Public Health Research Academy

Our communities need more Native public health professionals working to improve tribal health.

Our year-long Research Academy will introduce high school students to relatable public health topics and will conclude with a youth-driven community health project. The program includes an in-person kick-off week (in Portland, OR) and 6-8 virtual learning sessions with role-model guest speakers.

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Program Dates:
June 2023-May2024

In-Person & Virtual

Apply By:
May 1, 2023

What's Involved?

Who is eligible?

Program Details

  • Site mentors/supervisor/parents will ideally host 2-4 students per site.
  • Students and mentors will participate in a week-long orientation with hands-on activities, campus tours, and field trips in Portland, OR) (during the THRIVE Youth Conference)
  • Students will attend virtual sessions on Zoom (4-5, PST) during the 2023-24 school year:
    • 6-8 Learning Sessions – the second Tuesday of each month
    • Optional check-in sessions – the third Wednesday of each month
    • Learning Sessions will be recorded and accessible for students unable to attend live sessions in real-time.
  • Students who attend sessions & complete the group project will receive a certificate of completion!


The program is designed for American Indian/Alaska Native youth (preferably juniors and seniors in high school). High schools, Tribal health and wellness programs, Indian Health Boards, or other programs serving AI/AN youth can serve as host sites. Site mentors are encouraged to recruit 2-4 local students who will work together on their community health project.

Financial Support

Host Sites

Selected site/mentors will receive $5,000 to cover the time and effort of mentors, and any other expenses associated with the project. Host sites will be paid $2,500 after the week-long orientation and $2,500 after their community health research project (April/May).


Students will receive $2,000 to cover their learning and research-related expenses participating in the Academy. Students will be paid $1,000 after the week-long orientation, and $1,000 after presenting their community health research project (April/May).

NW NARCH will cover the costs of travel to Portland.

Interested in Hosting Research Academy Students?

  • Please fill out the Site Application Form by May 1, 2023 if you’re interested in hosting students. The Site Application Form shares information about your location and student(s).
  • Once participating sites have been selected, the adult Mentor/Chaperones will also fill out a THRIVE Youth Conference Registration Form (that confirms parent permission to travel/participate).
  • Priority will be given to sites in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho who have 2-4 AI/AN high school juniors and seniors interested in participating. We will consider applications with fewer students and with younger students. We encourage you to apply!


Connect with Grazia Cunningham at  or fill out the form below.

Sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number S06GM145214