Occidental Receives $162,000 Grant to Fund Student Research in the Sciences
Occidental College has received a $162,000 grant from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation to support student research projects in the sciences.
The award is payable over three years and will allow 36 students to take part in the college’s Summer Stipend Program.
Over the next three summers, the award will fund collaborative research between faculty and a dozen students under the auspices of the Occidental’s Undergraduate Research Center. Student researchers will be chosen on a competitive basis, with each being given a $3,000 stipend and $1,500 toward housing, supplies and travel costs. The college will commit an additional $91,800 over the three years to cover remaining costs.
The grant comes at an important juncture for the sciences at Occidental. In October, the college dedicated the $16 million Hameetman Science Center, a 41,000-square-foot facility with 23 research and teaching labs. The center contains the latest in computer and scientific technology in such fields as plasma physics and geology.
Occidental’s Undergraduate Research Program – recipient of a 1998 National Science Foundation Integration of Research and Education Award – was cited as one of the country’s best in a 2001 study of undergraduate research sponsored by a consortium of private foundations. Over the past five years, 500 students have participated in the college’s research program.
Science remains one of Occidental’s highest areas of achievement. In the past 10 years, science students have won two Rhodes Scholarships, 13 National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships, two National Physics Science Consortium Fellowships, 20 Goldwater and eight Beckman scholarships, and a host of other national awards.
“The undergraduate research program has been a critical incubator in developing the talent of our students and encouraging them to pursue advanced degrees,” said Associate Dean Chris L. Craney, director of the Undergraduate Research Center. “Occidental’s summer undergraduate research program is one of the largest in the nation, with students researching topics ranging from literature and philosophy to ecology and biochemistry.”