NEW YORK, April 1 - Hoping to attract students to bioinformatics, the US National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation said they intend to give universities cash to start summer-education programs to study the discipline.
Universities that participate in the NIH-NSF Bioengineering and Bioinformatics Summer Institutes Program can receive up to $200,000 per year for up to four years. The program, which anticipates raising $1.5 million for its first year, said it will issue five to eight awards for programs that will begin in the summer of 2003.
The government bodies are targeting students with majors in biological sciences, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics, and physical sciences. Each university-hosted summer institute is geared for approximately 15 students, according the NSF and NIH. The proposal deadline is June 27.
The fund was established to increase "the number of young people considering careers in bioengineering and bioinformatics at the graduate level and beyond," according to the program description. The schools "will reach broadly into the national student talent pool as they seek to attract a diverse group of US citizens and permanent residents to careers in bioengineering or bioinformatics."
The NSF and NIH stipulate that half of the students enrolled in the programs come from outside the host university. Undergraduate students enrolling in the program must have completed their sophomore year, and graduate students must be within their first two years of entry into their graduate program, according to the agencies.