Encouraging young people to pursue scientific careers is the foundation not only for a strong bioscience community, but for the State as a whole. The importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education in Delaware is becoming more widely recognized as vitally important to growing the State’s economy.
While early STEM education is critical, it is equally important to encourage and support students beyond their high school years. For this reason, the Delaware Governor’s Biotechnology Scholarship was established in 2006, with guidance from the Delaware Community Foundation, to provide financial support for students majoring in the life sciences at the University of Delaware, Delaware State University and Delaware Technical Community College.
With support from local bioscience companies, the Fund provided scholarships for 24 bioscience students attending these Delaware institutions of higher learning.
Based on the Advisory Committee’s recommendation, the program was revised in 2013 to the Delaware Governor’s Bioscience Fellowship. It was recognized that undergraduate research experience is invaluable in providing students with critical thinking and problem solving skills, and engaging their intellectual curiosity. Undergraduate research reinforces classroom knowledge and clarifies career goals. Research activity also helps make undergraduates’ résumés more attractive to prospective employers and graduate schools.
The Delaware Governor’s Bioscience Fellowship program now directly supports summer research projects for undergraduate students at the University of Delaware, Delaware State University and Delaware Technical Community College. The students have all graduated from Delaware high schools and demonstrated a strong desire to pursue their careers in the State.