UCSF outreach to aspiring science students fueled by Amgen grant

By Jennifer O'Brien

Desiree Leek, a 2005 Summer Research Training Program participant -----

UCSF has received a $1 million grant from the Amgen Foundation to provide 25 undergraduate students each year for four years the opportunity to engage in a fully funded, hands-on research experience during the summer.

The Amgen Scholars will join other participants in UCSF’s Summer Research Training Program, which provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to conduct research in the biological, biomedical, and behavioral sciences.

The nine-week program, established in the mid-1980s, is directed by the UCSF Graduate Division. It is intended to prepare students for graduate study and a research career in the health sciences.

“We are very pleased to be part of this initiative,” said Patricia Calarco, PhD, Interim Dean of Graduate Studies at UCSF. “This is an excellent opportunity for undergraduate students to gain fundamental research skills, learn more about the scientific discovery process, and network with peers and top scientists. We hope it will encourage them to pursue an advanced degree in science and a science career.”

UCSF is one of 10 universities nationwide receiving funding from the Amgen Scholars Program, a $25 million, eight-year program. The first phase is four years.

“UCSF is one the nation’s premier universities, and we are very pleased to provide young, aspiring students with the opportunity to benefit from the summer research training program,” says Jean Lim, president of Amgen Foundation.

“At Amgen, we believe we have an important responsibility to inspire and prepare the next generation of scientists,” says Lim. “We believe our partnership with UCSF will provide students with a pivotal experience that will encourage them to pursue further education and training in the sciences. In California alone, we are partnering with six of the state’s top universities, committing a total of $6 million over the next four years. Three of these universities are in the San Francisco Bay Area.”

Scholars in the UCSF program will participate in research projects and scientific seminars exploring such areas as molecular genetics, neuroscience, and bioinformatics. They will be matched with faculty mentors and, under their guidance, complete a project and present their findings at the conclusion of the program with a written abstract, oral presentation, and poster presentation.

In addition to carrying out daily work in the laboratory, participants will attend biweekly seminars and workshops focused on the basic sciences, social sciences and the experiences they can expect to have in science - the graduate school application process, life as a graduate student, career options for researchers, skill-building workshops focused on abstract writing and oral presentations, and information on how to create an effective poster presentation.

Scholars will also participate in a mid-summer, three-day symposium at Lake Tahoe, during which students will have the opportunity to discuss their research projects and hear from leading scientists in industry and academia.

Program participants nationwide will include undergraduate students from accredited four-year colleges and universities in the United States, Puerto Rico and other U.S. Territories. UCSF will advertise the program nationally and will accept applications from students from across the United States. A UCSF faculty committee will review applications and select the students to participate in the Amgen Scholars Program.

All Amgen scholars will receive full financial support for the program, including a stipend, room, board and a travel allowance, including travel to and from UCSF and the symposium.

The nine other Amgen program partners include California Institute of Technology; Columbia University/Barnard College; Howard University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Stanford University; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, San Diego; and University of Washington.

UCSF is a leading university that advances health worldwide by conducting advanced biomedical research, educating graduate students in the life sciences and health professions, and providing complex patient care.

The Amgen Foundation (Amgen Foundation) seeks to advance science education, improve patient access to quality care, and strengthen the communities where Amgen staff members live and work. Since 1991, the Foundation has made $70 million in grants to local, regional and national non-profit organizations that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways. It has also supported disaster relief efforts both domestically and internationally.

For more information about UCSF’s
Summer Research Training Program ( Student Summer

For more information about Amgen Scholars, please visit >Amgen Scholars.