UNCF/Merck Science Initiative Announces Biosciences Scholarships, Fellowships

The United Negro College Fund and global pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. have announced thirty-seven scholarships and fellowships to African American students through the UNCF/Merck Science Initiative.

Awards ranging from $25,000 to $92,000 will be awarded to promising undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral science students pursuing careers in engineering or biomedical research. In addition to financial support, students will receive hands-on training, institutional support, close mentoring, and networking opportunities. Now in its seventeenth year, the initiative aims to increase the number of African American students in STEM disciplines.

In conjunction with the UNCF Institute for Capacity Building, the initiative also will award $500,000 to the undergraduate STEM program at Xavier University. Over the next four years, Xavier will use the grant to boost the number of students who graduate with STEM degrees and pursue research careers in the biological and chemical sciences.

"Merck's investments in these promising students and scholars is a significant commitment to building a pipeline of African American students in biosciences and an investment in longer and better lives for millions of people not only in America but around the world," said UNCF president and CEO Michael L. Lomax. "Developing the next generation of researchers, professors, and science and math teachers will also enable our nation to compete in the global economy. I challenge this generation of African American scientists to mentor, advocate, and help prepare the next generation of African American scientists to ensure that younger students get the pre-college education they need to study science in college. It is critical to start introducing our students to science early, and it is crucial for these students to have good science and math teachers in their classrooms."