VA Center of Excellence Research Program (VA-CERP)

The VISN 17 Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans (CoE) at the Doris Miller VA Medical Center annually hosts Baylor University students for a two semester research internship which begins every fall semester. The purpose of this training program is to provide motivated undergraduates with practical experience in mental health research and to aid them in their preparations for graduate or medical school. Former graduates of this internship have gone on to study at Columbia University, University of Arizona, Kansas State University, University of Houston, Baylor University, University of Denver, Trinity University, Eastern Illinois University, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Current studies at the CoE focus on the assessment, functioning, and treatment of mental health problems in returning war Veterans. Investigators have a particular interest in the assessment and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, suicide prevention, substance use disorders, and trajectories of functioning over time. Interns are assigned primarily to one study but may be involved in multiple research projects based on their interests.

Interns are supervised by doctoral-level researchers and trained in several aspects of research including (but not limited to): data entry, data management, screening participants, literature searches, reviewing articles, coordination of research materials, and participating in weekly staff meetings. CoE staff also provide interns with mentorship in preparing for graduate and medical school applications, and, through an educational component, interns learn to become critical consumers of scientific literature and gain knowledge about advancements in the field of mental health research.

Application is open!


Program Timeline

  • December - Application to the program opens
  • February - Applications due
  • March - Candidates will go through an interview process
  • April - Candidates will be selected and notified
  • April - Mandatory orientation for contract candidates
  • May through June - Accepted students complete mandatory credentialing process and paperwork
  • End of August (2021) - Fall classes begin; internship research begins and first research meeting held
  • Beginning of May (2022) - Spring classes end; internship research concludes and 2-semester commitment ends

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please contact Thank you for your interest in being a research assistant at the Center of Excellence.

Acceptance to this program will be based on academic achievements, student involvement, and interest in order to create valuable student/mentor relationships.** Eligible students must submit a completed application by the deadline to be considered for this opportunity. Learn more about the required application materials for the Center of Excellence Research Program at There are no student stipends for this program at this time.

** Students selected to participate in these programs must attend all mandatory meetings and be dedicated to completing the programs from beginning to end. We will NOT make any exceptions for missed meetings or time off. If a selected student is unable to participate in the program as indicated, then the student will be removed from the program immediately. If you cannot participate during a program's timeline, you should not apply to that program.

Prehealth Programs

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