Faculty Name:
Man Hung


Faculty College:


Project Description:

**This project is a part of the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR), which provides undergraduate students with an intensive 10-week research experience under the mentorship of a University of Utah faculty member. SPUR 2021 begins on May 26 and ends on August 5. If you are interested in this project, please review all program information on the SPUR site. If you wish to apply to this project, you must apply using the SPUR 2021 application.**

E-cigarettes are becoming very popular in this decade because they satisfy the psychopharmacologic desire of smoking with the smokeless delivery of nicotine. Even though e-cigarettes were introduced to the market with intentions of being an alternative to the conventional cigarette smoking, the amount of nicotine delivered to the lungs is still significant enough to cause an addiction. Some former cigarette smokers who use e-cigarettes as an alternative quit smoking, continue using nicotine-containing e-fluids.

With the age of e-cigarette consumers lowering to adolescents, nicotine addiction has increased. E-cigarette’s tech-friendly device appearance is also appealing to the public that not only adults but approximately 4 million middle and high school students have embraced the vaping culture, demonstrating that this is becoming a growing concern for policy makers as e-cigarettes are becoming a gateway to cigarette smoking, especially amongst young adults.

This research will use publicly available data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study for examining patterns and usages of e-cigarettes, in addition to investigating the effects and behaviors of vaping in the population. PATH is a population-based registry that stores national and longitudinal tobacco and e-cigarette use data in the United States.

Opportunity Type:

This is a paid research position

Student Role:

Students will be involved in each phrase of the project from study design, literature review, data management and analysis, to drafting manuscripts and preparation for journal publication and conference presentation. As students develop research skill competency, greater autonomy will be given in completing research tasks. Students also have the opportunity to learn and participate in other ongoing research projects to broaden their knowledge and perspectives. Remote Contingency Plan: This research study will be conducted using freely available, online public database. Utilizing de-identified, publicly available database to do research does not require IRB approval, and does not restrict investigators or students to work in any particular building, research lab or office space. Typically, the data processing and analysis can be done on a computer in anywhere in the world. All other parts of the research experience can be done via virtual meetings using platforms such Skype, Zoom, Webex, Teams, and others. That is, all research meetings, data analysis discussion, mentoring and writing papers can all be done online via virtual meetings. Since we do not need to collect data due to the fact that we are doing secondary data analysis, 100% of the mentoring and research activities for this proposal can be done on a desktop computer, or a laptop computer in any corner of the world that has reliable internet connection. Thus, there is no issue at all regarding the potential need for a fully remote SPUR experience.

Student Benefits:

Students participated in this project will be actively learning the proper designs of scientific research. They will be trained in the ethical and practical aspects of human subject research and data management. They will learn how to conduct literature review, cite references, use statistical software to perform appropriate data analysis, write abstracts and manuscripts for publication and deliver professional presentations. They will have the opportunities to be co-authors on abstracts and manuscripts. These hands-on activities will increase students’ research skills and will be beneficial for students who seek further education in medical school or other graduate-level programs.

Project Duration:

35-40 hours per week on research and program-related activities, begins May 26, 2021, and ends August 5, 2021

Minimum Requirements:

Admission to the program is competitive. Applicants must meet all of the following criteria: 1) be a matriculated, degree-seeking undergraduate student in the Fall 2021 semester (beginning or continuing college career in Fall 2021 and not graduating before December 2021; concurrent enrollment while in high school does not meet this eligibility requirement). Applicants do not need to be a University of Utah student. 2) eligible to work in the United States: If you are a University of Utah Dreamer (with or without DACA), you are eligible to participate. If you are a Dreamer from a different institution: If you have DACA, you are eligible to participate. If you do not have DACA, you are able to participate and gain research experience, but might not be able to be compensated. For more information, please contact Megan Shannahan at megan.shannahan@utah.edu or 801-581-2478. If you are an international student or scholar, you must either a) be a degree-seeking undergraduate student at an American institution of higher education and verify with your institution’s international center that your visa allows you to participate in this program, OR b) possess documentation that establishes your eligibility to work in the United States (if you hold US citizenship, it is likely you have these documents). 3) able to commit to approximately 35-40 hours per week of employment at the University of Utah for the entire duration of the program (May 26-August 5, 2021). 4) at least 18 years old by May 24, 2021 (required if you wish to use on-campus housing; preferred if you will not be using on-campus housing). Please note that no previous college coursework or previous research experience is required.