Specific Research Opportunities

Research Opportunities with UH Faculty
Below is a listing of UH faculty members who are currently seeking talented undergraduate students to participate in their ongoing research. More details regarding these opportunities may be obtained by contacting the faculty member directly. It is also recommended that students review the faculty profiles on their departmental websites to learn more about research in their field.

Architecture || Business || Education || Engineering/Technology || 
Health and Human Performance || 
Natural Science and Mathematics || Pharmacy || Social Sciences || Community Partners & TMC


  • Dr. Thomas M. Colbert, Associate Professor in Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, is seeking a student researcher for a project in Coastal and Regional Sustainability and Resilience Planning. This is a research project being done at UH and at a number of other major research universities as part of the SSPEED Center project for the protection of the Houston-Galveston region against hurricane storm surge and rain water flooding. This work involves senior research faculty from Rice, UH, TAMU Galveston, UT Austin, LSU and TSU. The disciplines assembled under this project umbrella include civil and environmental engineering (UH & Rice), environmental, coastal  and geological sciences (TAMU Galveston & Rice) meteorological and surge tide modeling (LSU & UT Austin Space Science Center) and land use planning and regional design (UH College of Architecture). This team is unique in the history of coastal and resilience planning. During the course of this project PURS research assistants will be working under the direct supervision of Prof. Thomas Colbert. They will be working directly with scientists and engineers of the highest caliber. Our combined efforts will be brought directly to the attention of regional, state and national public policy officials for implementation. Please refer to the following web site for more information on this effort: http://sspeed.rice.edu/sspeed/. Anyone receiving the PURS award will be given a specific area of responsibility. They will join a world class multi-disciplinary team of faculty and PhD students. Appropriate skill sets include architectural and urban design, two and three dimensional graphics and software skills, environmental and civil engineering, and planning. GIS background would be helpful. Please contact Dr. Colbert at tcolbert@uh.edu.


  • Dr. Partha Krishnamurthy, Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship asks, "How do people choose between attractive products, and how does it differ from choosing between unattractive products? Does having a mental quota for a behavior actually affect one's actual behavior (e.g., I should eat no more than two desserts every week)? What influences the happiness people derive from consuming products?" If you are curious about questions such as these that focus on consumers and their behavior, and wish to work on research projects, please contact Dr. Krishnamurthy at partha@uh.edu, 713-743-4576.


  • Dr. Carroll Parrott Blue, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Research Professor, is seeking a SURF undergraduate researcher. Blue’s research uses oral history, public art and digital media as community development tools in Houston's Third Ward and Southeast Houston, predominately African American communities surrounding the University of Houston. This summer Blue’s two initiatives are: 1) Locative Media and Storymapping for revitalization efforts in Brays Bayou, one civic mall, two parks and nine transit stations for the Metropolitan Transit Authority's Southeast Transit Line and 2) administrative work for The Dawn Project, Blue’s community media training and production program.  Blue would like to work with a SURF-UH 2012 student this summer who would be interested in researching, interviewing, performing computer skills, working with an assessment contractor, attending civic meetings and writing meeting reports. Still Photography, Video and computer software production skills are welcome. For more information, please refer to this website. For more information, contact Professor Blue, 713-743-0964.


