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Information on fellowships, scholarships, internships and other resources for aiding your science and engineering education. Science and engineering scholarships and fellowships - advice and directory.
Recommended posts: How to Win a Graduate Fellowship - Loan Forgiveness Program for Engineering Students - NSF Graduate Research Fellows 2008 - Erasmus Mundus Scholarships - NSF Undergraduate Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Information on fellowships, scholarships, internships and other resources for aiding your science and engineering education.

Starting a Career in Science to Fight Cancer

Keven Stonewall Preventing Colon Cancer from VNM USA on Vimeo.

Keven Stonewall is a student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison working to prevent colon cancer.

Related: I Always Wanted to be Some Sort of ScientistHigh School Student Creates Test That is Much More Accurate and 26,000 Times Cheaper Than Existing Pancreatic Cancer TestsWebcast of a T-cell Killing a Cancerous Cell

High School Student Creates: Test That is Much More Accurate and 26,000 Times Cheaper Than Existing Pancreatic Cancer Tests

Seeing what these kids come up with is so refreshing after being so disappointed by the actions fo our leaders (politicians, business leaders, financiers, law enforcement [spying on citizens because they feel electronic privacy is fine to invade, taking away liberty...], health care in the USA [twice as expensive as elsewhere with no better results, 10 of millions without coverage]…). These kids make me feel hopeful, unfortunately the actions of the powerful leave me less hopeful.

Jack Andraka created a new paper based test for diagnosing pancreatic cancer that is 50% more accurate, 400 times more sensitive, and 26,000 times less expensive than existing methods. His method uses carbon nanotubes and can catch the disease in very early stages which is critical to treatment success. The test also covers other forms of cancer very effectively (he concentrated on the results for pancreatic cancer given the low survival rates for that cancer). Jack Andraka: “I actually love single-walled carbon nanotubes; they’re like the superheroes of material science.”

His results are great. Often initial results can be difficult to actually turn into such positive results in the real world. But this is a great step and it is great to see what young minds can do. The claims for how much better, cheaper etc. are wildly different in various places on the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) site.

Jack Andraka was awarded $75,000 for his development of a new method to detect pancreatic cancer as the winner of the top prize at the Intel ISEF (I believe it is new this year to call the winner the Gordon E. Moore Award).

Related: 2009 Intel Science and Engineering Fair WebcastsIntel International Science and Engineering Fair 2007Intel Science Talent Search 2012 AwardeesGoogle Science Fair 2011 Projects

A Novel Paper Sensor for the Detection of Pancreatic Cancer by Jack Andraka
North County High School, Glen Burnie, MD

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Career Prospect for Engineers Continues to Look Positive

As I have written previously the career prospects for engineers are bright around the globe. Many countries realize the importance of engineering and have taken steps to compete as a center of excellence for engineering. It is a smart economic policy. Ironically, the USA, that did such a great job at this in the 1960′s and 1970′s, has been falling down in this regard. A significant reason for this is the USA can only fund so many things and a broken health care system, military complex, bailouts to bankers (trust fund babies and others) cost a lot of money. You chose what to fund, and those are taking much of the available USA funds. There are also non-economic reasons, such as the turn in the last decade in the USA to make the barriers for foreigner engineers (and others) to go through to go to school, visit and stay in the USA have all increased dramatically.

Back to the prospects for engineers: their are shortages of good engineers all over (and the future projections don’t show any reason to believe this will change). Germany Faces a Shortage of Engineers:

In June, the Association of German Engineers (VDI) reported that there were 76 400 vacant engineering jobs—an all-time high.

Policymakers in Berlin have responded to the shortage of skilled workers with a number of measures, including changes in immigration rules that allow German companies to hire engineers from other countries, including those outside of the European Union. Among them: The annual salary that companies must pay foreigners has been lowered from 60,000 Euro (US $95,000) to 40,000 Euro, which is roughly the starting salary of an engineering graduate in Germany…

To make it easy for engineers to move around Europe, engineering associations and other groups across Europe are working with the European Commission (the executive arm of the European Union) to launch the new Engineering Card. The card, which German engineers can apply for now and other countries are planning to launch, provides standardized information about the engineer’s qualifications and skills for greater transparency.

