• Aug 28 2023

SPARK Program Accepting Applications; Informational Webinar Aug. 29

Collage of previous SPARK participants, a diverse mix of undergraduate students

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 28, 2023) — The Students Participating as Ambassadors for Research in Kentucky (SPARK) Program is hosting an informational webinar today, Aug. 29, for University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University undergraduates who are interested in applying. The webinar will be held from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. via Zoom. 

Applications are due Sept. 18. 

The purpose of the SPARK program is to train a diverse cohort of undergraduate students at the University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds and communities to conduct impactful research to improve health disparities.

Participating students (called SPARKlers) will receive excellent research training, faculty and community mentorship, a $5,000 summer stipend, ample resources for their research project, and professional development opportunities. They will be introduced to community-engaged research focused on health disparities/health equity, identify a research topic, and will work with their mentorship team to develop a project to conduct this project in their home communities over the summer. After implementing the project, participants will meet with their mentors, undertake data analysis and write-up, and present and publish their research in professional settings. It is expected that students will respond to any and all communication (email, calls, etc.), complete all assignments, and provide information promptly and professionally for the duration of the program. 

Any undergraduate students at the University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University with at least two academic years left until graduation and a GPA of 2.8 or higher are invited to apply for SPARK.  We seek talented students interested in developing research expertise and projects in health disparities/health equity. Students from underrepresented groups or disadvantaged backgrounds, as defined by the National Institutes of Health (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-20-031.html) are especially encouraged to apply.

Research training will begin in January 2024, with research data collection taking place May through August of 2024. Research activities will continue throughout academic year 2024-2025. All students will present their projects at the annual CCTS conference in April 2025. The SPARK program will take place primarily in person. Meetings and training sessions are both anticipated to occur at the Health Kentucky Research Building at the University of Kentucky. When necessary, remote options will be made available.

Please submit your application online at the following link: https://medicine.uky.edu/centers/chet/spark-applications. The required application components include:

  • Cover letter (limited to one page) describing your interest in health equity research
  • Resume, including GPA and major
  • A list of three professional references with contact information
  • Unofficial transcript 

More information is available here.
Questions? Please contact Ariel Arthur at ariel.arthur@uky.edu.