  • Professor Yan Yao, Director of the Laboratory of Advanced Energy Materials and Devices in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Texas Center of Superconductor at UH, offers research opportunities for undergraduate students (summer, semester or academic year) in the areas of 1) advanced battery electrodes, 2) printed polymer solar cells, 3) smart grid energy storage. Students can receive credit for an Independent Study or can apply for the SURF-UH program. This research effort will expose the students to state-of-the-art energy conversion and storage technologies, and will potentially result in high impact journal publications and conference presentation. Candidates should have strong motivation to apply textbook knowledge to solve practical energy challenges. In addition, career-mentoring activities will be offered by PI, such as recommendations for jobs in the energy industry and graduate fellowships. Applicants should email Prof. Yan Yao, yyao4@uh.edu, a copy of their resume and GPA, and a letter of interest regarding the position. You may apply for the SURF-UH program through this opportunity.
  • The work of the Dacso-Pollonini Lab is part of a larger effort on the part of the Abramson Center, housed in the College of Technology at the University of Houston, to advance the science of remote patient monitoring (RPM). The ultimate goal of RPM is a suite of flexible health management solutions that can be tailored to address a range of different needs of consumers, family caregivers, clinicians and health systems. All of the devices are designed to collect and aggregate essential behavioral, physiologic and therapeutic metrics into meaningful and appropriate personal health management tools delivered to patients and their caregivers when and where they need them. This continuous, data-enriched, networked approach to health is designed to enhance patient autonomy and clinical outcomes, and to become a foundation for the future of medicine. The Abramson Center Junior Research Program provides motivated University of Houston undergraduates with a rare opportunity to conduct research that is interdisciplinary, transcending traditional academic disciplines. Self-motivated and engaged students in biomedical engineering, computer science, technology, and marketing are encouraged to review the available research opportunities. If selected for the program, the student researcher will enroll in a one-hour independent study under the direction of Dr. Clifford C. Dacso or Dr. Luca Pollonini. This research project then has the potential to evolve into a summer research opportunity or a senior honors thesis. For more information about the current research opportunities, click here.  
  • Dr. Wei-Chuan Shih, from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is seeking multiple highly motivated undergraduate students to work on various microscopy imaging, photonic sensor, and nanotechnology projects, and to apply them in biological, biomedical and environmental sensing applications. The projects are sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA), Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) and University of Houston internal awards. The candidate is expected to take advantage of the unparalleled scientific resources and support to develop technologies that have real impact to a broad range of applications. Candidates should have strong analytical skills and an attitude to embrace challenges that require out of the box thinking and hands-on work. Strong motivation to develop useful technology that has real impact is a plus. Honors College juniors with a background in physics, chemistry, or engineering are preferred. The candidate will be supervised by Dr. Wei-Chuan Shih, a recent recipient of a NSF CAREER Award and a NASA CAREER Award. Dr. Shih has worked with several undergraduate researchers in the past to obtain UH and national research recognition. Interested candidates should send their resumes to Prof. Wei-Chuan Shih at wshih@uh.edu.
  • Dr. Saurabh Prasad, from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is interested in hosting undergraduate researchers in the area of image processing and pattern recognition for hyperspectral image analysis, and multi-sensor data fusion. He is seeking students with an interest in image processing as applied to challenging high dimensional problems resulting from cutting-edge sensing modalities. This research effort will expose the students to state-of-the-art sensors, image processing and analysis approaches, and will potentially result in a conference publication. This research area has promising career prospects. In addition to opportunities in the industry, several prestigious national labs and agencies have an active interest in such capabilities to support their research and programs. This research will be conducted within the one-of-its kind National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) at UH. Please visit Dr. Prasad’s web-page to learn more about his research and contact Dr. Saurabh Prasad for more information. You may apply for the SURF program through this opportunity.
  • Dr. Badri Roysam, in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, welcomes undergraduate researchers to participate in the FARSIGHT Summer of Innovation experience at his Bio-image Analytics Laboratory. In this laboratory, students learn pattern recognition methods, image processing algorithms, and advanced open-source software development skills. Importantly, they learn to apply these skills to the task of interpreting biological images. These 3-D images of cells and tissue are recorded using laser-scanning fluorescence microscopes. These images are usually medically significant, involving cancer tissues, stem cells, and the immune system. They reveal tissue structure and activities that must be quantified. The type of student who would find this experience valuable is: (i) a good C++ programmer; and (ii) is interested in biomedical images. Applicants should email Dr. Roysam a copy of their resume, which includes their gpa, and a letter of interest regarding the position. You may apply for the SURF program through this opportunity.
  • Professor Jose L Contreras-Vidal, Director of the Laboratory for Noninvasive Brain-Machine Interface Systems in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers research experiences for undergraduate students (summer, semester or academic year) in the areas of 1) neural decoding, 2) assistive robotics (e.g., telepresence, personalized robotics, social robots using the NAO robots), and 3) neuroprosthetics or rehabilitation engineering (upper or lower limb). Students can receive credit for Independent Study or can apply for paid internships through the UH SURF program, the National Science Foundation's Research Experiences for Undergraduates (URAP) program, or the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Prior undergraduate internships have led to peer-reviewed journal publications, conference presentations and awards by undergraduate researchers. In addition, mentoring for graduate school applications and other career mentoring activities are offered. If interested, please send your resume and GPA to Prof. Contreras-Vidal. You may apply for the SURF program through this opportunity.
  • Dr. Ashutosh Agrawal, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, is currently seeking undergraduate students who are keen on gaining experience in the area of applied mechanics with emphasis on understanding the physiology of cells. Students will learn about the role that the physical laws play in regulating numerous cellular functions such as cell movement, transport of drugs into cells and propagation of electrical signaling in brain. Since the projects are highly interdisciplinary in nature, students from both engineering and sciences background are encouraged to apply. For more information, please visit http://www2.egr.uh.edu/%7eaagrawa4 and contact Dr. Agrawal at aagrawa4@central.uh.edu.
