About the Partnership Scholars Program

Co-Directed by:
Ricardo M. Zayas, PhD
Professor, SDSU Biology Department
Dennis Trinidad, PhD
Professor, UC San Diego
Department of Family Medicine
and Public Health

The Partnership Scholars Program (PSP) from the SDSU/UCSD Cancer Partnership is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute (5U54CA132379 & U54CA132384). Our mission is to grow the next generation of underrepresented research scientists and health professionals devoted to solving cancer health disparities. The PSP offers a unique opportunity for SDSU and UCSD undergraduate students preparing for careers in the biomedical sciences, medicine, nursing, psychology, or public health to gain biomedical, behavioral, or public health research experience in oncology.

Our program is designed to educate scholars about cancer biology, social determinants of cancer prevention, and cancer health disparities through a research training experience. Experiences include hands-on training, workshops, and mentorships by SDSU and UCSD faculty members.

Program Benefits:

The Partnership Scholars Program offers a paid 9-week summer internship from June 14 to August 17, 2021.

Scholars who successfully finish the summer internship may be eligible (pending funding) for the year-long internship and mentoring program (year-long option for SDSU students only).

Scholars will:

  • Be awarded a stipend to conduct laboratory, behavioral, or public health research with SDSU and/or UCSD faculty members.
  • Attend educational virtual seminars during the summer covering cancer biology, health disparities, ethics, communication, and professional development.
  • Present their research project at a virtual end-of-summer Session at UCSD and a university-sponsored research symposium (e.g., SRS at SDSU or Public Health Research Day at UCSD).
  • Have the opportunity to participate in year-round activities at SDSU in conjunction with the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) and Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) programs to improve their communication skills, build scientific networks, and enhance their ability to attain graduate-level education.
  • Graduate program application development (year-round): personal statement, resume/Curriculum Vitae review.
  • Have the opportunity to register for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Review Course (Fall Semester) and receive GRE practice books and preparation
  • Funding support for graduate exams such as the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) and the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

Who is Eligible?

We are recruiting academically talented undergraduate students from SDSU and UCSD who meet the following criteria:
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Full-time student at the sophomore (2nd year) or junior level majoring in Biology, Biochemistry/Chemistry, Bioengineering, Public Health, Nursing, Sociology, Psychology or a similar area
    • Seniors are only eligible if they have at least one more academic-year remaining in their undergraduate degrees.
    • Preferred applicants have 2 years remaining and have completed their major pre-requisites/lower-division coursework.
  • Member of an underrepresented group in cancer research according to the National Cancer Institute:
    • Individuals with disabilities
    • Members from underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. such as African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders
    • First in the family to attend a U.S. college institution (i.e., parents do not hold a degree from a four-year U.S. college or university)
    • Individuals from socio-economically disadvantaged/low-income backgrounds (e.g., participated in the National School Lunch Program or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
  • Cumulative grade point average commensurate with acceptance to postgraduate degree programs
  • Interest in cancer research and solving health disparities
  • Available to commit to the program for 9 full-time (~40 hour) weeks during the summer.
  • Have a goal of entering a graduate program in biomedical research science (M.S., Ph.D.), professional health (e.g., M.D., D.O., MSN, R.N.), public health (MPH), or behavioral health after graduation.

How Do I Apply?

Applications are accepted each year in the Winter season. This year, our application will open on December 9, 2020, and closes on March 5, 2021, at 11:59 PM (PST).

An early application submission is highly recommended. For more information on our application, please visit our application website.

About the Application Process

Questions? Please email Mercedes Quintana-Serrano, PSP coordinator, at mquintanaserrano@sdsu.edu or schedule an appointment to meet with her virtually:

Book a time

Follow us on Instagram!