Research Experience for Undergraduates
The Water and Health in Limpopo (WHIL) Program and the Center for Global Health at the University of Virginia and PureMadi is accepting applications for summer 2013 for our NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU).
Students who participate in this program will conduct research over an 8-week period at the University of Venda and surrounding communities in Limpopo Province, South Africa. A small number of students may also conduct research at the University of Virginia over this same period.
• Work at the interface between water, societal, and human health disciplines
• Participate in research in a developing-world region on the African continent
• Experience community-based research opportunities on appropriate environmental technologies and systems for water supply and treatment to improve human health
• Benefit from a strong, 5-year-old partnership between the University of Virginia, the University of Venda, and the rural African communities of Ha-Mashamba, Tshibvumo, and Tshapasha
Overview of Student Activities
Students selected for participation in this program will be called Water, Society, and Health (WaSH) Scholars. WaSH Scholars will begin their programs in February, 2013 through weekly participation in video conference calls with program faculty. These weekly virtual meetings will engage them into ongoing research, introduce them to WHIL faculty, graduate students, and companion WaSH Scholars, and prepare them for their summer research experience in S. Africa. In June, 2013, Scholars will travel to Johannesburg, S. Africa and will then be transported to Limpopo Province the following day. WaSH Scholars, graduate mentors, and faculty will share accommodations in gated communities in Thohoyandou (just a few minutes from the University of Venda) and/or Louis Trichardt (close to our ceramic water filter factory in Ha-Mashamba. In the past, accommodation offerings have included the Shilavuri Lakeside Lodge and Acacia Park.
WaSH Scholars will be teamed with undergraduate students from the University of Venda, and students and faculty from both universities will take part in a formal orientation program immediately after their arrival. Scholars will then begin their research experiences in their assigned teams.
A small number of opportunities are available at the University of Virginia. For these cases, students will travel to Charlottesville, Virginia for their research experiences.
Research activities will involve laboratory and community-based research at the intersection of water, societal, and human health disciplines. An overview of ongoing and future research projects is given here.
This program is open to undergraduate students currently majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines (including sociology, anthropology, and economics) or the health sciences. Ideal applicants will have a strong interest in post-graduate studies in STEM disciplines and/or the health sciences, have undergraduate grade-point averages above 3.5, have prior international travel experience, and have demonstrated interest (through coursework, service, or work experience) in topics closely related to the WaSH program focus. Applicants must be either citizens or permanent residents of the US or its territories. We particularly encourage applicants from groups traditionally under-represented in STEM disciplines.
Duration and Stipend
7-8 weeks during summer 2013, plus weekly hour-long virtual meetings with other team members during the 2013 Spring and Fall semesters. WaSH Scholars will be onsite in South Africa or Charlottesville from mid-June to early August (exact dates will be determined at a later time). WaSH Scholars will receive a $3000 stipend plus housing and travel.
Deadline for Application
Applications for the 2013 REU are due by December 15th, 2012. Students will be notified of their selection by February 1st, 2013.