Undergraduate & Post Baccalaureate Hero

Undergraduate & Post-Baccalaureate Training & Education Opportunities


CRTEC’s training and education initiatives for undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students are designed to engage scientific curiosity in the next generation of scientists, provide opportunities for students to explore cancer-related research as a future career, and fuel the biomedical research pipeline by supporting students in gaining research experience and skills needed to enhance their ability to be accepted to graduate school.

CRTEC strives to fuel the cancer-research pipeline by providing targeted programming to introduce students to cancer research-related careers and give them the opportunity to develop experience and skills at conducting cancer research. Whether it be a summer research experience through CREU (Cancer Research Experience for Undergraduates or a year-round research experience through U-TRAC (Undergraduate Training and Research Achievement in Cancer), undergraduate students in Colorado and across the nation can experience research as they prepare to enter into the cancer research pipeline.

Another CRTEC approach to strengthening the pipeline is to support students who are historically under-represented in the biomedical sciences field on their journey to becoming accepted into graduate school to conduct scientific research through our R25-funded PIKE-PREP (Preparation in Interdisciplinary Knowledge to Excel) and ACS funded ASCENT (Advancement of Scholars in Cancer Education aNd Training) programs.

CREU: Cancer Research Experience for Undergraduates

Every summer 30 college undergraduate students are invited to spend ten weeks conducting mentored research in a cancer research laboratory at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

The goal of the University of Colorado Cancer Center's Cancer Research Experience for Undergraduates (CREU) is to engage scientific curiosity in the next generation of scientists and provide an opportunity for college undergraduates to consider a future career in cancer-related research.

Directors: Mary Reyland, PhD, and John Tentler, PhD

DICR: Diversity in Cancer Research

What is the University of Colorado American Cancer Society - Diversity in Cancer Research (DICR)?

The DICR Internship Program provides training and educational opportunities to encourage the pursuit of biomedical careers. The DICR program aims to improve diversity and inclusion in the cancer workforce by increasing the number of under-represented minorities (URM) trained as cancer researchers.

For 10 weeks, undergraduate-student interns engage in hands-on laboratory research and are mentored by accomplished investigators in cancer research labs at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

In addition to the ACS-sponsored activities, students enrolled in the ACS DICR program will participate in our NCI R25-funded  Cancer Research Experience for Undergraduates (CREU) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. DICR students will be fully integrated into the existing CREU program structure. Complementing the hands-on cancer research experience, this will include twice-weekly lectures on various cancer-related topics, clinical translational workshops, a career roundtable session, and several social networking events: https://medschool.cuanschutz.edu/colorado-cancer-center/education/undergraduate-education-opportunities/creu-program-resources. The list of mentors for both programs largely overlaps but the primary DICR mentors can be seen in the mentor table below.

What are the eligibility criteria for DICR interns?

Internship eligibility is guided by the NIH definition of underrepresented minorities in science based on race and ethnicity. 

  • Rising college sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are part of a URM population with an interest in any STEM discipline (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) may apply.
  • Applicants must be in good academic standing with at least a 2.8 overall GPA.
  • Applicants must be full-time students and cannot be enrolled in summer courses concurrent with the internship.

Applications open November 1, 2022.

Directors: Jennifer Richer, PhD, and John Tentler, PhD

DICR Mentors

Name, Degree, TitleDepartment, InstitutionResearch Focus
Maria Cecilia Caino, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology, School of MedicineUnderstanding the importance of mitochondria biology in metastatic breast and prostate cancer, with the long-term goal of identifying novel anti-metastatic targets
Caino Research Lab
Diana Cittelly, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Pathology, School of MedicineMechanisms that allow breast cancer cells to metastasize to the brain, with long-term goal of identifying alternative treatment options for patients with this -often terminal- diagnosis
Cittelly Research Lab
Lynn Heasley, PhD
Professor
Craniofacial Biology, School of DentistryReceptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and protein kinase signaling networks in lung cancer, mesothelioma and head and neck cancer
Research Profile
Srinivas Ramachandran, PhD
Assistant Professor
Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, School of MedicineDeveloping cutting edge computational and experimental tools to uncover chromatin structure and dynamics using genomics
Ramachandran Research Lab
Jamie Studts, PhD
Professor
Division of Medical Oncology, School of MedicineBehavioral scientist with history of research studying implementation of lung cancer screening and psychosocial and behavioral aspects of lung cancer. 
Research Profile
Raul Torres, PhD
Professor
Department of Immunology and Microbiology, School of MedicineB cell development and antibody response, regulation of tumor immunity by lysophospholipids
Research Profile

CC2STEM: Community College 2 STEM

The mission of CC2STEM is to offer a summer mentoring and research training experience to local community college students interested in investigating a future career in the biomedical sciences through a mentorship program that connects the CU Anschutz Medical Campus with neighboring community colleges.

To achieve this mission, CC2STEM participants will:

  1. Participate in an 8-week mentored summer research internship at the AMC to develop confidence and excitement about future careers in science.
  2. Attend high-quality career development workshops to learn more about STEM careers.
  3. Receive career guidance and transfer support from AMC graduate students.

