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Roche/ARCS Foundation 2015 Scholar Awards Announced

Posted on Monday, March 2, 2015

New partnership funds 36 U.S. scholars pursuing doctoral degrees in life science

WASHINGTON DC, March 2, 2015 - ARCS Foundation (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation, Inc.) announced the selection and funding of 36 award recipients of the Roche/ARCS Foundation Scholar Award, which supports promising US Scholars pursing doctoral degrees in the life sciences. This partnership unites generous private sector/industry support with ARCS Foundation’s recognized commitment to enabling young scientists to succeed at the seed stage of their careers.

Many young American scientists experience difficulty in obtaining funding for early-stage research, as discussed in this recent (February 5, 2015) Wall Street Journal opinion piece by Michael S. Malone. The Roche and ARCS Foundations have united to support the next generation of science leaders  by offering vital support at an innovative yet often-overlooked stage. Roche/ARCS Foundation Scholar Andrew Norman, from the department of Developmental Stem Cell Microbiology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) shares, "Excellent science demands incredible focus and dedication, which the generous support of Roche and ARCS Foundation has enabled me to give to my work. I am grateful to Roche and ARCS for understanding how important support for basic science and STEM research is to our world’s future prosperity.” 

Consistent with the ARCS Foundation mission and Roche’s commitment to excellence, the awards have been made to PhD students of high achievement studying in the life sciences.  The Roche/ARCS Foundation joint program will award $805,500 over three years; to date, $268,500 in cash awards have been issued for the current academic year. The partnership’s commitment to the selected scholars is shared, with 82% provided by The Roche Foundation and 18% provided by ARCS Foundation’s regional chapters across the United States.  

The inaugural class of 36 scientists (20 women and 16 men) represent 17 fields of study within uppermost ranked life science departments at 25 universities; all are current ARCS Foundation academic partners.  A complete list of Roche/ARCS Scholars and participating universities can be found here.

The Roche/ARCS Foundation partnership recognizes the role of interdisciplinary thinking, data science and informatics in enhancing discovery and global innovation within the life sciences field. It is anticipated that the partnership will serve as a model for other industry efforts to support STEM scholars at the doctoral level.

“The Roche/ARCS Foundation collaboration shows how partnerships between industry, academia, and non-profits can accomplish more in sum than independent efforts can alone,” shared ARCS Foundation National President Nancy Spetzler. 

About the Roche/ARCS Foundation Scholar Award Program The Roche/ARCS Scholar Award Program is a new funding model for both The Roche and ARCS Foundations providing support for the next generation of outstanding graduate life sciences scholars in the US. All awardees are Ph.D. candidates in the life sciences at universities that are ARCS Foundation academic partners, which includes the study of medically relevant fields including the scientific study of living organisms, such as microorganisms, animals and human beings, as well as related work in chemistry, computer sciences, engineering and materials sciences that could eventually be applied towards the study of living organisms. While biology remains the centerpiece of the life sciences, technological advances in molecular biology, chemical synthesis methods for creation of medicines, biotechnology for design and production of protein drugs, and computer sciences (bioinformatics) have led to a burgeoning of specializations and new, often interdisciplinary, fields.

About ARCS Foundation ARCS® Foundation is a national nonprofit volunteer women’s organization that promotes American competitiveness by supporting talented U.S. citizens working to complete degrees in science, technology engineering, mathematics (STEM) and health disciplines at 54 of the nation's leading research universities. Since 1958, the organization has awarded more than $91 million to more than 9,000 students. ARCS Scholars have produced thousands of research publications and patents, secured millions in grant funding, started science related companies and played a significant role in teaching and mentoring young people in the STEM pipeline. More at .  

About The Roche Foundation The Roche Foundation is one of the oldest charitable foundations in the U.S. and focuses its support on health promotion as well as science and math education. The Roche Foundation’s latest endeavor with ARCS Foundation is to support the next generation of science leaders and further the foundations’ shared interest in advancing science in America.