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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.

Best Research University Rankings – 2008

The annual ranking of research Universities are available from Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University. The methodology values publications and faculty awards which provides a better ranking of research (rather than teaching). Results from the 2008 rankings of Top 500 Universities worldwide, country representation of the top schools:

location Top 100 % of World
% of World GDP % of top 500
USA 54     4.6%   27.2%  31.6%
United Kingdom 11  0.9  4.9 8.3
Germany   6  1.3  6.0 8.0
Japan   4  2.0  9.0 6.2
Canada   4  0.5  2.6 4.2
Sweden   4  0.1  0.8 2.2
France   3  0.8  4.6 4.6
Switzerland   3  0.1  0.8 1.6
Australia   3  0.3  1.6 3.0
Netherlands   2  0.2  1.4 2.4
Denmark   2  0.1  0.6 0.8
Finland   1  0.1  0.4 1.2
Norway   1  0.1  0.7 0.8
Israel   1  0.1  0.3 1.2
Russia   1  2.2  2.0 0.4
China  20.5  6.6 6.0
India  17.0  1.9 0.4

There is little change in most of the data from last year, which I think is a good sign, it wouldn’t make much sense to have radical shifts over a year in these rankings. Japan lost 2 schools in the top 100, France lost 1. Denmark (Aarhus University) and Australia (University of Sydney) gained 1. Last year there was a tie so there were 101 schools in the top 100.

The most dramatic data I noticed is China’s number of top 500 schools went from 14 to 30, which made me a bit skeptical of what caused that quick change. Looking more closely last year they reported the China top 500 totals as (China 14, China-Taiwan 6 and China-Hong Kong 5). That still gives them an impressive gain of 5 schools.

Singapore has 1 in the 102-151 range. Taiwan has 1 ranked in the 152-200 range, as do Mexico, Korea and Brazil. China has 9 in the 201-302 range (including 3 in Hong Kong). India has 2 in the 303-401 range.

University of Wisconsin – Madison is 17th again :-) My father taught there while I grew up.
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NASA’s Carl Sagan Fellowships

NASA Exoplanet Science Institute announces the introduction of the Sagan Postdoctoral Fellowship

The NASA Exoplanet Science Institute announces the introduction of the Sagan Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and solicits applications for fellowships to begin in the fall of 2009.

The Sagan Fellowships support outstanding recent postdoctoral scientists to conduct independent research that is broadly related to the science goals of the NASA Exoplanet Exploration area. The primary goal of missions within this program is to discover and characterize planetary systems and Earth-like planets around nearby stars.

The proposed research may be theoretical, observational, or instrumental. This program is open to applicants of any nationality who have earned (or will have earned) their doctoral degrees on or after January 1, 2006, in astronomy, physics, or related disciplines. The fellowships are tenable at U.S. host institutions of the fellows’ choice, subject to a maximum of one new fellow per host institution per year. The duration of the fellowship is up to three years: an initial one-year appointment and two annual renewals contingent on satisfactory performance and availability of NASA funds.

We anticipate awarding 3 – 4 fellowships in 2009. Please note that these are postdoctoral Fellowships only. Previous Michelson Fellowship holders are fully eligible to apply.

Related: Science and Engineering Scholarships and Fellowships DirectoryNSF Graduate Research Fellows 2008

Loan Forgiveness Program for Engineering Students

Update (2011): sadly politicians decided though they can give billions in welfare to investment banks and billions in tax breaks to those giving politicians lots of cash they didn’t want to help out engineering students. I actually wouldn’t have a big problem with this decision (to not fund this program) if it was symptomatic of frugal actions by those we entrust with leading our government. Given how frivolously they reward those that give them lots of cash for their campaigns (or pay as soon as they and their staff take jobs with organizations they gave huge benefits to) I think not funding this very small cost is foolish. This is the type of program I think smart countries will adopt (the types of policies the SUA adopted in the 1960’s and lately countries like Singapore, Korea, China have been adopting to encourage science and engineering leadership for the next generation).

Engineering students would receive up to $10,000 in student loan forgiveness under legislation just passed by Congress that the president is expected to sign. The Higher Education Reauthorization and College Opportunity Act of 2008 creates a new program to provide financial incentives for professions in areas of national need including engineering.

Engineering students would qualify for up to $10,000 in credit against their outstanding student loan obligation following graduation and entry into the engineering, technology, applied sciences, or mathematics (and other areas too) workforce. The program authorizes up to $2,000 per year of schooling.