“We don’t expect many engineers will come, because among other reasons, there is a shortage of engineers across Europe,”

Related: Engineering Again Dominates The Highest Paying College Degree ProgramsS&P 500 CEO’s: Engineers Stay at the TopChina’s Technology Savvy LeadershipEngineers: Future ProspectsEconomic Strength Through Technology Leadership

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Great Projects From First Google Science Fair Finalists

15 finalists (from 3 different age groups – 13-14 years old, 15-16 and 17-18) were selected. 11 finalists were from the USA and 1 each from Singapore, Canada, India and South Africa. These examples of what can be done with imagination, effort and a scientific mindset is great.

The grand prize winner, Shree Boseer’s project:

Each year, over 21,000 women are diagnosed with ovariancancer – the 5th leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the United States. One of the most common drugs usedin ovarian cancer chemotherapy is cisplatin, a platinum-based chemotherapy treatment. While the drug affects ordinary cells, the significantly higher replication frequency of cancer cells causes cisplatin to have a greater impact in malignant cells. However, cancer cells often develop resistance to cisplatin, rendering the treatment ineffective. To improve the efficiency of cisplatin treatment, this research sought to determine whether AMP kinase, an energy protein of cell, plays a role in the development of cisplatin resistance. Studies with various techniques showed a significant difference on cell death caused by cisplatin insensitive and resistant ovarian cancer cells when AMPK was inhibited,suggesting that AMPK plays a role in the development of resistance. This work,in addition to offering a new treatment regime, also furthers our understanding of ovarian cancer and cancers in general.

This is a great project and the experience for the students is wonderful. Still I do think the prizes should be much larger given all the large corporations involved. Get involved with the next Google Science fair.

Google Science Fair 2011 Projects semi finalistsIntel Science and Engineering Fair 2009 WebcastsHats off to the winners of the inaugural Google Science FairPresident Obama Speaks on Getting Students Excited About Science and Engineering
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Students Will Spend Year Doing Career-Changing Research Thanks to HHMI

This year, 116 medical, dental, and veterinary students from 47 schools across the country will take a break from memorizing molecular metabolism and studying drug interactions to spend a year in a lab doing hands-on research. The break from regular coursework, funded through a $4 million Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) initiative, is intended to give students an opportunity to immerse themselves in science and consider whether they want to pursue a career as a physician-scientist.

Nearly 500 medical students applied for the research year through the HHMI-National Institutes of Health (NIH) Medical Research Scholars and HHMI Medical Research Fellows programs. Both efforts seek to strengthen and expand the pool of medically-trained researchers. The funding HHMI provides is a great resource.

“We want medical, dental, and veterinary students to become immersed in the life of academic science for at least a year. And we hope they get so engaged in the process and life of scientific research that they will decide to continue it for the rest of their lives,” says Peter Bruns, HHMI’s vice president for grants and special programs. “We need more doctors who do basic research to improve human health.”

As part of its commitment to fostering the translation of basic research discoveries into improved diagnoses and treatments, HHMI has developed a range of programs to nurture the careers of researchers who bridge the gap between clinical medicine and basic science. In addition to the programs for medical students, the Institute supports medical training for Ph.D. students in the basic sciences and has made specific efforts to fund top physician-scientists as HHMI investigators.

The medical research scholars and fellows programs are open to medical, dental, and veterinary students enrolled in U.S. schools. Most have completed the second or third year of their professional program when they spend a year working in a lab either at the NIH or at an academic medical center or research university they select. During the last 25 years, more than 2,100 students have participated.

The HHMI Medical Research Fellowships program allows medical, dental, and veterinary students to pursue biomedical research at a laboratory anywhere in the United States except the NIH campus in Bethesda. Each student submits a research plan to work in a specific lab with a mentor they have identified. Since 1989, about 1,200 students have participated.

This year, 74 students from 26 medical schools and two veterinary schools were chosen as fellows from a pool of 274. While most students elect to stay at their home institution to do their research, this year 17 fellows will work in labs at a different school. Their research topics include schizophrenia, wound healing, organ development, and many other important biological questions.

The HHMI-NIH Research Scholars program was established in 1985 to encourage medical students to pursue research by allowing them to take a year off from their medical studies. The program has since been expanded to include dental and veterinary students. It has enabled about 1,000 students to work in NIH labs.

