News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

January 4, 2010 — Vol. 26 No. 1

NSF awards grant for chemistry, biochemistry scholarships

Robert Holman

The National Science Foundation has awarded more than a half of million dollars in grant funding that will benefit Idaho State University chemistry and biochemistry students.

The Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Grant will be awarded over the next five years. Total grant funding is $568,935.

"We’re dividing the scholarship funds into two groups," said Robert Holman, chair of the ISU chemistry department and one of the grant’s principal investigators. "We want to retain the students we already have and reduce our attrition rates, and we want to recruit and bring in new students to these majors."

The program can fund an equivalent of about 20 four-year scholarships for its duration.

The ISU chemistry department hopes that by having these funds available it can decrease the current attrition rate and have at least 70 percent of the students entering either of these disciplines to graduate from ISU in these fields. The goal after that is to place 90 percent of these graduates into graduate schools or professional jobs, Holman said.

Financially disadvantaged students and students from under represented groups will be given priority for receiving scholarships. Idaho resident students will also be given priority.

"This is an excellent program that will benefit new and existing students alike," Holman said. "It will greatly increase the graduation rates from these programs. The primary reason students leave school without completing a program is an insufficient ability to pay for school. These scholarships should address this issue nicely."

The scholarship program is seeking applicants and may start screening applicants for the 2010-11 academic year as early as March.

For more information about this program and how to apply for scholarships, contact Holman at (208) 282-4444 or e-mail holmrobe@isu.edu.