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Feb 18, 2003

Calvin Sciences Honored

Calvin College is one of 15 winners in the 2003 awards for the Merck/AAAS Undergraduate Science Research Program.

This national competitive awards program (available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico) is sponsored by the Merck Company Foundation (Merck is a pharmaceutical company) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal Science.

Fifteen awards are made annually and each award provides up to $60,000, paid over three years at $20,000 per year, for joint use by the biology and chemistry departments at each recipient institution. The funding supports research stipends for undergraduate students and programs that foster interactions between biology and chemistry departments.

At Calvin the award will pay for full summer research stipends for four Calvin students to work side-by-side with Calvin professors from chemistry and biology on four projects: protein/DNA interactions, glucose uptake, the degradation of biocides, and the nuclear import of proteins.

The award also will give each student money to travel to a scientific meeting to present his or her work and it will provide a small stipend to each faculty member involved. Finally a small portion of the award will be used to bring a prominent guest speaker to campus (to be invited by the Merck/AAAS scholars).

In addition, Calvin has committed matching funds to the effort so that each summer research project actually will have a pair of students working together: one student funded by the Merck/AAAS award; the other funded by Calvin. Those Calvin-funded students also will be paid to travel to a scientific meeting and will be part of the process to invite a guest speaker.

Launched in 2000 as a national competition, awards will be made through 2009. The 10-year, $9-million initiative is funded by The Merck Company Foundation and administered by AAAS. The program goals are to:

  • enhance undergraduate education through research experiences that emphasize the interrelationship between chemistry and biology
  • encourage students to pursue graduate education in chemistry and life sciences
  • foster undergraduate programs and activities that bridge chemistry and biology

The program is open to qualified institutions in the United States and Puerto Rico that offer an American Chemical Society-approved program in chemistry and confer 10 or fewer graduate degrees annually in biology and chemistry combined.

This year's winners are Birmingham-Southern College, Calvin College, College of Staten Island/CUNY, Davidson College, Earlham College, Gustavus Adolphus College, Illinois Wesleyan University, Lebanon Valley College, Marist College, State University College at Buffalo, State University of New York-Geneseo, University of Redlands, Viterbo University, Wheaton College, and Wilkes University.

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Contact Phil de Haan
616-957-6475 (v)
616-957-7069 (f)