  • Dr. Daniel Davis, Research Professor in the National Wind Energy Center, is seeking an engineering student to conduct research in mechanic and materials of composite material. The candidate should be a mechanical or civil engineering major, have completed strength of materials, and be in good academic standing at the junior level. The student should also be interested in pursuing graduate studies in engineering. You may apply for the PURS Spring 2011 program with Dr. Daniel Davis.
  • Dr. Kirill Larin, from the Department of Biomedical Engineering, is offering an opportunity for undergraduate students to join The Biomedical Optics Laboratory (BOL) at the University of Houston and work on several exciting research projects in the area of optical high-resolution imaging and sensing in live sciences. The Laboratory is focused on developing new noninvasive methods and techniques used for imaging and biosensing of tissues and cells. Currently, there are a wide range of projects being offered in the lab which involve the use of a new noninvasive imaging technique, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). This technique is emerging as an imaging modality because of its ability to image millimeters into tissue and still maintains a high spatial resolution (5-20 microns), which is not like other imaging techniques commonly used today. The increase in resolution allows the tracking of the functional and structural development in mammalian embryos, which creates a better understanding of the development of the heart and vascular system. In addition, the lab focuses on the noninvasive optical sensing of micro-retroreflectors in turbid media and tissue, which leads to the possibility of being able to monitor glucose in-vivo. The BOL lab is also working on the assessment of drug diffusion in ocular and vascular tissues in order to enhance the understanding of topical drug delivery and create the possibility of novel therapeutic agents and drug-delivery techniques. We have developed a noninvasive OCT-based Biometric System that would be able to reliably identify the presence of artificial materials commonly used for spoofing fingerprint devices. Furthermore, we use OCT to image tumor boundaries that might help surgeons to guide their surgical interventions in Operating Rooms. We have strong research collaborations with several groups at Texas Medical Center including Baylor College of Medicine. Methodist Hospital, and UT MD Anderson Cancer Center.  For details please visit BOL webpage at http://www.egr.uh.edu/bol/. This research project is also an opportunity for students to conduct a senior honors thesis. Students who will be seniors in fall 2011 may be able to secure six hours of credit to conduct a thesis under the mentorship of Dr. Larin. If interested, please send your resume and GPA to Dr. Kirill Larin at klarin@uh.edu 
  • Dr. Farrokh Attarzadeh, from Computer Engineering Technology (CETE) program, Department of Engineering Technology, is seeking a qualified and interested undergraduate junior or senior student who has a keen interest in robotics. In particular, the student will assemble, program and test several different robots with multiple sensors. Feasibility of incorporating some of these robots into a curriculum will be studied. Students who have embedded systems hardware and software backgrounds may use the knowledge gained and expand it for their senior capstone project in the CETE program. Interested students please submit a one page summary of how they can benefit from this project and how they will apply it to their senior project course, relevant courses taken with grades, prior experience with robotic projects, cumulative GPA, and their anticipated date of graduation to fattarzadeh@uh.edu.
  • Dr. Bhavin R. Sheth, from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is very interested in inviting highly motivated UH undergraduate students and offers research opportunities for undergraduate students (summer, semester or academic year). He is seeking students with an interest in working on the human nervous system, and in recording brain waves using non-invasive neuroimaging and biological recording/stimulation techniques such as magnetoencephaolography (MEG), electroencephoalography (EEG), electrocardiography (ECG), impedance cardiography (ICG), eye monitoring, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).  The work will entail experiments with cutting-edge recording technology and signal processing techniques for data analysis. There are several different questions being asked in the lab, with research ranging from the function of sleep, understanding the brains of individuals with autism, studies of the bidirectional interaction between mind and body (in scientific lingo, the interaction between the central and autonomic nervous systems), human intuition about statistics,  studies of human consciousness (sensory awareness) so on. Please visit our webpage at http://ShethLab.egr.uh.edu for more information. It is anticipated the work will lead to a conference presentation and short publications (> 10 students as co-authors on 7+ peer-reviewed articles thus far, with several others in the works). Students can also receive credit for an Independent Study or can apply for the SURF-UH program or the PURS-UH program. Dr. Sheth has mentored several students under this program. The only requirements of a candidate are unbridled curiosity and an attitude to embrace challenges that require out of the box thinking. A technical background (engineering/ mathematics/ physics) would be a plus but is not required. In the past, students in electrical engineering/biomedical engineering/ mechanical engineering/ chemical engineering/ chemistry/ psychology/ biology all have worked successfully in the laboratory on various projects. A high GPA will enhance the possibility of obtaining a SURF/PURS award—and is welcomed—but otherwise bears weak correlation with research potential, motivation, and skill. Please contact Dr. Sheth (713-743-4935, brsheth@uh.edu) with your resume if interested. 
  • Dr. Holly M. Hutchins, from the Human Development and Consumer Sciences Department, is seeking a researcher to assist in a study exploring the prevalence of imposter phenomena (IP) among university and medical school faculty. Imposter phenomena is a fear of professional inadequacy and of being a “fraud” despite experience of success. Individuals struggling with IP fear that they are “faking it” and somehow will be found out. The purpose of Dr. Hutchins's study will be to explore the prevalence of this among higher education and medical school faculty, individual and factors influence that this experience, and internal and external coping mechanisms used by participants. The ideal student researcher has completed at least one research class in her/his undergraduate program, has very good writing and research synthesis skills, and is familiar with either SPSS or Excel for research design and analysis. Knowledge or and/or experience in mixed method research (especially content and/or narrative analysis) a definite plus. Researcher must also demonstrate the ability to show initiative, self-directedness, enthusiasm and ability to manage time and meet goals. If interested, please contact Dr. Hutchins (hmhutchins@uh.edu) directly with a one page description of your interest and your specific qualifications.