The legislation also includes the Robert C. Byrd American Competitiveness program (an adjustment to the existing program):

a Mathematics and Science Honors Scholarship program for students who are earning baccalaureate or advanced degrees in science, mathematics, or engineering and who agree to serve for five consecutive years in a field relevant to such degree; (2) a Mathematics and Science Incentive program under which the Secretary assumes the obligation to pay the interest due on FFELs and DLs by individuals who agree to serve for five consecutive years as highly qualified teachers of science, technology, engineering or mathematics within high need LEAs, or as mathematics, science, or engineering professionals

Related: Science and Engineering Scholarships and FellowshipsCongress Clears Loan Forgiveness Program To Address Engineer ShortageScientists and Engineers in CongressNSF Undergraduate Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

11 Science Journalist Fellows at MIT

The Knight Fellowship at MIT has a class of eleven science journalists from six countries this year. All are mid-career journalists who work for general interest news media to improve the public understanding of science. They will take a sabbatical year from their jobs to improve their knowledge by taking courses at MIT and Harvard, interviewing scientists and attending various seminars and lectures during the 2008–2009 academic year. They take up residence in Cambridge in August 2008.

The fellows include: Kimani Chege, editor of TechNews Africa, from Kenya; Sabin Russell, medical writer at The San Francisco Chronicle, from the USA; Teresa Firmino, science and technology reporter for Público, from Portugal; Jonathan Fildes, science and technology reporter for BBC News, from England; and Rachel Zimmerman, health and medicine reporter for The Wall Street Journal, from the USA.

This is a great program to help some excellent science journalist to get even better. We need more excellent science journalism.

We list the Knight Science Journalism Tracker on the list of our favorite science and engineering blogs.

Related: Science JournalismScience and Engineering Fellowship DirectoryReport on the Use of Online Science Resources

NSF Graduate Research Fellows 2008

photo of Sarah Lukes

The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program aims to ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and to reinforce its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in the relevant science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees.

This year NSF awarded 913 fellowships: which come with a stipend of $30,000 and $10,500 cost of education allowance. On the ASEE Science and Engineering Fellowship blog, that I manage in my full time job with the American Society for Engineering Education (the Curious Cat Science and Engineering blog is my own and not related to ASEE), we highlight awardees including: Sarah Lukes mechanical engineering graduate working on her PhD at Montana State University; Ben Safdi, engineering physics and applied mathematics dual major at Colorado University – Boulder; Henry Deyoung, computer science major at Carnegie Mellon University, Jennifer Robinson, computer science major at North Carolina State; Lydia Thé, biology major at Swarthmore; and Julia Kamenetzky, physics major at Cornell College.

Fellows from previous years include: Sergey Brin, H. David Politzer and Eric Maskin.

Related: Proposal to Triple NSF GFRP Awards and the Size of the Awards by 33%Increasing American Fellowship Support for Scientists and EngineersScience and Engineering Scholarships and Fellowships Directory

Denzel Washington Marketing Science

Denzel Washington stressed the importance of illustrating to children that scientists are more important than entertainers.

Pauletta and Denzel Washington will presented two research scholarships at Mount Vernon High School in Denzel’s hometown of Mount Vernon, New York. The Pauletta and Denzel Washington Family Scholar in Neuroscience Awards have been given annually since 2004 by the Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The program provides $2,500 in monthly support for a graduate-level researcher and $2,000 per month for an undergraduate. Recipients work during the summer months under the direction of renowned physicians, neurosurgeons and scientists, and prepare a scientific abstract or paper to submit to a national neuroscience, cancer or neurosurgery organization.

In addition to lending their name to the scholarships, the Washingtons take an active role in the program, meeting with applicants and announcing the annual awards. The scholarships are awarded in a different city each year to increase awareness of neuroscience research and encourage students from many geographic locations to apply. The Washingtons said they hope the Mount Vernon setting will persuade students from Denzel’s hometown to consider careers in the sciences because they offer the potential to change the world.

Yes I do see the irony of including a post on a celebrity saying we need to focus more on scientists and less on entertainers.

Related: Children’s view of Scientists in EnglandGoogle’s Larry Page on marketing sciencepress releaseScientists and StudentsScience and Engineering Scholarships

Team America Rocketry Challenge

On May 17th, in The Plains, Virginia, the Team America Rocketry Challenge finals will be held. After a full day of launches, held at the Great Meadows facility, the winners will be crowned and $60,000 in scholarships will be divided up among the top finishers.

Related: Goldwater Science ScholarshipsSiemens Competition in Math, Science and TechnologyStudent Algae Bio-fuel Project

HHMI Nurtures Nation’s Best Early Career Scientists

New HHMI Program Aims to Nurture Nation’s Best Early Career Scientists

HHMI will invest more than $300 million in this first group of scientists and plans a second competition in 2011.
HHMI is focusing on researchers who have led independent laboratories for two to six years at one of the approximately 200 U.S. medical schools, universities, and research institutes that are eligible. Those who are selected by HHMI will receive six-year, non-renewable appointments including full salary and research support while remaining affiliated with their home institution.

HHMI is seeking scientists from a wide variety of fields, including all areas of basic biological and biomedical research, and areas of chemistry, physics, computer science and engineering that are directly related to biology or medicine.

Scientists who wish to be considered for this competition must indicate their intention to submit an application by April 30, 2008. The deadline for completed applications is June 10, 2008. Panels of distinguished biomedical researchers will evaluate the candidates’ applications. Final selections are expected to be made by February 2009.

HMMI is an incredible source of funding for science.

Related: $600 Million for Basic Biomedical Research from HMMINSF CAREER Award WinnersHoward Hughes Medical Institute Takes Big Open Access StepFunding Medical Research$1 Million Each for 20 Science Educators

Google India Women in Engineering Award 2008

Google India Women in Engineering Award 2008

The award is open to full time woman students at recognized institutions majoring computer engineering or related fields in their 2nd to final years of a bachelor’s program and all students from a master’s or PhD program. Student must have a cumulative of at least 4.0 on a 5.0 scale, 8.0 on a 10.0 scale, or equivalent. The application deadline is January 31st. Apply online for this new award.

Related: Google 2007 Anita Borg ScholarshipGoogle India Looking for EngineersGoogle Summer of Code 2007Innovation at GoogleCurious Cat Advice Links on Science and Engineering Scholarships and Fellowships

Smart Young Minds – Summer Jobs

At Janelia Farm (located in Northern Virginia and part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute) each undergraduate research scholar will spend his or her summer conducting research under the guidance and direction of a Janelia Farm lab head. The undergraduate research scholars program will run from June 9-August 15, 2008. On-campus housing will be provided to undergraduate research scholars. Each scholar will also receive a $4,500 stipend and reimbursement for travel to and from Janelia Farm. Apply. Article on the first year of the program – 2007.

Jeanelia Farm also offers research campus fellows – We invite applications for fellows from biologists, chemists, computer scientists, engineers, mathematicians, neurobiologists and physicists who are passionate in their pursuit of important problems in basic scientific and technical research. JFRC Fellows are independent scientists, with labs of up to two additional members. Appointments are for a term of five years. We welcome applications from individuals at all career stages, as well as coordinated applications from groups of individuals.

We invite applications for group leader positions from biologists, chemists, computer scientists, engineers, mathematicians, neurobiologists and physicists who are passionate in their pursuit of important problems in basic scientific and technical research. JFRC group leaders will be independent scientists, similar to the HHMI investigators based at universities and independent research institutes, with labs of up to six additional members and an initial appointment of six years. We welcome applications from individuals at all career stages, as well as coordinated applications from groups of individuals.

Related: science internshipsengineering internshipsScience and Engineering Fellowship Applications Open Nowscience and engineering fellowship directory

Packard Faculty Fellowship for Nathaniel Dominy

UC Santa Cruz anthropologist Nathaniel Dominy wins prestigious $625,000 Packard Fellowship

Dominy will receive $125,000 per year for the next five years to support his investigation of the diet and foraging behaviors of hominins, the early human ancestors who lived 2 million years ago. The Packard Foundation awards these fellowships to young scientists and engineers who show exceptional promise and creativity.

Dominy’s research interests center around the acquisition and consumption of food, which he believes fueled the development of bipedalism and big brains. Two of his recent studies made headlines around the world in recent months: The first added compelling new evidence to the hypothesis that hominins may have eaten starchy, nutrient-rich underground plant structures, including bulbs and tubers, while the second revealed that humans are uniquely equipped to digest starch. The revelation that humans have many more copies of the salivary amylase gene than any of their ape relatives bolsters the idea that starch was a crucial addition to the diet of early humans, and that natural selection favored individuals who could make more starch-digesting protein.

Related: Nathaniel J. DominyPackard Fellowship for Science and Engineering2007 Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering Awarded to Twenty Young ResearchersCurious Cat Fellowship Directory

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