Learn More!

 

Did you miss the information session on February 3rd and want to learn more?  Click on the button below to watch the recording.

 

Program Details 2023 (application window is closed):

  1. Program Dates: June 1st and runs through August 1st.  
  2. Participants will be paid $5,000 for their full-time participation in the program during the summer.
  3. The application will open on or before January 3rd, 2023.  
  4. Completed applications (including letters of recommendation) are due on March 15th, 2023.

Eligibility:

To be eligible for this program, applicants must:

  1. Be current students (at the time of the application) at the Community College of Aurora (CCA).
    • For the 2023 summer program, only CCA students will be considered.
    • Graduating CCA students will be considered, but need to be continuing as a student at a college/university in the fall semester.
  2. Belong to an underrepresented group in the biomedical field per the NIH guidelines which includes: Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, having a disability, or being from an educationally, culturally, socially, and/or economically disadvantaged background;
  3. Demonstrates an interest in pursuing a future career in the biomedical sciences and has taken basic biology and chemistry courses through the community college prior to participation in CC2STEM.

How to Apply:

Before beginning your application, please have the following information ready and completed:

  1. Copy of your Resume or CV.
  2. A digital copy of the official or unofficial transcripts from your community college showing all coursework you have completed.
  3. Names and contact information for one to two professional references who have agreed to write and submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf by the application deadline.
    • Note: Your letters of recommendation should be professional references from people who know you personally and who can attest to your future career plans and goals. Examples include science course professors and instructors, professional counselors, and major advisors.
  4. In addition, in a short answer format, you will be asked to briefly describe:
    • Your future career aspirations.
    • What you hope to gain from participation in CC2STEM.
    • Your greatest achievement, why this was meaningful to you, the factors that contributed to your success, and what you learned from this experience.
    • An experience in which you overcame a hardship or perceived failure and how you overcame in that situation.
    • What passion means to you and how science or research is related to what you are passionate about.
    • How your diverse background will contribute to a career in STEM or biomedical sciences.

Once you begin your application you will have the option to save your work, resume at a later time, and review your application before submitting it.  

The application window is now closed.

For more information, please email: CRTEC@cuanschutz.edu

U-TRAC: Undergraduate Training and Research Achievement in Cancer

Through the U-TRAC Program, undergraduate students participate in a year-long, paid, mentored cancer-related research experience coupled with training in biomedical concepts, research principles, and career development workshops and lectures.

Interested in getting paid to gain real scientific research experience?  

The U-TRAC program starts September 1st and runs through the entire school year. U-TRAC students are encouraged to continue working in the lab throughout the summer and will have the option to continue into a second year of research.

Interested rising sophomores and/or juniors are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is August 1st. To begin your application to U-TRAC, click the Apply Now button below. You may start an application, save it, and return at a later date if needed.

No applications will be accepted for the 2023-2024 year.

For more information, or for questions, please contact CRTEC@cuanschutz.edu.

Directors: Eduardo Davila, PhD and Adela Cota-Gomez, PhD

PIKE-PREP: Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program

Preparation in Interdisciplinary Knowledge to Excel

The mission of the University of Colorado (CU) Anschutz Medical Campus PIKE-PREP program is to offer a year-long multi-dimensional mentoring and research training experience to prepare underrepresented post-baccalaureate students to enroll and succeed in a top-tier PhD or MD-PhD program and commit to a career in biomedical research.

To achieve this mission, PIKE-PREP program participants will:

  • Conduct research with mentor support to strengthen their research and technical skills.
  • Improve their competitiveness for PhD program admission through guidance and training on the graduate school application process.
  • Participate in high-quality professional and career development activities individually designed to complement each PREP scholar’s needs and goals.
  • Engage in continuous and dynamic mentoring and community-building research-centered experiences designed to enhance the scholar’s network and integration in the social, research, and academic environments.

Directors: Eduardo Davila, PhD, and Carlos Catalano, PharmD, PhD

ASCENT: Advancement of Scholars in Cancer Education aNd Training

The mission of the University of Colorado (CU) Anschutz Medical Campus ASCENT program is to offer a two-year multi-dimensional mentoring and research training experience to inspire underrepresented post-baccalaureate students to enroll and succeed in a top-tier PhD or MD-PhD program and commit to a cancer research career.

To achieve this mission, ASCENT program participants will:

  1. Conduct cancer-focused research with mentor support to strengthen their research and technical skills.
  2. Improve their competitiveness for cancer-focused doctoral program admission through guidance and training on the graduate school application process.
  3. Participate in high-quality professional and career development activities individually designed to complement each ASCENT scholar’s needs and goals.
  4. Engage in continuous and dynamic mentoring and community-building research-centered experiences designed to enhance the scholar’s network and integration in the social, research, and academic environments.

Director: Eduardo Davila, PhD

For more information, go to the ASCENT website or reach out to ASCENT@CUAnschutz.edu.

Learn more

CMS Login