Health and Human Performance

  • Dr. Pranav Parikh, from the Department of Health and Human Performance, is interested in working with highly motivated undergraduate students with a keen interest in studying human motor control and learning. Current research in the laboratory is directed at (a) determining the role of different brain areas in manual activities of daily living, and (b) determining the sensorimotor deficits in aging population, stroke survivors, and patients with Alzheimer’s disease. He uses a wide range of approaches including motion tracking, kinetic measurements, surface electromyography (muscle activity), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). His work takes place at the National Center for Human Performance in the Texas Medical Center. For more information, please visit the lab’s website, Parikh Lab: http://grants.hhp.uh.edu/parikh/. Please contact Dr. Parikh at pjparikh2@uh.edu with your CV if interested.
  • For the Spring 2016 semester, the Drs. Hernandez, Johnston, and Ledoux in the Department of Health and Human Performance are offering research opportunities for motivated undergraduate students who are interested in learning about community-based research through the Nutrition and Health Behaviors Internship. Opportunities in research related activities may include:(1) Critically reviewing and presenting research literature; (2) Recruiting participants; (3) Collecting, entering, and managing data; (4) Developing and disseminating health education and intervention materials; and (5) Presenting at research conferences. Students will have the opportunity to collaborate on projects with Neighborhood Centers (nutrition education and food demonstrations), Houston Food Bank (FAITH-DM & BUILD projects. These projects include learning about diabetes testing, food insecurity, assisting with making restaurants “healthy”), Houston Independent School District (Plate Waste Study), Seasonal Weight Gain Studies (Students learn how to take body composition measures and compare weight changes over time). Students will learn about the research process and have opportunities to present findings at the Undergraduate Research Symposium and external conferences. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in manuscript writing for publication. Participating in this internship program is a good way to become competitive for future PURS and SURF opportunities. Applicants must have interest in obesity or related health research, excellent interpersonal skills, demonstrate writing proficiency, strong organizational skills, and the ability to work independently but also in group settings. Shifts include morning and afternoon; hours range from 10-20 hours per week. This is an unpaid internship opportunity for undergraduate and post baccalaureate students. Applicants should submit the following information by Friday, November 20 2014 @ 5pm to Dr. Hernandez, dhernandez26@uh.edu: (1) Resume; (2) Unofficial transcript; (3) one-page statement of interest answering the following two questions: 3a. Why are you interested in the internship? 3b. What do you expect to learn or accomplish from the internship? 3c. Which project(s) are you interested in participating?; and (4) Complete contact information for 3 references (name, address, phone and email).

  • Dr. Stacey Gorniak, from the Department of Health and Human Performance, is interested in hosting several undergraduate students in her research group.  Her research is concerned with the effects of neurological disease on sensorimotor function, specifically of the hands and arms.  Currently, she is interested in evaluating the effects of diabetic peripheral neuropathy on hand actions using a combination traditional clinical evaluations and miniaturized force transducers.  Her experiments will be carried out at the National Center for Human Performance in the Texas Medical Center.  Students interested in clinical medicine, rehabilitation science, biomedical engineering, and/or the mathematical and physical sciences are encouraged to apply. For more information, please contact Dr. Gorniak at sgorniak@uh.edu.
  • Texas Obesity Research Center Internship: For the Spring 2016 semester, the Texas Obesity Research Center is offering research opportunities for motivated undergraduate and post-baccalaureate and graduate students from all majors who are interested in biomedical sciences, health and human performance, public health, nutrition, engineering, and business. Opportunities in research related activities may include 1) recruitment and testing of research subjects 2) conducting biochemical lab work (e.g., blood and cellular assays); 3) conducting physiological assessments (e.g., measuring metabolic rate and muscle function); 4) conducting physical health assessments (e.g., resting heart rate, blood pressure, height, weight and percent body fat); and, 5) introduction to proper handling and statistical analysis of the research data. In addition to research activities, the internship also includes seminars, journal club, socials, and an awards night at the end of each semester. Students with time availability and who demonstrate interests are encouraged to apply. Interns will be scheduled based on their availability and project needs. Hours range from 10 to 20 hours per week, Monday through Friday, and some weekends. Shift times are flexible. This is initially an unpaid internship. However, students with superior performance will be eligible to continue for another semester in a paid-TORC internship. Applicants should submit the following information by Monday, November 30, 2015 @ 5pm torc@uh.edu (1) resume; (2) unofficial transcript; (3) statement of interest that must include reason for applying to the internship and professional goals. For more information, please visit http://www.uh.edu/torc/students.
  • Dr. Bill Paloski, from the Department of Health and Human Performance, is interested in hosting an undergraduate student in his research group. His current research is directed toward understanding sensory-motor adaptation and balance control (for more information visit his website). His experiments, which generally assess posture and gait performance in normal and abnormal human populations, are carried out primarily at the National Center for Human Performance in the Texas Medical Center. Students interested in systems physiology, clinical medicine, engineering (biomechanics, instrumentation, systems analysis), mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, and/or technical writing may contact Dr. Paloski for further information.
  • Dr. Adam Thrasher, from the Department of Health and Human Performance, is interested in hosting an undergraduate student who has a keen interest in neuromuscular rehabilitation. Current research in the laboratory is directed at developing new rehabilitation technologies for people with major neuromuscular disorders such as spinal cord injury and stroke. A large part of the research involves using Functional Electrical Stimulation technology to activate paralyzed muscles and locomotion training on a modified treadmill. This multi-disciplinary work takes place in the Laboratory of Integrative Physiology and involves experts with backgrounds in biomedical engineering, rehabilitation science, physiology and instrumentation. Interested students please contact Dr. Thrasher, athrasher3@uh.edu.

