Welcome to the UTSA ESTEEMED Program
What Is ESTEEMED?
The NIH/Federally-funded UTSA ESTEEMED (Enhancing Science, Technology, EnginEering, and Math Educational Diversity) Program helps freshman and sophomore-level trainees develop as scholars and scientists. It lays strong foundations through academic enrichment, financial support, faculty and peer mentoring, and training in UTSA biomedical research laboratories. It will also guide the ESTEEMED Scholars into an elite extramural summer program, advanced upper division undergraduate research training at UTSA, and eventually a Ph.D. program in biomedical sciences.
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Who is Eligible?
You are eligible for consideration for ESTEEMED if you:
- Were in the top 15% of your high school class
- Strongly desire to pursue a career as a researcher (and particularly if you desire a Ph.D.)
- Are from a group that is underrepresented in the sciences:
- have a disability recognized by UTSA's Disability Office
- or are ethnically underrepresented in the sciences (Hispanic, African American, American Pacific Islander, Alaskan)
- or are financially disadvantaged*
The NIH considers scientists to have come from a disadvantaged background if they meet at least two of the following criteria:
- Were or currently are homeless, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
- Were or currently are in the foster care system, as defined by the Administration for Children and Families
- Were eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program for two or more years
- Have/had no parents or legal guardians who completed a bachelor's degree (see the U.S. Department of Education)
- Were or currently are eligible for Federal Pell grants
- Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children as a parent or child
- Grew up in one of the following areas:
- a U.S. rural area, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer or
- a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-designated Low-Income and Health Professional Shortage Areas (qualifying zip codes are included in the file)
- Are an American Citizen or Permanent Resident
- Have a major or pre-major in Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, or Physics (with a biophysics emphasis)
The ESTEEMED Scholars begin their training in a five-week summer "Bootcamp" enrichment program in the summer prior to their freshman year. After this summer work, they are admitted to the UTSA Honors College and also engage in ESTEEMED-sponsored progressive year-round training and support until they are rising Juniors.
The Scholars take part in pre-research training and then in meaningful year-round laboratory research. They also take part in peer and faculty mentoring and academic assistance programs, and develop strong foundations in computational biology and bioimaging topics.
In the summer before their Sophomore year, the Scholars begin working in actual research labs at UTSA. As rising Juniors, they enter a summer research training program at one of the top research institutes in the country.
The ESTEEMED Scholars who develop strong academic and research credentials are given priority consideration for entry into the Junior/Senior-level UTSA MARC program, as well as other funded training opportunities at UTSA. Trainees in MARC and other student research programs at UTSA have very strong placement records into some of the top biomedical research programs in the country.
- During their Freshman summer bootcamp, Scholars receive support to fund their housing, food, and parking.
- During all fall and spring semesters, Scholars receive monthly support amounting to $6000 per semester ($12,000 per year) as Freshmen and Sophomores.
- In their Rising Sophomore summer, Scholars will receive funding to support their summer research experience at UTSA.
- In their second year, Scholars receive $500 towards attendance to a national student research conference.
- In their final summer, Scholars receive up to $4000 to fund their participation in an extramural research program and up to $500 to travel to the site.
The ESTEEMED program is one of the training programs in the UTSA Research Initiatives for Scientific Equity (RISE) Office. See RISE Office for details about the programs.