Howard Hughes Medical Institute awards $50.3 million to enrich undergraduate biological sciences education

July 05, 2000

CHEVY CHASE, Md., July 6, 2000-Fifty-three colleges and universities in 22 states and Puerto Rico will receive $50.3 million in awards for undergraduate biological sciences education. The four-year grants come from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the nation's largest private supporter of science education from elementary school through postdoctoral studies.

Ranging from $700,000 to $1.7 million, the new undergraduate awards are designed to help institutions that grant bachelor's and master's degrees respond to a recent surge in enrollments in the biological sciences, as well as to the rapid advances in molecular biology, genetics and related life sciences. HHMI grants will enable colleges to expand and update laboratories, recruit new faculty members and provide research opportunities for undergraduates, including women and members of minority groups underrepresented in science.

The awards support education programs that reflect the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of science and research, the central role that computers will play in post-genomic biology, and the growing need for biology majors to consider careers other than research, such as teaching science at the elementary or high school level. The grants will help colleges develop educational programs in the "new biology," which includes increased use of computers, sophisticated data analysis and the integration of biology and mathematics for studying molecular and cellular processes. Many colleges also will use their awards to create interdisciplinary programs linking biology and chemistry, physics and other fields of increasing importance to biologists. For example:"The colleges and universities receiving these grants contribute greatly to the education of both scientists and nonscientists," said HHMI President Thomas R. Cech. "These grants will help them do what they do best-providing undergraduate research opportunities and building bridges between the sciences and the humanities. I expect that these programs will serve as models for other undergraduate institutions."

HHMI invited 224 colleges and universities to submit proposals. An external panel of distinguished scientists and educators reviewed the 204 proposals received.

This is the fifth time that HHMI has awarded undergraduate science education grants to baccalaureate and master's degree-granting institutions. Four other competitions have made awards to research and doctoral-level universities to strengthen their undergraduate biological sciences programs.

The latest round of grants brings to $476 million the total awarded to 232 colleges and universities in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico since HHMI's Undergraduate Biological Sciences Education Program began in 1988. The undergraduate program is the largest of HHMI's grants initiatives. Among its accomplishments: "Biology and technology are moving forward at an incredible rate," said Joseph G. Perpich, HHMI vice president for grants and special programs. "These grants build on previous HHMI awards to help ensure that the coming generation of scientists and educators will be able to tap the enormous potential of the Web, genomic databases, and other technological advances in biological research and teaching. These grants will help bring the extraordinary excitement of today's biology to undergraduates."
-end-
HHMI's grants program supports science education in the United States and a select group of researchers in other countries, complementing its principal mission: the conduct of research in cell biology, computational biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience and structural biology with its own scientific teams. About 350 investigators are employed in HHMI laboratories at 72 academic medical centers and research institutions across the United States. Altogether, the Institute has awarded more than $850 million in grants, primarily to enhance science education from preschool through postdoctoral studies. Additional information is available at http://www.hhmi.org .

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Related Education Articles from Brightsurf:

Applying artificial intelligence to science education
A new review published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching highlights the potential of machine learning--a subset of artificial intelligence--in science education.

Dementia education
School-based dementia education could deliver much needed empathy and understanding for older generations as new research from the University of South Australia shows it can significantly improve dementia knowledge and awareness among younger generations.

How can education researchers support education and public health and institutions during COVID-19?
As education researchers' ongoing work is interrupted by school closures, what can they do to support education and public health institutions dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic?

Online education platforms could scale high-quality STEM education for universities
Online and blended (online and in-person) STEM instruction can produce the same learning outcomes for students as traditional, in-person classes at a fraction of the cost, finds research published today in Science Advances.

Technology in higher education: learning with it instead of from it
Technology has shifted the way that professors teach students in higher education.

The new racial disparity in special education
Racial disparity in special education is growing, and it's more complex than previously thought.

Education may be key to a healthier, wealthier US
A first-of-its-kind study estimate the economic value of education for better health and longevity.

How education may stave off cognitive decline
Prefrontal brain regions linked to higher educational attainment are characterized by increased expression of genes involved in neurotransmission and immunity, finds a study of healthy older adults published in JNeurosci.

Does more education stem political violence?
In a study released online today in Review of Educational Research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, three Norwegian researchers attempt to bring clarity to this question by undertaking the first systematic examination of quantitative research on this topic.

Individual education programs not being used as intended in special education
Gone are the days when students with disabilities were placed in a separate classroom, or even in a completely different part of the school.

Read More: Education News and Education Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.