Natural Science and Mathematics

  • An undergraduate volunteer research position is available in the group of Dr. Mehmet Sen in the Biology and Biochemistry Department to investigate the protein structures at atomic level. These proteins mediate leukocyte trafficking  on vascular surfaces. This study will bridge protein chemistry, biochemistry, experimental biophysics and chemical biology to provide a mechanistic insight into the functional coupling between receptors and ligands. The goal of this work is to define the inherent flexibility of the receptors, ligands and their interaction surfaces in the NMR time-scale. The position is ideal for sophomore undergraduates who want to develop a strong background in protein chemistry, biochemistry and structural biophysics, and who wish to broaden their expertise and to convert their scientific findings into an honour thesis. The Biology and Biochemistry Department at the University of Houston offers an excellent scientific environment for structural and chemical biology. If interested, please send your current transcript and a statement of purpose (no more than a page) which addresses your motivation and future goals to Mehmet Sen, Ph.D.

  • The Crawford Lab in the Department of Biology & Biochemistry is accepting applications for undergraduate research positions. The Crawford lab studies plant community ecology. Projects include understanding the importance of intraspecific diversity in plant communities, evaluating the role plant-microbe interactions play in structuring plant communities, and elucidating how plants and microbes influence ecosystem development. These positions are open to students majoring in all fields, but biology majors and students interested in ecology and environmental sciences are especially encouraged to apply. No prior experience is necessary. Student researchers will assist with sample analysis, data collection, data entry, and literature searchers. There are also opportunities for motivated students to conduct independent research. Students will receive compensation for their time in the form of research credits or payment. More information can be found on our website: http://thecrawfordlab.com. For more information or to apply with your resume, please contact Dr. Kerri Crawford (kmcrawford3@uh.edu).   

  • Dr. Ioannis A. Kakadiaris, from the Department of Computer Science, is offering an opportunity for undergraduate students to join the Computational Biomedicine Laboratory (CBL) at the University of Houston and work on several exciting research projects in the area of image analysis, computer vision, pattern recognition and machine learning. Research in the CBL is motivated by fundamental open problems, with an emphasis on applications that address some of society's greatest challenges. Application domains include face recognition, non-verbal human behavior understanding, cardiovascular informatics, and neuro-informatics. CBL's 3D-3D face recognition software ranked first in the 3D-shape section of the 2007 Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) organized by NIST, while our 3D-2D method outperforms the state of the art 2D face recognition methods. Our efforts towards non-verbal human behavior understanding include facial expression analysis and human-activity recognition. In cardiovascular informatics, we seek to develop a new scoring paradigm that will capture the individuals that are risk of having a heart attack in the next 12 months. Finally, understanding how neurons work requires fundamental understanding of their structure. In all these application domains there is a critical need for new methods to extract useful information from the data. CBL provides a unique interdisciplinary research environment with internationally recognized collaborators from Medicine, Biology, Mathematics, and Engineering. The student will benefit from mentorship of a diverse research team and will be exposed to cutting-edge technology. For details please visit the CBL webpage. Students will have the opportunity to continue their research as part of their senior honors thesis. If interested, please apply to http://www.cbl.uh.edu/opportunities.
  • Dr. Margaret Cheung, from the Department of Physics, is currently seeking undergraduates who are interested in gaining research experience in biological physics. Specifically this student will help in programming of the software packages as well as data analysis from the computer simulations of biomolecules. For more information, visit www.phys.uh.edu/%7emscheung and contact Dr. Cheung at mscheung@uh.edu.
  • Dr. Foster, from the Department of Physics is seeking a qualified and interested undergraduate junior or senior student who has a keen interest in the application of quantitative science to medicine. Ideally, the student would desire to go on to medical school, allied health professional schools, or graduate studies in physics or biomedical research. The student will have the opportunity to become involved in a laboratory research project that applies quantitative science to medical problems. In addition, you may also have the opportunity to shadow the professor while he sees patients and performs surgery. This is an ideal volunteer opportunity for a motivated student who wishes to go on to apply his or her knowledge of quantitative science to medical practice. It would be helpful if the student possesses a basic knowledge of cell culture techniques or an understanding of mechanics and elasticity. Most importantly, the student should be motivated and eager to learn. For more information, please see http://www.uh.edu/biophysics.  Women and under-represented minorities are particularly encouraged to apply. Interested students should submit a half-page description of where they want to be in ten years as well as a description of the courses that they have taken, cumulative GPA, and anticipated date of graduation to William Foster, MD, PhD.
  • Dr. Bernhard Rappenglueck, from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences is interested in hosting undergraduate researchers in his UH-Atmospheric Science group this summer. He is seeking students with an interest in working with air pollution instruments and/or analyzing air quality and meteorological data. Please contact Dr. Rappenglueck 713-743-2469, brappenglueck@uh.edu for more information.
  • Dr. Eric Bittner, from the Chemistry Department, is interested in hosting an undergrad researcher in his group this summer. He is seeking a student with a strong math or physics background and who is interested in condensed matter physics. However, a chemistry student with a strong physics/math background is eligible to apply. Contact Dr. Bittner at 713-743-2775 or at bittner@uh.edu.


