HHMI -- the nation's largest private supporter of science education -- continues to strengthen and enrich undergraduate science teaching at research universities with the new grants, which range from $1.5 million to $2.2 million. They will support programs at 50 universities in 28 states and the District of Columbia. The universities selected include six that have never before received an HHMI undergraduate science education grant: Georgia State University, New Mexico State University, the University of California, Riverside; the University of California, San Francisco; the University of Florida; and Virginia Commonwealth University.
"We believe it is vital to bring fresh perspectives to the teaching of established scientific disciplines and to develop novel courses in emerging areas, such as computational biology, genomics and bio-imaging, said Thomas R. Cech, HHMI president. "Our grantee universities are providing hands-on research experiences to help prepare undergraduates, including women and minorities underrepresented in the sciences, for graduate studies and for careers in biomedical research, medicine and science education. We also hope these grants will help the universities increase the science literacy of their students, including non-science majors."
Some of the newly funded programs will develop courses that reflect the interdisciplinary nature of scientific research today, melding computational and physical sciences and engineering with the life sciences. Others aim to hone the teaching and mentoring skills of present and future scientists. A key goal is to attract and retain minorities who have been traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. Another is to reach out into the high schools and middle schools to engage and prepare future science majors. Science literacy -- preparing non-science majors to understand the complex scientific issues that affect their lives -- is another objective.
"Summer bridge programs -- a component of several of the new grants -- are particularly important in helping minority students make a successful transition to the world of the research university," said Peter J. Bruns, HHMI vice president for grants and special programs. "Individualized mentoring and early research experiences with working scientists also are vital components of a university education that prepares undergraduates for graduate school and careers in science. The universities want to offer their students these opportunities, and HHMI is pleased to help them do so."
HHMI invited 214 research universities that have a proven track record in preparing students for graduate education and careers in research, teaching or medicine to compete for the undergraduate science education awards. The Institute received 158 applications. A panel composed of leading scientists and educators, including HHMI professors and an HHMI investigator, reviewed the applications.
HHMI has supported undergraduate science education at the nation's colleges and universities since 1988. Through its undergraduate grants, the Institute has provided 247 institutions of higher learning with nearly $700 million for programs that include undergraduate research opportunities; new faculty, courses and labs; teaching and mentoring training; and work with precollege students and teachers.
A nonprofit medical research organization, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute was established in 1953 by the aviator-industrialist. The Institute, headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, is one of the largest philanthropies in the world, with an endowment of $14.8 billion at the close of its 2005 fiscal year. HHMI spent $483 million in support of biomedical research and $80 million for support of a variety of science education and other grants programs in fiscal 2005.
HHMI is dedicated to discovering and disseminating new knowledge in the basic life sciences. HHMI grounds its research programs on the conviction that scientists of exceptional talent and imagination will make fundamental contributions of lasting scientific value and benefit to mankind when given the resources, time and freedom to pursue challenging questions. The Institute prizes intellectual daring and seeks to preserve the autonomy of its scientists as they pursue their research.
At Janelia Farm, HHMI's first freestanding campus, small research groups will explore fundamental biomedical questions in a highly collaborative, interdisciplinary culture. The $500 million campus, now under construction in Ashburn, Virginia, will open in the fall of 2006. When the campus is fully operational, there will be 24 group leaders and a permanent research staff of about 300 scientists.
2006 Undergraduate Science Education Program Awards
|Institution||City, State||Award Amount|
|Arizona State University||Tempe, Arizona||$1,800,000|
|California Institute of Technology||Pasadena, California||$1,500,000|
|Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||$1,500,000|
|Case Western Reserve University||Cleveland, Ohio||$1,500,000|
|Clemson University||Clemson, South Carolina||$2,000,000|
|College of William and Mary||Williamsburg, Virginia||$1,800,000|
|Cornell University0||Ithaca, New York||$1,600,000|
|Dartmouth College||Hanover, New Hampshire||$1,500,000|
|Duke University||Durham, North Carolina||$1,900,000|
|East Tennessee State University||Johnson City, Tennessee||$1,700,000|
|Emory University||Atlanta, Georgia||$1,900,000|
|Georgetown University||Washington, D.C.||$1,800,000|
|Georgia State University||Atlanta, Georgia||1,500,000|
|Harvard University||Cambridge, Massachusetts||$1,500,000|
|Lehigh University||Bethlehem, Pennsylvania||$1,800,000|
|Louisiana State University and A & M||Baton Rouge, Louisiana||$1,600,000|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Cambridge, Massachusetts||$1,800,000|
|Montana State University-Bozeman||Bozeman, Montana||$1,600,000|
|New Mexico State University||Las Cruces, New Mexico||$1,500,000|
|North Carolina State University||Raleigh, North Carolina||$1,500,000|
|Oregon State University||Corvallis, Oregon||$1,500,000|
|Princeton University||Princeton, New Jersey||$2,200,000|
|Rice University||Houston, Texas||$2,200,000|
|Stanford University||Stanford, California||$1,500,000|
|SUNY at Stony Brook||Stony Brook, New York||$1,800,000|
|Texas Tech University||Lubbock, Texas||$1,500,000|
|University of Arizona||Tucson, Arizona||$1,500,000|
|University of Arkansas||Fayetteville, Arkansas||$1,500,000|
|University of California-Berkeley||Berkeley, California||$1,600,000|
|University of California-Davis||Davis, California||$1,800,000|
|University of California-Los Angeles||Los Angeles, California||$2,200,000|
|University of California-Riverside||Riverside, California||$1,600,000|
|University of California-San Diego||La Jolla, California||$2,100,000|
|University of California-San Francisco||San Francisco, California||$2,100,000|
|University of Colorado at Boulder||Boulder, Colorado||$1,900,000|
|University of Delaware||Newark, Delaware||$1,500,000|
|University of Florid||Gainesville, Florida||$1,500,000|
|University of Maryland, Baltimore County||Baltimore, Maryland||$2,200,000|
|University of Maryland, College Park||College Park, Maryland||$2,000,000|
|University of Massachusetts at Amherst||Amherst, Massachusetts||$1,600,000|
|University of Miami||Coral Gables, Florida||$1,900,000|
|University of Michigan-Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, Michigan||$1,500,000|
|University of Montana||Missoula, Montana||$1,500,000|
|University of Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||$2,100,000|
|University of Texas at Austin||Austin, Texas||$1,900,000|
|University of Texas at El Paso||El Paso, Texas||$1,500,000|
|University of Washington||Seattle, Washington||$1,600,000|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||Richmond, Virginia||$1,500,000|
|Washington University||St. Louis, Missouri||$1,600,000|
|Yale University||New Haven, Connecticut||$2,200,000|
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