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We are currently accepting applications for the 2024 cohort.


Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors interested in nursing, dental, medicine, public health, psychology, or other health profession. Students must be enrolled in a university or community college with a minimum GPA of 2.8. Students enrolled in any graduate program are not eligible.

While participating in HOUSTON Academy 2.0, trainees are not allowed to participate in concurrent research-intensive programs, fellowship, or internships within UTHealth or at other universities. Trainees may not receive course credit for participation in the program. This includes independent study, clinical, research practicum, or thesis course. During the summer, trainees should not take a summer course. If a trainee MUST take a summer course for extenuating circumstances, petitions will be considered on a case-by-case basis by completing a petition form.

Hour Requirement and 12-month Commitment

The 2024 cohort begins June 3, 2024 and continues through May 31, 2025. This program is a 440-hour commitment over 12-months. Specifically, trainees must be able to devote 20 hours per week for a total of 10 weeks toward the program over the summer. Trainees must also be able to devote 10 hours per week for a total of 12 weeks during the fall AND spring semesters.

Public Speaking and Scientific Writing

During the final week of the academic semesters, trainees will be required to provide a 15-minute oral presentation (i.e. fall semester) and prepare a poster or manuscript (i.e. spring semester) based on their research project. Trainees will also have the opportunity to attend local and state conferences to present their projects. (Travel expenses will be covered by the HOUSTON Academy 2.0).


Students selected for HOUSTON Academy 2.0 will receive a $5,000 scholarship during the summer semester, a $2,500 scholarship during the fall semester, and a $2,500 scholarship during the spring semester. Trainees are also provided up to $1,000 for expenses towards a conference. The expenses include conference registration, hotel, food, and ground/air transportation.


It is expected that students selected for HOUSTON Academy 2.0 will be devoted to the program that includes nutrition education, applied research, community engagement and professional development opportunities, commit to the hour requirement over the 12-months, and abide by program recommendations (i.e. not take a summer course nor participate in concurrent research-intensive programs). In addition, it is expected that students selected for HOUSTON Academy 2.0 will treat mentors, community partners, and peers with respect. If trainees will be late or unable to make HOUSTON Academy 2.0 activity, it is expected that the trainee communicate this with their mentor and program directors.

Trainees who attend less than 80% of the education courses or fulfill less than 80% of their research and/or community engagement hourly requirement by the end of each semester will be placed on a 4-week probation. At the end of 4-weeks, the trainee’s performance will be reviewed again.  If the trainee continues to perform poorly by not meeting the hourly requirements of the program or by engaging in unacceptable behavior, termination will occur.

How to Apply

The online application requires the following three items and must be completed by Monday, March 25, 2024, at 5 p.m.:

  1. Unofficial transcript (Minimum GPA of 2.8 required
  2. Curriculum Vitae (CV)
    • Aside from the tradition informational that is included on a CV, please include:
      • Complete contact information (name, address, phone, and email) of 2-3 references. In addition, include how you know each of your references. While references are not required to be faculty, it is recommended to have at least 1 faculty member listed.
      • Include proficiency in languages aside from English
  3. Personal statement not to exceed 500 words describing:
    • how career aspirations to be a medical/dental/nurse or health professional/scientist is related to food and agricultural science,
    • how involvement in an interprofessional nutrition training program will help you reach these aspirations, and
    • include the name(s) of the HOUSTON Academy 2.0 research mentor(s) you are interested in working with AND explain why you are interested in working with them.

Please contact Program Director Dr. Daphne Hernandez if you have questions or require additional information.