  • Dr. Gregory Cuny, from the Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, is currently recruiting undergraduate students to work on medicinal chemistry with a current focus on an infectious disease project and on the synthesis and evaluation of natural products. Motivated students with a strong background and interest in organic chemistry and the biological applications of chemistry are encouraged to apply. For more information, contact Dr. Cuny at 713-743-1274, gdcuny@central.uh.edu.
  • Dr. Svetlana Tikunova, from the Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, is currently recruiting undergraduate students to work on projects related to the regulation of cardiac muscle relaxation by calcium binding protein troponin C.  Motivated students with a strong background in biology, physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology or pharmacology are encouraged to apply. For more information, contact Dr. Tikunova at 713-743-1224 or at tikunova1@hotmail.com.
  • Dr. Joydip Das, from the Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, is currently recruiting undergraduate students to work on drug-protein interactions with a particular focus on protein kinase C, a key signal transduction protein implicated in cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and alcoholism. Only sincere and motivated students with a strong background in organic chemistry/biochemistry/molecular biology are encouraged to apply. For more information, contact Dr. Das at 713-743-1708, jdas@uh.edu.
  • Dr. Bradley McConnell, from the Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, is currently recruiting undergraduate students to work on exciting new projects related to the genetics and physiology of heart disease; by investigating mechanisms and strategies to improve heart function. Motivated students with a strong background in biology, physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology or pharmacology are encouraged to apply. For more information, contact Dr. McConnell at 713-743-1218 or at bkmcconn@central.uh.edu.
  • Dr. Ke-He Ruan, from the Department of Pharmacological & Pharmaceutical Sciences, is currently seeking undergraduate students interested in doing summer research on government agency-funded projects using innovative biotechnologies for developing novel therapeutic approaches against stroke, heart disease and cancers. Motivated students who are eager to learn and have strong backgrounds in chemistry, biology, biochemistry or pharmacology are encouraged to apply. Interested applicants should visit Dr. Ruan's website and contact Dr. Ruan at khruan@uh.edu.
  • Dr. Romi Ghose, from the Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, is currently seeking students interested in biopharmaceutical research in drug metabolism and toxicity. There are several ongoing projects in inflammation, obesity, cancer and infectious diseases. Students with strong backgrounds in biochemistry, biology and chemistry are encouraged to apply. For more information, please contact Dr. Ghose at 713-795-8343 or rghose@uh.edu.
  • Dr. Vincent Tam, from the College of Pharmacy, is currently recruiting students for his research in infectious diseases and anti-infective pharmacology. Students should have prior microbiology (or molecular microbiology) lab experience and a strong background in mathematics. Students interested in pursuing graduate school are especially encouraged to apply. For more information, please contact Dr. Tam at 832-842-8316 or at vtam@uh.edu.

Social Sciences

  • The Culture, Risk, & Resilience Lab, directed by Dr. Rheeda Walker in the Department of Psychology (Clinical), is currently accepting applications for two undergraduate research assistants (RAs). Undergraduate members of the CRR Lab are self-determined, highly responsible, oriented toward graduate study in clinical psychology, and interested in cultural and social factors that affect psychological well-being across ethnic groups. As a member of the research team, RAs facilitate data collection sessions, manage data entry, and review key literature, associated with cultural and psychological indicators of resilience and also suicidality and self-harm. Two semesters of participation on the research team is preferred but not required. RAs are expected to be available for research team meetings and data collection for a minimum of 4 hours/week (but up to 8-10hrs). All RAs are expected to have completed Psychology courses 1300 and 2301 and maintain a 3.0 gpa. RAs may be eligible for “Special Problems” course credit after one semester of volunteer experience. There is no minimum classification/class level. Interested persons should contact Dr. Walker via email (rlwo@uh.edu) with the following: (1) your interest in the CRR lab, (2) description of your research experience (if any) (3) your current GPA, and (4) specific days/times you would be available for research activities.

  • The Hwemudua Addictions & Health Disparities Lab, under the direction of Dr. Ezemenari M. Obasi in the Department of Educational Psychology, is currently accepting applications from undergraduate and graduate students for a research assistant position. RA's are expected to work 5-10 hours/week. Work responsibilities include: 1) Recruitment and screening of human subjects; 2) Implementation of research protocols and data collection; 3) Literature reviews; 4) Data entry and statistical analysis; 5) Professional development tasks including conferences and presentations. Preferred applicants have at least a cumulative GPA of 3.0. This is an unpaid volunteer experience but incentives include research experience, research credit, mentoring, letters of recommendation, etc. More information can be found at our website: http://hahdl.coe.uh.edu. Please direct all inquiries to Dr. Courtney Deloney, cgdelone@central.uh.edu.  

