SD Amgen Scholars Undergraduate Summer Research Program begins Phase 2

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – UC San Diego, Caltech in Pasadena and UCLA are among 13 universities that will each get about $1 million for the second phase of Amgen Scholars, an international effort to produce more scientists and engineers, it was announced today.

“There continues to be a shortage of qualified scientists and engineers entering the workforce each year,” said Jean Lim, president of the Amgen Foundation, the charitable arm of the Thousand Oaks-based biotechnology company.

“The Amgen Scholars Program encourages students to pursue a scientific career by providing critical hands-on experiences in laboratories of top scientific research universities across the U.S. and Europe,” Lim said. “By 2014, a significant portion of the nearly 2,500 undergraduates who are Amgen Scholars will use their experiences to pursue PhDs and careers in a scientific field.”

For the second phase of the program, which extends through 2014, each of the 13 partner universities participating in the program will receive about $1 million over the next four years to support undergraduate students across the United States or Europe.

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 industry leaders and academic scientists.

New to Phase 2 are travel awards, which will help support Amgen Scholar alumni currently enrolled in masters, PhD, and MD-PhD programs in scientific fields to share their research at scientific conferences.

Amgen Scholars launched in 2006 with 10 partner universities in the U.S. In 2008, the program expanded to include three European universities.

California schools taking part in the program include UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco and Stanford University.

Over the past four years, nearly 1,200 Amgen Scholars — representing 327 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Europe — have participated in the program.

More than 70 percent of participants who have graduated from college are now pursuing an advanced degree or a career in science or engineering, with many in scientific doctoral programs at top universities across the world, according to Amgen.

In its first year, the Amgen Scholars Program received about 2,200 applications. By this year, the number increased to more than 5,200 applications for 315 openings in the U.S. and Europe.

MIT serves as the U.S. Program Office for the Amgen Scholars Program, and the University of Cambridge is the European coordinating center.

“Many countries in Europe have limited science research opportunities for undergraduates. Our partnership with the Amgen Foundation enables us to offer the brightest minds a unique summer research program, and to inspire them about career opportunities at the cutting edge of scientific research,” said professor John Rallison, vice-chancellor for Education at the University of Cambridge.

Applications are being accepted for the 2011 Amgen Scholars Program. For more information about Amgen Scholars or an application, visit www.amgenscholars.com.

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