Merck and the United Negro College Fund have again teamed up to award undergraduate scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships to 37 African American students in the biosciences, the pharmaceuticals firm says. In response to the sentiment that "America needs to build a diverse pipeline of highly educated minority students, especially in the sciences in order to develop the next generation of researchers, professors, and teachers," as UNCF president and CEO Michael Lomax says in a statement, the scholarships and fellowships aim to "provide the future scientists with financial support, hands-on training, close mentoring and networking relationships, and institutional support."
Undergraduate scholarship awards of $25,000 and postdoctoral fellowship awards of $85,000 will be distributed to recipients, as "chosen through a competitive application process that selects candidates based on their academic achievements and potential in the field of biomedical research," according to Merck. The financial awards will also include funding for the science departments at the American colleges and universities that the recipient students attend. African American students of life and physical sciences at American four-year colleges and universities are eligible to apply for the scholarship, according to the Merck release.