Project Description

Training Program Description

Cohorts will be comprised of nine undergraduate and three pre-doctoral trainees.  The program will take place throughout the course of 11 weeks, and is comprised of an intensive one-week training seminar at USC, and a 10-week training program in Puebla México.  The first phase will take place at USC and consists of research workshops by some of the top Latino Mental Health Researchers in the country.  Drs. Concepcion Barrio,  Alex Kopelowicz,  Jodie Ullman, William Vega and Kristin Yarris will provide a one week set of workshops on epidemiology, mental health services, family interventions, caregiving and research methods/statistics. The one-week intensive seminar will serve to help trainees develop research and professional skills to reduce disparities and to motivate them to pursue advanced research degrees.  In addition the seminar will provide them with a cultural orientation to facilitate a smooth transition to living and working in Mexico.  

 Summary of Program Dates* 
May 30 Trainees arrive at USC
May 31 - June 03 One-week training at USC
June 05 Travel to Puebla, or Mexico City
June 06
Setting up households
June 07
First day of training
August 12 Last day of training
August 13 Trainees return home 

*We acknowledge that due to different academic schedules, some trainees may not be able to travel to Puebla for another week.  If so, their last day of training will extend beyond August 13th to fulfill the 11- week program. Please contact us with any questions regarding this matter.

After the completion of the 1-week seminar, trainees will travel to Puebla, Mexico or Mexico City to take part in the second phase of the training. This phase consists of a 10-week training program held at the Medical School of BUAP or the Instituto Nacional de Psiquiteria.  Trainees will be assigned to a specific research project headed by either Dr. Lopez or Dr. Lara at BUAP or Dr. Berenzon and colleagues at the INP.  Trainees will participate in all aspects of the project to which they are assigned, including conceptualization of the project and writing a manuscript.  Other project expectations are that trainees demonstrate learning the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of their research, that they carry out data analyses, and that they formally present in Spanish their findings to the group, as they would at a conference. Trainees and faculty mentors will work closely to carry out specific trainee projects throughout the course of the 10-week training program.  Graduate students may take on leadership roles, working closely with the faculty mentor to oversee the work of the undergraduates. We expect that each project team will develop a close working relationship and will assist one another with the various tasks.  The program will also address trainees’ educational aspirations and plans.  Both formal and informal discussions will be held with the goal of providing concrete recommendations to assist the trainees along their career paths.

After having participated in the program, we expect that trainees will have improved skills in writing a research paper, considering theory and methods in developing a research project, carrying out statistical analyses, presenting orally their research, and considering cultural factors throughout the entire research process.  Trainees will have the opportunity to present their paper at a national conference in either Mexico or the United States with project funds if their paper is accepted.  Moreover, trainees with successful projects will be encouraged to write up their findings for publication in collaboration with their mentor.


Project funds cover trainee transportation (e.g., to and from Mexico), and living expenses (i.e., food and housing) throughout the course of the program.  In addition, trainees are given a monthly stipend to help defray living expenses based on academic level experience. 

Undergraduates (Juniors/Seniors)             $1200/month

Pre-doctoral level degree                           $2000/month

  • Dr. Steven R. Lopez, Ph.D.
  • University of Southern California
  • Dornsife College, Psychology Department
  • 3620 McClintock Avenue, SGM 501
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-1061