Group of students standing on a staircase smiling.

2020 Summer Program of Research Opportunities for Undergraduate Training (SPROUT)

What is SPROUT?

The Summer Program of Research Opportunities for Undergraduate Training (SPROUT) is a research training program for undergraduate students in the Rongxiang Xu College of Health and Human Services at Cal State LA. SPROUT is funded by the National Institutes of Health Research Education Program (R25). The over-arching goals of the R25 program are to: (1) complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs; (2) enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce; (3) help recruit individuals with specific specialty or disciplinary backgrounds to research careers in biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences; and (4) foster a better understanding of biomedical, behavioral and clinical research and its implications.

How long is the program and when does it start?

The program is a 10-week research training program in biomedical and behavioral sciences for undergraduate students. The program will begin June 1, 2020 and ends August 7 2020.  

What will SPROUT scholars be doing in the summer?

SPROUT scholars will spend 80% of their time receiving real-world research experiences within the laboratory settings of active research programs with mentoring from Cal State LA faculty. Twenty percent of the student’s time will be spent in 1) workshops where both behavioral and biomedical research skills will be advanced along with professional development 2) weekly lecture series, journal club and coffee club with the Directors.


Do I need a mentor to apply?

No, you do not need a mentor to apply.   However, it is strongly encouraged that students have reached out to faculty they would like to work with prior to applying.  Students pursuing research careers who are already working with a faculty member are encouraged to apply.


Will SPROUT scholars be paid for the participation in the SPROUT program?

Yes, students will receive stipends of $5,700 for full participation in the program.

What is the time commitment for the SPROUT scholars?

The program requires a 40-hour per week commitment from students.

What will the SPROUT scholars learn in the workshops?

The workshops will provide didactic training in scientific methods, approaches to statistical analyses and scientific writing. Equally important the Program aims to launch each scholar towards further independence as a biomedical or behavioral researchers by also advancing each student’s professional development including building self-efficacy as young scientists, developing independent research interests and building academic relationships.

Will SPROUT scholars gain assistance in graduate school admissions?

Yes, the program will assist students with the preparation of graduate school applications as well as provide guidance to locations and investigators in their field of interest. Students will also prepare NIH F31 applications for graduate school funding as well as gain resources for other types of funding.


Sprout activities


Who is eligible for SPROUT?

Undergraduate students are eligible if they:

(a) are a major or pre-major in any of the departments or schools within the Rongxiang Xu College of Health and Human Services

(b) have completed at least 60 units of college credit;

(c) are available to participate full time (40 hours per week) for all 10 weeks of the Program;

(d) are a member of an underrepresented group including African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, or Pacific Islanders.

(e) can demonstrate a strong interest in pursuing a career in biomedical, behavioral and/or clinical research

It is recommended but not required that students have successfully completed an introductory statistical methods course and/or one scientific methods course. Students in post-baccalaureate programs can apply provided they have no graduate training.

How do I apply?

Interested students must apply online by February 28, 2020. All applications will be evaluated and students will be selected by the SPROUT Directors, Drs. de Leon and Morland. Applicants will be ranked according to the eligibility criteria described above. The top applicants will be invited for interviews with the SPROUT Directors. Ten students will be selected for the SPROUT Program for the Summer of 2020.