Research requirements vary depending on the health profession pathway you are interested in, but our office recommends that all pre-Health students consider exploring research opportunities. Research not only affords you the ability to actively participate in the advancement of medicine and healthcare, but allows you the potential to forge strong relationships with faculty mentors and clinicians.
The University of Houston has many opportunities to be involved in meaningful research on campus, but many students take advantage of off-campus research opportunities as well. Importantly, the research you participate in does not have to be medical or translational. Instead, follow your interests.
You can volunteer as a research assistant in a lab on campus, or participate in a formal research fellowship such as an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU).
University of Houston Research Opportunities:
National Research Opportunities:
- National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)
- National Institutes of Health Summer Research Internship Program
- Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)
How do I approach faculty about research?
1. Review Faculty Biographies
Every UH departmental website includes brief biographies for each faculty member outlining their primary research interests. As you read, choose a few that are doing work that you might be interested in.
Importantly, do not limit yourself to the department of your major. Feel free to explore professors and research labs across campus, including those in the College of Pharmacy, Cullen College of Engineering, and College of Technology, and Natural Sciences and Mathematics. The Department of Health and Human Performance in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences also offers research you can participate in as well.
2. Express Your Interest: Contact the Professor
Once you have a short list of prospective faculty with whom you are interested in working with, you may begin contacting them directly via email (or in person if you are taking one of their classes).
It is important that your email is professional and includes the following information:
- Your name, major, student ID#, and year in school (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior)
- Your intended career path
- Why you are interested in their work (be specific!)
- How many hours a week you are available to work and what hours you are available (although prepare to be flexible)
- Your unofficial transcript and a resume
- Brief description of any prior research experience
- If you are interested in completing a senior project or honors thesis or if you want to apply for PURS or SURF
3. Be Patient!
Professors get a lot of requests. Be patient! You may need to contact multiple professors before you find one that has space to take you (that’s why you should make a list when you review the faculty pages).
Do not be discouraged by a lack of response or a no. Just move onto another faculty member.