Apply Now: Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Training and Internships!


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Apply now for the 2021 Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program and optional $3,250 internships from the Institute for health Promotion Research (IHPR) at UT Health San Antonio!

Each year, Éxito! recruits 25 U.S. master’s level students and professionals to participate in a five-day, culturally tailored Éxito! summer institute to promote pursuit of a doctoral degree and cancer research.

COVID-19 postponed the 2020 Éxito! program.

Now applications for 2021 are open with limited spots available. At the next Éxito! summer institute, set for June 7 -11, 2021, in San Antonio, participants will interact with Latino researchers, mentors, and doctoral experts. They will learn about Latino cancer, succeeding in a doctoral program, and the diversity of careers in cancer research.

Exito Latino cancer research leadership training program graduation ceremony 2019
A 2019 Éxito! summer institute graduate with program principal investigator, Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez (right), and co-investigator, Dr. Daniel Carlos Hughes (left).

Ten optional internships also are available to program participants.

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. CST, Monday, March 1, 2021.

“We want to empower participants to achieve doctoral degrees, then conduct research to understand Latino cancer and identify solutions and interventions to reduce cancer health disparities in this population,” said Dr. Amelie Ramirez, director of Exito!, which is funded by the National Cancer Institute, and based at UT Health San Antonio.

The Need for Éxito!

Latinos earn just 3.9% of all science and engineering doctoral degrees conferred, according to the National Science Foundation.

Reports also show that Latinos are not proportionally represented in research, nursing, and doctoral fields.

Éxito! aims to increase that number.

Why Éxito! Works

Of 200 Éxito! trainees since 2011, about 30% have since enrolled in or graduated from a doctoral program.

The Éxito! summer institute significantly increased trainees’ confidence to apply to a doctoral program and academic self-efficacy, according to a recent study of Éxito! program results published in the Journal of Cancer Education. The study also found significant increased research skills among Éxito! interns.

Participants gather for a group photo at a past Exito Summer Institute.
Participants gather for a group photo at a past Éxito! summer institute.

In 2018, Éxito! was named an innovative “Program to Watch” in a report by Excelencia in Education, a national group that promotes Latinos in higher education. The group also includes Éxito! as part of its “Growing What Works Database.”

Excelencia also selected Éxito! as a finalist for its “Examples of Excelencia” award in 2018 and 2019.

What Éxito! Means to Trainees

Past Éxito! trainees say the program motivated and supported their pursuit of a doctorate.

“I had no one to talk with about the application process. Being a first-generation college graduate and master’s level graduate, I can’t get insight/guidance from family,” said Laura Rubalcava of San Antonio, a 2011 Éxito! trainee. “It’s been inspiring to see people just like me overcome barriers and become successful in their fields.”

Nicholas Acuna, who is now a doctoral student at the University of Southern California, said the summer institute provided him with future colleagues and friends he can rely on and push, because they all want to see each other succeed.

“I feel confident that I can get into a PhD program,” Acuna said. “To be honest, this was the first time I felt comfortable in a space with other individuals like myself.”

Applicants must: be a master’s-level health program student or master’s-trained health professional; have good academic standing; have strong verbal, written, interpersonal, and organizational skills; and not be current or accepted doctoral program students.

Go to to apply.

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