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Award Winners Announced for 2001 Merck/AAAS Undergraduate Science Research Program
San Francisco, CA —16 February 2001— The Merck Company Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science today announced the names of the 15 universities and colleges that have won awards under the newly expanded program to provide research experiences in chemistry and biology for undergraduate students.
"Each award is worth $20,000 a year for up to three years, and we expect the funds to be used to build bridges between two crucial areas of science -- chemistry and biology," said Shirley Malcom, head of Education and Human Resources at AAAS. "Liberal arts colleges have played a key role in developing leaders in the sciences, and that is why we focus on those institutions." The purpose of the program is to enhance undergraduate biology and chemistry education through undergraduate research experiences that emphasize the relationship between these scientific fields and to encourage students to pursue graduate education. In addition to supporting the undergraduates' research efforts, the awards may provide funding for symposia, lecture series and workshops.
The Merck/AAAS program was launched in 1993 and, until this year, was limited to 12 northeastern/mid-Atlantic states. In 2001, however, the program was opened up to institutions around the country. The Merck Company Foundation has agreed to continue funding 15 awards each year through 2009.
This year's winners are California State University in Sacramento, CA; Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA; Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA; Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY; Hope College in Holland, MI; Oakland University in Rochester, MI; Saint John's University in Collegeville, MN; St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY; St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN; State University of New York College at Fredonia in Fredonia, NY; University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL; University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, TN; University of Wisconsin in Superior, WI; Washington College in Chestertown, MD; and Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH.
"The award selections are based on criteria that evaluate the quality and scientific merit of the proposed research program and the quality of the interdisciplinary research model that brings together biology and chemistry," said Susan Painter, Manager, Academic Programs, External Scientific Affairs, Merck Research Laboratories. "The schools are selected by a panel of scientists and educators selected by the AAAS. Merck has no influence on or input into the selection of the 15 schools."
Public and private colleges and universities must meet certain criteria to compete. They must be located in the United States or Puerto Rico, offer an American Chemical Society-approved program in chemistry and confer 10 or fewer graduate degrees annually in biology and chemistry combined.
Winners of the Merck/AAAS awards are announced during the AAAS Annual Meeting, which this year is taking place in San Francisco, 15-20 February. For additional information, send questions to Merck@AAAS.org.
The Merck Company Foundation is a U.S.-based private, charitable foundation. Established in 1957 by Merck & Co., Inc., the foundation is funded entirely by the company. The mission of the foundation is to advance biomedical science training and education and to improve health care worldwide. Since its inception, more than $254 million have been contributed by the Foundation to support biomedical education and health care, as well as social service, arts and cultural, civic, environmental, and other non-profit organizations.
Founded in 1848, AAAS is the world's largest federation of scientists with more than 138,000 individual members and 273 affiliated societies. The Association publishes the weekly, peer-reviewed journal Science and administers EurekAlert! (www.eurekalert.org), the online news service featuring the latest discoveries in science and technology.