Public Release: 

Merck and AAAS announce 2006 winners for Outstanding Undergraduate Research Programs

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Eleven colleges and universities across the nation are winners of the 2006 awards for the Merck/AAAS Undergraduate Science Research Program (USRP), sponsored by the Merck Institute for Science Education (MISE) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Each award provides up to $60,000, paid over three years at $20,000 per year, for joint use by the biology and chemistry departments at each recipient institution.

This year's winners are Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C.; Drew University, Madison, N.J.; Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Ore.; Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles; Macalester College, St. Paul, Minn.; Simmons College, Boston; State University of New York College, Brockport; State University of New York, Oswego; Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pa.; Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas; and University of Illinois, Springfield.

USRP is a national competitive awards program available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Up to 15 awards are made annually. The funding supports research stipends for undergraduate students and ancillary programs that foster interactions between the biology and chemistry departments. Launched in 2000 as a national competition, awards will be made through 2009. This 10-year, $9 million initiative is funded by MISE and administered by AAAS. Its goals are to:

  • enhance undergraduate education through research experiences that emphasize the interrelationship between chemistry and biology;
  • encourage students to pursue graduate education in chemistry and life sciences; and
  • foster undergraduate programs and activities that bridge chemistry and biology.


The program is open to qualified institutions in the United States and Puerto Rico that offer an American Chemical Society-approved program in chemistry and confer 10 or fewer graduate degrees annually in biology and chemistry combined. The winners of this program are being announced during the 2006 AAAS Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Mo. For more information, send questions via or visit the Web site at

The Merck Institute for Science Education (MISE) is a tax-exempt private foundation established in 1993 to improve science education in the public schools. Now expanded to include college and graduate-level education, MISE works to build capacity in the biomedical sciences through partnerships with education institutions.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science ( AAAS was founded in 1848, and serves 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, reaching 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS ( is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy; international programs; science education; and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!,, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.

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