The Bayer USA Foundation Awards Graduate Fellowships
The Bayer USA Foundation recently awarded over $141,000 to two Carnegie Mellon graduate students in chemistry and chemical engineering as part of the Bayer Graduate Fellows Program. The gift represents an ongoing commitment between Bayer and the university to strengthen the pipeline of innovative graduate students conducting interdisciplinary research in chemistry and chemical engineering, particularly in the areas of polymer characterization and complex fluids.
The generous fellowships enable the university to attract the best and brightest graduate students in their fields. In addition to receiving financial support, Bayer Fellows participate in summer internships where they can best prepare for the expectations of industrial research.
"[The internships] offer key professional training opportunities for graduate students, often lacking in academia," said Hyung Kim, professor and head of the Chemistry Department. While at Carnegie Mellon, the Bayer Fellows are co-advised by a chemist and a chemical engineer to further facilitate learning about communication and collaboration in an interdisciplinary team.
Professor Kim also noted the significance of fellowship to advancing the place of underrepresented groups in science: "The majority of our past and current fellowship recipients are female graduate students...[one recipient] has expressed that her internship experience at Bayer was extremely rewarding; it has helped her to open her eyes and learn and understand how research works in industry."
"We are very fortunate that we have an industrial partner like the Bayer Foundation who deeply cares about graduate education. We hope that their support of our graduate program continues for a long period of time," he said.
Established in 2002, the Bayer Fellows Program at Carnegie Mellon has become a cornerstone of graduate research at the university. Awardees have won national honors, including a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Kenneth G. Hancock Memorial Student Award in Green Chemistry from the American Chemical Society. In 2007, the program was renewed through a $725,246 five-year pledge from the Bayer Foundation.