DHHS, NIH News  
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Joyce McDonald or
Ann Puderbaugh

NIH Funds Nine Science Education Partnership Awards
Nearly $10 Million Will Support Programs to Increase Science Literacy

Whether they are learning why cardiovascular disease is more likely to strike African Americans, discovering how Lyme disease is transmitted, or studying aquatic organisms, students across the country are being encouraged to immerse themselves in science, as part of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) program to increase science literacy and encourage research careers.

The NIH today announced it will award $9.4 million to fund nine Science Education Partnership Awards (SEPA). Administered by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the NIH, SEPA grants provide from two to five years of support.

“By giving students the chance to participate in hands-on, inquiry-based research projects, we hope to demystify science and make it more accessible,” said Barbara M. Alving, Acting Director of NCRR. “Through our SEPA program, we not only stimulate public interest in health issues, we also encourage young people to pursue careers in science.”

FY 2005 Science Education Partnership Awards:

  • Exploratorium (San Francisco, Calif.)

  • Great Lakes Science Center (Cleveland, Ohio)

  • Harvard University Medical School (Cambridge, Mass.)

  • Jackson State University (Jackson, Miss.)

  • Oregon Health and Science University (Portland, Ore.)

  • University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (Newark, N.J.)

  • University of Texas-Pan American (Edinburg, Texas)

  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Milwaukee, Wis.)

  • Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)

Full Description of Projects (http://www.ncrr.nih.gov/ncrrprog/clindir/SEPAdirectoryFY2005.asp)

SEPA programs serve K-12 students and teachers, as well as science centers and museums across the country. Many of the programs target underserved and/or minority populations that are less likely to pursue science careers. In addition, SEPA partnerships develop projects that educate the general public about health and disease, with the aim of helping people make better lifestyle choices as new medical advances emerge.

In the initial three-year phase, SEPA programs form partnerships among biomedical and clinical researchers, educators, community groups, and other interested organizations to create programs that provide a better understanding of scientific research. In the second two-year phase of the program, these SEPA-generated curricula are more broadly disseminated.

For more information about SEPA, visit http://www.ncrrsepa.org. Application details are available at http://www.ncrr.nih.gov/clinical/cr_sepa.asp.

The National Center for Research Resources, a part of the National Institutes of Health, strengthens and enhances the research environments and tools used by scientists who are working to prevent, detect, treat, and cure a wide range of diseases. By developing and funding essential research resources, such as imaging and bioinformatics technologies, preclinical models, and clinical research centers, NCRR contributes to major medical discoveries made by scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health. Additional information about NCRR can be found at www.ncrr.nih.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

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