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Amgen Scholars Undergraduate Summer Research Program Begins Phase 2

Eight-Year, $34 Million Program, in Partnership with 13 Top Universities, Will Reach Nearly 2,500 Undergraduates

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Nov. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

Today, Amgen Scholars, the signature initiative of the Amgen Foundation, moves into its second phase of what has become a $34 million program to advance science learning and inspire the next generation of scientists.

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"There continues to be a shortage of qualified scientists and engineers entering the workforce each year," said Jean Lim, president, Amgen Foundation. "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. 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 approximately $1 million over the next four years to support undergraduate students across the United States (U.S.) 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 leading industry and academic scientists. In addition, new to Phase 2, travel awards 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. to provide undergraduates the opportunity for laboratory research experiences under the guidance of leading scientists in academia. In 2008, the program expanded to include three European universities. As a result, in the past four years, nearly 1,200 Amgen Scholars - representing 327 different colleges and universities across the U.S. and Europe - have explored areas of research beyond what they may have been able to do as part of their regular undergraduate education. Today, over 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 PhD programs at top universities across the world.

In its first year, the Amgen Scholars Program received approximately 2,200 applications. By 2010, that number increased to more than 5,200 applications, with only 315 openings in the U.S. and Europe.

MIT serves as the U.S. Program Office for the Amgen Scholars Program. "Research is at the heart of education at MIT," said MIT President Susan Hockfield. "The Amgen Scholars Program is built on an assumption we share: that one critical way to inspire students is to get them actively involved in exciting laboratory work. The nation and the world need more scientists, and this young program is an answer to that call."

University of Cambridge serves as the European Coordinating Centre. "Many countries in Europe have limited science research opportunities for undergraduates. Ourpartnership with the Amgen Foundation enables us to offer the brightest minds a unique summer research program, and to inspire them aboutcareer opportunities at the cutting edge of scientific research," said ProfessorJohn Rallison, pro-vice-chancellor for Education at the University of Cambridge.

The 10 U.S. program partners are:

  • California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  • Columbia University/Barnard College
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • University of Washington
  • Washington University in St. Louis

The three European program partners are:

  • Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat, Munich, Germany
  • University of Cambridge, UK

Financial support for students is a critical component of the program, which seeks to ensure that eligible students, regardless of their financial status, are able to participate. Financial support details vary by host university.

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

About the Amgen Foundation

The Amgen Foundation (www.amgen.com/citizenship/overview.html) 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 $140 million in grants to nonprofit organizations throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Europe that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways, and those that provide disaster relief efforts both domestically and internationally.

CONTACT: Amgen, Thousand Oaks

Kristen Davis, 805-447-3008

SOURCE Amgen