  • Dr. C. Raymond Knee, of the Social Psychology Department, is recruiting research assistants for the Interpersonal Relations and Motivations Research Group. Dr. Knee’s team conducts research in the realm of relationship health, the self, and emotional well-being. Dr. Knee is offering course credit to qualified candidates who want to gain research experience in preparation for graduate school. A sample of projects for which we are currently recruiting research assistants include: video game motivations and related health and emotional issues; family and religious influences and their effects on emotional well-being, and how one’s social life can lead to greater authenticity. Assistants will be asked to work 8-10 hours per week (flexible schedule), and to attend bi-weekly research meetings in which students will receive professional development training in preparation for graduate school. Responsibilities for these project include (but are not limited to): 1) helping to develop questionnaires and study materials  2) scheduling participants, 3) conducting training sessions for participants, 4) data entry and data coding, 5) organizing and managing data files, 6) conducting literature searches for relevant articles to assist with project conduct and presentation of results, and 7) daily office tasks. If you are interested in working with Dr. Knee’s group, please contact zbaker@uh.edu or mcquist@uh.edu
  • Dr. Qian Lu, from the Psychology Department, is recruiting volunteer research assistants for the Culture & Health Research Center. Her research team is currently conducting several health-cultural psychosocial intervention studies as well as laboratory based studies on the psychosocial components of pain perception. The positions require 10-20 hours per week (flexible). Course credit is available to those who are interested. Current studies include a large scale social support intervention study designed specifically for Chinese speaking Breast Cancer Survivors. This study is funded by NIH and you can learn more about the project by visiting this webpage: http://www.uh.edu/news-events/stories/2014/November/112014LucancerstudyNIHgrant.php.  Many of our current studies investigate the culturally specific obstacles that affect the well-being of Chinese breast cancer patients and survivors. Responsibilities for these projects include (but are not limited to): 1) helping to develop questionnaires  2) conducting telephone screenings and scheduling participants, 3) administering, organizing, and storing questionnaires 4) Preparing project materials (e.g., cortisol tubes for a stress hormone measure, checking & formatting documents) 5) interviewing participants, 6) data entry and data coding 7) Validating data quality (e.g., checking data entry and transcribing interviews) 8) conducting literature searches for relevant articles to assist with development of projects and presenting results.  Bilingual skills (English and Chinese) are desired, speaking fluent Mandarin (fluency in Cantonese is a plus and not a requirement). Being efficient in writing and typing Chinese is also a plus. Both English-speaking and Mandarin-speaking students are needed, so don't hesitate to apply! If you are interested please contact our lab at healthpsychlab.uh@gmail.com.
  • The Culture & Health Research Center, directed by Dr. Qian Lu, is seeking a full-time research coordinator to begin in summer 2015. The Culture & Health Research Center is located within the Department of Psychology at the University of Houston. Our multilingual, multicultural team of researchers aims to understand the biological, cultural, and psychosocial processes underlying health and illness. Our current studies investigate the culturally specific obstacles affecting the well-being of Chinese and Asian American breast cancer survivors. We are conducting several health-cultural psychosocial intervention studies among Chinese breast cancer survivors. This position provides opportunities to gain experience with community-based research methods, foster cultural sensitivity, and make a meaningful impact on underserved populations. For those interested in pursuing a research career, this position offers relevant experience, mentorship, and professional development. Opportunities may be available to assist with manuscript preparation. This is a one-year position with possibility of renewal for a second year based on performance. This position is benefits-eligible. Salary range to be determined based on qualifications. Review the position's required qualifications and key responsibilities before applying. To apply: Please send your cover letter, CV/resume, and list of three (3) references to: Christine Wu (Lab Manager), 713-743-8291. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.
  • Dr. Larry Hill, from the Graduate College of Social Work, is now accepting applications for two undergraduate research positions for students interested in creating solutions to address poverty, employment, environment, and utilization of public resources.  Students interested in quantitative research and/or policy implementation are encouraged to apply. 
  • Alan Steinberg, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Political Science, is looking for undergraduates familiar with Facebook and other social networking tools to work on data collection and analysis of political party communication. This project is working to understand how political parties can and have capitalized on on-line social media networks in order to effect political engagement, participation, and mobilization. Students will also be afforded the use data gathered on projects for course papers or projects, and opportunities exist for co-authorship on conference or journal quality papers. For more information please contact afsteinberg@uh.edu.
  • Dr. Christiane Spitzmuller, from Industrial and Organizational Psychology, is accepting applications for students who are interested in I/O psychology. The project involves examining health and well-being outcomes for women who return to work after they have children. They are conducting several survey-based studies and are interested in having undergraduates join their group. This opportunity offers students to be part of a research project from beginning to end; involvement in all parts of the research process (study design, data collection, data analysis, write-up of conference presentations, potential involvement in publications); exposure to content domains of I/O Psychology; and a realistic preview of what being a graduate student will feel like. Candidates must be interested in graduate school in I/O Psychology; motivated, enjoy writing and are conscientious; have a least a 3.5 gap; willing to commit at least 5 hours of time per week to working on our project; and excited about research and interested in discussions surrounding topics such as work-family conflict and job stress. If interested, please contact Dr. Spitzmuller
  • Dr. Hanako Yoshida, from the Cognitive Development Laboratory, is accepting applications for undergraduate research assistants interested in the mechanisms of early cognitive processes, particularly word learning, in children 6 months to 13 years old from a wide range of backgrounds including deaf, those with autism, and typically developing. Studies examine such topics as the cognitive effects of bilingualism, children's implicit learning and memory, and the effects of culture and language environment on children's quantity judgments.  Undergraduate research assistants of this lab are given the opportunity to participate fully in the research process by recruiting subjects, reading and presenting relevant research articles, coding and analyzing data, and creating and altering stimuli. The lab is very active -- always developing new studies and modifying old ones—and undergraduates are encouraged to participate in this process. Additionally, the experience gained in the lab has helped students earn the Provost Undergraduate Research Scholarship, the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, and the Undergraduate Research Travel Fellowship. Students may also have the opportunity to participate in national and international conferences. If interested, contact the Cognitive Development Laboratory at cogdev@central.uh.edu or 713-743-4876.
  • Dr. Michael Zvolensky, from the Psychology Department, is recruiting volunteer research assistants for the Anxiety & Health Research Laboratory/Substance Use Treatment Clinic (AHRL-SUTC). His research team is currently conducting several trandiagnostic intervention studies as well as laboratory-based studies on anxiety and smoking. Assistants are being employed for the Spring 2014 and Summer 2014 semesters, and the positions require 10 hours per week. For a complete list of current studies, please visit www.uh.edu/ahrl-sutc. Responsibilities for projects include (but are not limited to): 1) helping to develop questionnaires 2) conducting telephone screenings and scheduling participants, 2) administering questionnaires and interviewing participants, 3) data entry and data coding, 4) organizing and managing data files, 5) conducting literature searches for relevant articles to assist with project conduct and presentation of results, and 6) daily office tasks. Bilingual skills (English and Spanish) are desired, but not required. If you are interested in volunteering at the AHRL-SUTC, please contact Zuzuky Robles at zrobles@uh.edu.
  • Dr. Robert Dantzer, from the Department of Symptom Research at MD Anderson Cancer Center, (see http://faculty.mdanderson.org/Robert_Dantzer) is interested in hosting an undergraduate student with an interest in health psychology or clinical psychology into his research group to gain research experience within a project on pathological fatigue due to cancer therapy. Cancer therapy can cause innate immune cells to release inflammatory mediators (e.g., cytokines). This peripheral inflammatory process is mirrored by the central nervous system. An acute elevation of brain cytokines results in acute sickness behavior. However, chronically elevated cytokines can result in pathological pain, depression, fatigue, and cognitive impairment. Dantzer’s laboratory is starting a series of studies aimed at exploring the neurobehavioral components of fatigue in cancer patients in order to better understand the mechanisms that underlie fatigue. Research opportunities will include development and piloting of behavioral tasks; data collection in patient populations; study management. Motivated students interested in working with patients and learning behavioral neuroscience methods are encouraged to apply. Interested students should contact Dr. Lacourt with their CV and a letter of motivation at TLacourt@mdanderson.org.
  • Dr. Julie Kaplow at the Trauma and Grief (TAG) Center for Youth at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, is accepting applications for volunteer undergraduate research assistant (RA) positions for all interested students. Under the direction and mentorship of Dr. Kaplow, the TAG Research Lab focuses on studies related to childhood trauma and grief, including naturalistic, longitudinal studies of bereaved youth; validation studies of trauma- and grief-related assessment measures; and treatment-outcome studies of bereaved children and adolescents. Research will be conducted on-site at the TAG Center for Youth in the Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences Building of University of Texas Health Science Center. RAs are expected to work 4-8 hours per week. This position is open to undergraduate students (sophomore, junior or senior) majoring in psychology, medicine, social work or a related field. Preferred applicants will have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 and an interest in the field of study. Duties and responsibilities include (but are not limited to) the following: 1) Participant recruitment; 2) Obtaining participant consent/assent; 3) Data entry; 4) Data management; and 5) Organizing and compiling assessment materials. Prior experience with data entry is preferred, but not required. This opportunity is an enriching way to learn more about the research process in general, to gain research experience with children and adolescents, and will serve as excellent preparation for graduate school or future careers in the social sciences. Interest applicants should direct all CVs and/or inquiries about this position to the TAG Center Program Coordinator, Hayley Goldenthal. For general information about the TAG Center for Youth, please visit our website.

