Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Supports CUNY’s Decade of Science; $1M Grant will Support Early-Career Scientists

August 1, 2011 | The University

The City University of New York has received a three-year, $1,075,968 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to encourage and support promising early-career scientists. Promoting Scientific Success at CUNY will fund two initiatives: a summer undergraduate research program and a junior faculty fellowship program.

Chancellor Matthew Goldstein said the grant, made during CUNY’s ongoing Decade of Science, reflects the University’s priority on research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

“We’re pleased that the Sloan Foundation has recognized CUNY’s role in promoting scientific research,” he said. “This is an exciting opportunity because the grants will enhance the stature of the University by giving our students and faculty a competitive advantage in these vital fields.”

“We’re delighted to partner with the Sloan Foundation to spearhead a cohort of new scientists,” said Gillian Small, vice chancellor for research and principal investigator. “This will provide CUNY’s researchers with a means to excel and will accelerate their road to success.”

Paula Olsiewski, program director of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, said, “CUNY’s innovative program is taking a leadership role in advancing science at the highest levels by encouraging young people, particularly women and minorities, to study in these disciplines.”

Each year, the 10 undergraduates selected for the 10-week summer training and mentoring program will receive a $3,500 stipend and free housing enabling the scientists to gain practical laboratory experience. “This is open to all qualified CUNY students interested in doing applied research in the STEM fields,” Small said. “The Sloan Foundation’s support provides a unique opportunity for undergraduates and will increase the likelihood that they will continue their research work in graduate school and beyond.”

The students will work under the supervision of CUNY research faculty mentors in labs across the University. They will attend workshops and seminars on scientific and professional development topics and design and carry out research projects.

Each junior faculty member chosen for the fellowship program for young science and engineering scholars will receive a $50,000 award. Three will be awarded the first year, four the second and five the third.

“The grants will advance their careers by providing structured support that enables them to devote concerted attention to research projects that have significant potential scientific, economic and societal impact,”  Small said.

The accomplishments of the CUNY students and faculty will be tracked and compared with those of their peers.

“Promoting Scientific Success at CUNY will invest in the young researchers of today to grow the innovation economy of tomorrow,” Small said. “We hope to train a new generation of researcher-entrepreneurs to create a pipeline of students interested in emerging science disciplines and provide early-career STEM scholars with the means to create new knowledge and succeed at a level that might otherwise have been unobtainable.”

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, nonprofit grant-making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-president and CEO of General Motors Corp., the Foundation’s grants support original research and education in science, technology, engineering, math, and economic performance. www.sloan.org.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university.  Founded in New York City in 1847 as The Free Academy, the University has 23 institutions: 11 senior colleges, six community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY School of Public Health. The University serves 260,000 academic credit students and 269,808 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program for 32,500 high school students, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree. More than 1 million visitors and 2 million page views are served each month by www.cuny.edu, the University’s website.