

  • Attend two Houston Scholars seminar series about the theme of energy (Exact dates TBD).
  • Participate in two service activities in coordination with the UH Bonner Leaders program (specific activity and date TBD).
  • Participate and attend the end-of-year pitch party competition on April 18, 2022 that will be judged by a group of selected faculty and invited guests.
  • Enroll in the course Mapping Success about making effective decisions while at UH for both your academic and professional future (1st year cohort).

During the course of the academic year 2021-2022, Houston Scholars will have the opportunity to engage with a current events topic through research, seminar series lectures, and service learning. This year's theme is Energy: Where Does Houston Go From Here? Houston has often been referred to as "The Energy Capital of the World." However, as it faces pressures to diversify its economy, confront global warming, develop alternative fuels, reduce pollution, and general discussions about power in light of the Texas grid failure in February 2021, many questions remain about Houston's relationship to energy at the beginning of the 21st century. In this context, Houston Scholars will explore the challenges and opportunities associated with the city's energy future. Students are encouraged to identify and research contemporary problems ranging from renewable energy, the environment, labor market and the economy, politics, transportation, and health. By the end of the year, cohort members will not only have a better understanding of Houston's energy challenges, but will also be able to suggest potential solutions to the myriad issues stemming from them. 

At the end of the spring semester (April 18, 2022), students will participate in a problem-based learning competition culminating in a pitch party that will be scored by faculty and invited guests. The winners not only claim bragging rights, but also a prize!

Houston Scholars are also eligible to submit funding proposals for research, attending conferences/workshops, and service activities for summer 2022. The deadline to submit proposals is March 18, 2022.

Questions? For additional information about the Houston Scholars, please contact Dr. Ben Rayder in the Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards.