Posts about fellowships

Funding Sources for Independent Postdoctoral Research Projects in Biology

Here is a nice list of funding sources for independent postdoctoral research projects in biology.

Some examples:

Directory of select science and engineering scholarships and fellowships for undergraduates, graduates and faculty on our blog.

Related: Science, Engineering and Math Fellowships (2008)Proposal to Triple NSF GFRP Awards and the Size of the Awards by 33% (2007)HHMI Expands Support of Postdoctoral ScientistsNSF Graduate Research Fellow Profiles (Sergy Brin, Google co-founder)

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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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

Cuts for British Science

Cuts mark ‘sad day for British science’

Britain’s physics community is reeling from a “disastrous” day of funding cuts that will force scientists to withdraw from major research facilities and see PhD studentships fall by a quarter. Space missions and projects across astronomy, nuclear and particle physics are being cancelled to save at least £115m, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) said today.

Fellowships and student grants for PhD projects will be cut by 25% from next year. The announcement has appalled senior physicists who warn the cuts threaten Britain’s future as a leading player in science.

In February, Gordon Brown delivered his first speech on science in Oxford and stated: “The downturn is no time to slow down our investment in science but to build more vigorously for the future.”

Politicians like to talk about funding science investment. And they do so to some extent. However, they are more reluctant to actually spend money than to talk about the wonders of science. Several countries in Asia are not just talking, they continue to invest, large amounts of money. The USA seems to be willing to put some money (not the kind of funds paid to protect bankers bonuses but significant amounts). Still the amounts the USA is investing is, I believe, falling as a percentage of global investment.

Related: posts on funding investments in scienceBritain’s Doctors of InnovationEconomic Strength Through Technology LeadershipScience and Engineering in Global EconomicsScience and Engineering Workforce IndicatorsThe value of investing in science and engineeringSaving FermilabNanotechnology Investment as Strategic National Economic Policy

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

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

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

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

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

NSF Graduate Research Fellow Profiles

Over at my regular job I was finally able to get us to put into place something that I have wanted to for several years: profiles of past NSF Graduate Research Fellows [link broken, so link removed]. We started with probably the most famous and certainly the richest: Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin.

“Obviously everyone wants to be successful, but I want to be looked back on as being very innovative, very trusted and ethical and ultimately making a big difference in the world.”

Sergey Brin, Co-Founder of Google, graduated from University of Maryland with high honors in mathematics and computer science in 1993 and, as a NSF Graduate Research Fellow, went on to Stanford to further study Computer Science. Early in his graduate studies, he showed interest in the Internet, specifically data-mining and pattern extraction…

In his short executive biography, Brin [link broken, so link removed] lists the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship that supported him while at Stanford among his top achievements. Like NSF, Brin understands the importance of research in innovation, and sponsors it in part through Google’s “20% time” program – all engineers at Google are encouraged to spend 20% of their work time on projects that interest them.

Read the full NSF Fellow profile of Sergey Brin [link broken, so link removed].

Related: Directory and Advice on Science and Engineering Scholarships and FellowshipsHow to Win a Graduate Fellowship

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