Students selected as research scholars often enter the program with only a general idea of what type of research they would like to do. As soon as they are accepted, they begin researching the more than 1,100 laboratories at NIH. They meet with a number potential mentors before finalizing which project to pursue under the guidance of their NIH advisor and HHMI’s staff. The students are sometimes called “cloister scholars” because they live in apartments or dorm-style rooms in a refurbished cloister on the NIH campus in Bethesda.

This year, 42 students from 28 medical schools and one veterinary school were chosen as research scholars. More than 200 students from 93 schools applied.

Related: Directory of Science and Engineering Scholarships and Fellowships$600 Million for Basic Biomedical ResearchHHMI Expands Support of Postdoctoral ScientistsGenomics Course For College Freshman Supported by HHMI at 12 Universities

HHMI Expands Support of Postdoctoral Scientists

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute provides a huge amount of science and health care related funding. HHMI is expanding existing relationships to fund postdoc scientist fellows at with Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund, the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, and the Life Sciences Research Foundation. The funding should support 32 additional postdoc scientists. HHMI Expands Support of Postdoctoral Scientists

Fellows will be selected competitively by each organization. Each fellowship will have a three-year term. When the initiative is at full capacity, HHMI will be supporting 96 postdoctoral fellows at an anticipated annual cost of about $5 million. The program began in 2007 when HHMI announced it would fund up to 16 postdoctoral fellows in HHMI labs each year. There is no requirement that future fellows be appointed in HHMI labs.

Related: Genomics Course For College Freshman Supported by HHMI at 12 Universities$60 Million in Grants for UniversitiesHoward Hughes Medical Institute Takes Big Open Access Stepposts on science and engineering funding

Rutgers Initiative to Help Disadvantaged Children

Praise for ambitious Rutgers initiative to help disadvantaged youths

It’s been a year since Rutgers University launched one of the country’s most ambitious education experiments, a campaign to change the fortunes of urban teenagers

Adolescents, their parents and public school administrators uniformly praise the Future Scholars Program. Last June, the initiative started 200 disadvantaged seventh-graders along a five-year path of summer workshops, tutoring, social support and cultural outings. Their reward if they keep a B average and meet other requirements: a full ride to Rutgers.

The Rutgers Future Scholars Program is not targeting science, it focuses on all academic areas.

The goal of the Rutgers Future Scholars program is to increase the numbers of academically ambitious high school graduates who come from low-income backgrounds, help them meet the standards to be admitted to colleges and universities, and then provide tuition funding to those who are admitted and choose to attend Rutgers University.

By improving educational opportunities, in general, more disadvantaged children will have the opportunity to become scientists and engineers. They are highlighting what recent high school graduates from the Camden school are doing, such as Aspiring Physician, Stem Cell Researcher, Rutgers-Camden Student

Most students don’t conduct stem-cell research and sit on a national board with a $3 million budget. Tej Nuthulaganti isn’t like most students.

After earning his undergraduate degree in biology from Rutgers-Camden in 2007, Tej is on track to earn his graduate degree in biology this May, thanks to the five-year combined bachelor and master degree program in biology at Rutgers-Camden.

For the past two years the 2003 graduate of Highland High School has been working with Daniel Shain, an associate professor of biology at Rutgers-Camden and one of the nation’s leading experts on leech research. Nuthulaganti has furthered Shain’s research on identifying key genes that are pivotal in the stem cell formation in the leech, which gives a simple model system for more complicated research. Their research could be beneficial in the early detection of cancerous cells.

In addition to presenting his research at major conferences, including one at the University of California-Berkeley, Nuthulaganti has also made sure that his fellow students who are considering careers in medicine also have a forum to ask questions and think deeply about what kinds of doctors they’d like to be.

There are many great programs underway that are aimed at improving education performance. And this seems like another good effort.

Related: Fund Teacher’s Science ProjectsMiddle School EngineersEngineer Your LifeProject Lead The WayBeloit College: Girls and Women in ScienceGermany Looking to Kindergarten for Engineering Future

Intel Science and Engineering Fair 2009 Webcasts

Tara Adiseshan, 14, of Charlottesville, Virginia; Li Boynton, 17, of Houston; and Olivia Schwob, 16, of Boston were selected from 1,563 young scientists from 56 countries, regions and territories for their commitment to innovation and science. Each received a $50,000 scholarship from the Intel Foundation.

