The students, academic mentors and industrial scientists, gathered at the University of Cambridge today to mark the culmination of a summer of research at some of the world’s leading academic institutions.
In addition, the programme demonstrates a gender rebalancing in the traditionally male dominated sciences as three quarters of the scholarship places were won by female scientists.
The Amgen Scholars Programme 2012 provided a select group of 77 students (from nearly 500 applicants) with the opportunity to undertake original research over the summer in world-class academic research labs at the University of Cambridge, Karolinska Institute or LMU Munich.
It is one of the only pan-European undergraduate research programmes open to students across multiple countries.
Participating scholars have worked on projects across a diverse range of disease areas such as autism and bowel cancer and also immune disorders such diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
They have worked alongside some of the most influential academic research scientists in the field such as Professor Steve Jackson whose work on cancer has focused on preventing and remediating DNA damage; Zoologist Professor Bill Sutherland who has defined the science required to preserve global biodiversity; and embryonic stem cell pioneer Professor Allan Bradley.
Dr Patrick Baeuerle, VP of Research of Amgen said: “The Amgen Scholars Programme challenges undergraduates beyond the scope of their studies and gives leading academics the opportunity to pass on their passion for research to a new generation.
“1,800 Amgen Scholars have now participated across the US and Europe, with nearly 90 per cent of alumni who have completed their undergraduate studies now pursuing an advanced degree or a career in science or engineering, with many in scientific PhD programmes at top universities across the world.”
The Amgen Scholars programme is a $34 million, eight-year initiative, launched in 2006 in the US and 2008 in Europe, that provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to engage in hands-on science research at some of the world’s leading universities.
As a unique component of the programme, students attend a symposium to discuss their summer research projects, learn more about biotechnology and scientific careers, and hear firsthand from leading industry and academic scientists.
• In 2012, 77 undergraduates participated in the Amgen Scholars Programme in Europe.
• Participants represent 45 colleges and universities across 21 European countries.
• Nearly a third of participants study in English Universities. Other countries represented include Scotland, Ireland, France, Serbia, Poland, Spain and Germany.
• Nearly three-quarters of Amgen Scholars in Europe are female (74 per cent).
• 56 per cent are in their 2nd year with 71 per cent graduating in 2013.
• 78 per cent want to pursue a PhD and 17 per cent want to pursue a MD/PhD.
• Top areas of study include Biology, Biochemistry, MCD Biology, Natural Sciences and Biotechnology.