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MIT to welcome Amgen Scholars in 2007

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MIT has been selected, along with nine other universities, as a site for the prestigious Amgen Scholars Program, a nationwide initiative that provides opportunities for talented undergraduate students interested in the sciences and biotechnology to engage in fully-funded summer research experiences.

In addition, the Institute will serve as the National Program Office for the Amgen program, which comprises 10 participating universities.

In being accepted as both a program site and the National Program Office, MIT receives two $1 million grants from the Amgen Foundation.

One of these grants will fund faculty-mentored research positions for up to 30 students per summer in science and biotechnology over the course of four summers (2007-2010). Half of these students will be chosen from MIT's undergraduate population; the other half will be recruited from other colleges and universities.

The second Amgen grant will support MIT's leadership role as the National Program Office, providing coordination, technical oversight and student outreach for the program over the next four years.

Daniel E. Hastings, professor of aeronautics and astronautics and dean for undergraduate education, said, "The summer research program will build on MIT's 40-year tradition of involving undergraduate students in our dynamic research enterprise.

"We are proud and honored to be selected to participate and look forward to continuing to teach students the joy of active engagement with research as they further their studies or pursue a science career," he said.

Amgen Scholars is a $25 million, eight-year program that will provide research experience for students interested in pursuing a graduate degree and eventually, a career in science.

During the first phase of the program, which extends through 2010, each of the 10 participating universities will receive $1 million. Program participants will include the university's own students as well as students from other accredited four-year colleges and universities in the United States, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.

Students will participate in research projects and scientific seminars and will work under some of the nation's top academic scientists. All participating scholars also will have the opportunity to take part in an annual mid-summer, three-day symposium in California. Students will have the chance to discuss their research projects and hear firsthand from leading scientists from industry and academia.

Financial support for students is a critical component of the program, and thus eligible students will be able to participate regardless of their financial status. Students will receive a competitive stipend along with room, board and a travel allowance, including travel to and from the university and symposium.

"At Amgen, we believe we have an important responsibility to inspire and prepare the next generation of scientists," said Jean Lim, president of Amgen Foundation. "We believe our partnership with MIT will provide students with a pivotal experience that will encourage them to pursue further education and training in the sciences."

The nine other program partners are Caltech; Columbia University/Barnard College; Howard University; Stanford University; the University of California (UC) at Berkeley; UC-Los Angeles; UC-San Diego; UC-San Francisco; and the University of Washington.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 25, 2006 (download PDF).

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