Community Partners & Texas Medical Center

  • The Department of Health Disparities Research at MD Anderson Cancer Center is offering research opportunities for motivated undergraduate (rising juniors or seniors) students enrolled in a science, psycholhealth related degree program. Opportunities in research related activities may include (1) collecting, entering and managing research data; (2) disseminating health information to participants; (3) scheduling participants for study visits; (4) preparing study materials for visits; (5) and assisting with physical health assessments, (6) and developing health education and intervention materials. Students with excellent interpersonal skills, strong organizational and independent working abilities, and interest in cancer prevention research, physical activity or community health research are encouraged to apply. Ability to complete tasks as assigned in a timely and accurate manner; at peak periods may be working under short timelines and stressful conditions. Hours range from 10-20 hours per week and may include evening and weekend hours. This is an unpaid internship opportunity. Applicants should submit their resume and one-page statement of interest to Crystal Roberson at clmeyer@mdanderson.org.
  • Dr. Annemieke Kavelaars, from the Department of Symptom Research at UT MD Anderson, is currently recruiting undergraduates to serve as research volunteers. Her research team explores how brain-immune interactions mediate behavior, such as neuropathic pain and cognitive dysfunction, primarily through the use of mouse models. Qualified students will receive training from postdocs and graduate students, and will perform research under their supervision, including animal behavior testing, animal breeding, genotyping, qPCR, other molecular biological testing and STAT analyzing. Interested students should contact Dr. Kavelaars with their CV at AKavelaars@mdanderson.org.


Updated February 1, 2016