UW Today

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November 17, 2010

UW receives $1 million grant from Amgen Foundation to support undergraduate research

News and Information

The UW has received a $1 million grant from the Amgen Foundation to provide hands-on laboratory experience to about 100 undergraduate students over the next four years, through the Amgen Scholars Program.

“We are thrilled to be part of Phase 2 of the Amgen Scholars Program,” said Janice DeCosmo, associate dean of undergraduate academic affairs and director of the Undergraduate Research Program.

“It provides powerful research experiences for students with UW faculty as well as exposing students to career possibilities in the biotech industry,” DeCosmo said. “We are happy to be seeing some of these incredible scholars coming back to UW for graduate school.”

Amgen Scholars is entering the second phase of what has become a $34 million initiative to advance science learning and inspire the next generation of scientists. The program was launched by the Amgen Foundation in 2006 with 10 partner universities in the U.S. — including the UW — to give undergraduates opportunities for laboratory research experiences under the guidance of leading scientists in academia.  In 2008, the program expanded to include three European universities.

As a result, in the past four years, nearly 1,200 Amgen Scholars —representing 327 different colleges and universities across the U.S. and Europe — have explored areas of research beyond what they may be able to do as part of their regular undergraduate education.  Today, more than 70 percent of program alumni who have graduated from college are now pursuing an advanced degree or a career in science or engineering, with many in scientific PhD programs at top universities across the world.

The U.S. and European programs will each continue to host a summer symposium allowing students to share their summer research projects, learn about biotechnology and hear firsthand from leading industry and academic scientists. In addition, new to Phase 2, travel awards will help support Amgen Scholar alumni currently enrolled in graduate programs in scientific fields to share their research at scientific conferences.

The 10 U.S. program partners are: The UW, California Institute of Technology, Columbia University/Barnard College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Washington University; and University of California campuses in Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Deigo and San Francisco. The three European program partners are Cambridge University, UK; Karolinska Insitutet, Stockholm, Sweden; and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat, Munich, Germany.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2011 Amgen Scholars program. For more information about Amgen Scholars or an application, visit online here.

Learn more about the UWs Undergradate Research Program online here.