In the webcast, Tara Adiseshan, talks about her project studying the evolutionary ties between nematodes (parasites) and sweat bees. She identified and classified the evolutionary relationships between sweat bees and the nematodes (microscopic worms) that live inside them. Tara was able to prove that because the two have such ecologically intimate relationships, they also have an evolutionary relationship. That is to say, if one species evolves, the other will follow.

Li Boynton developed a biosensor from bioluminescent bacteria (a living organism that gives off light) to detect the presence of contaminants in public water. Li’s biosensor is cheaper and easier to use than current biosensors, and she hopes it can be used in developing countries to reduce water toxicity.

Olivia Schwob isolated a gene that can be used to improve the intelligence of a worm. The results could help us better understand how humans learn and even prevent, treat and cure mental disabilities in the future.

In addition to the three $50,000 top winners, more than 500 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair participants received scholarships and prizes for their groundbreaking work. Intel awards included 19 “Best of Category” winners who each received a $5,000 Intel scholarship and a new laptop. In total, nearly $4 million is scholarships and awards were provided.

Related: Intel ISEF 2009 Final GalaGirls Sweep Top Honors at Siemens Competition in Math, Science and TechnologyIntel International Science and Engineering Fair 2007Worldwide Science Wizkids at Intel ISEF2008 Intel Science Talent Search
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Fellowship Winners Announced

Several science and engineering fellowships and scholarships have announced winners recently:

From the NSF GRFP site:

Due to the complexity of the current budget situation, the 2009 GRFP awards will be announced in installments based on fields of study and other factors. The first installment is now available on FastLane. Awardees, as well as Applicants not recommended for funding, have been notified by email. Recipients of Honorable Mention and any additional Fellowship award offers will be forthcoming. Applicant ratings sheets will be available after all award announcements have been made. We thank you for your patience.

Find out more about these and other science and engineering fellowships and scholarships. Also see: How to Win a Graduate FellowshipNSF Graduate Research Fellows 2008

DoE: Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program

The United States Department of Education’s Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP) provides funds to schools to provide awards to students. 20 new awards (average value of $139,000) were awarded this year. That brings total funding this year to 71 awards (50 continue from previous years). Institutions recieving funds include: Clark Atlanta University, Rust College, New Mexico State University, Spelman College, Virginia State University and the College of Menominee Nation.

The program is designed to effect long-range improvement in science at predominantly minority and engineering education programs to increase the participation of underrepresented ethnic minorities, particularly minority women, into scientific and technological careers.

Wiley College, one of the new recipients, aims to increase the number of science majors, especially in the fields of biology and chemistry. A key feature of this grant is the creation of a high school science competition that will allow local and regional high school students to visit the campus and compete in a variety of scientific events.

This event will bring five area high schools together to compete in ten scientific events based on biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics. Individual first-place winners will be given scholarships to Wiley College. There will also be an overall grand champion awarded. This event will allow high school students to experience life at Wiley College and the possibilities of a career in science.

“This event not only gives students a financial reason to enroll at Wiley, but also allows them to become familiar with the campus and its faculty and students, said Dr. Shumate. “This grant also furthers a connection between Wiley and both the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Arkansas, allowing current Wiley students to attend these schools in the summer for biomedical research.”

Wiley hosts HS science competition Saturday

Related: NSF Undergraduate STEM ScholarshipsLoan Forgiveness Program for Engineering StudentsA Life-changing GiftScience and Engineering Scholarships and Fellowships Directoryscience scholarships posts

Science, Engineering and Math Fellowships

I work at the American Society for Engineering Education as an Information Technology Program Manager (this blog is not affiliated with ASEE). A large portion of the computer applications I work on are related to the science and engineering fellowships we administer. The fellowship applications are all open now (for certain fields the NSF application deadline is next week). Those fellowships include:

Other scholarships and fellowships (these are not managed by ASEE): Gates Millennium Scholars Program (January 12th deadline) – NASA Graduate Student Researchers (February 1st) – Goldwater Science Scholarships (January 30th)

Related: Science and Engineering Fellowship Applications Open NowDirectory and application advice for science and engineering scholarships and fellowships

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