Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and PBS LearningMedia announced The EMPEROR Science Award Program. This initiative will encourage students from disadvantaged high schools to pursue careers in science, with a particular emphasis on cancer research, through a year of mentorship with a scientist from a leading research institution or industry. The education initiative, announced recently by SU2C Cofounder Katie Couric at Columbia University, is being launched in connection with Ken Burns Presents Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, A Film by Barak Goodman, a three-part documentary on the history of cancer that aired recently on PBS.
“When we launched this documentary effort in 2013, Siddhartha Mukherjee told us that even with all the exciting developments in cancer research, we will not beat cancer in the long run if we don’t engage new generations of young people to enter the field of science, particularly cancer research,” said SU2C Cofounder Sherry Lansing.
“As we learn in Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, our most effective weapons in the war against cancer are bright minds and people who are passionately committed to finding a cure,” said Alicia Levi, Vice President of Education, PBS. “To find the next Sidney Farber or Mary-Claire King, we need to make sure that all students have an opportunity to pursue their scientific ambitions.”
Applications will be available in August 2015 for the program on PBS LearningMedia’s website at pbslearningmedia.org. Students may apply for awards themselves, or may be nominated by teachers. The first 100 Awardees, high school students from Title I, or similarly “economically disadvantaged” schools, will be announced in late 2015. The awardees will receive one-on-one science mentoring, as well as $1,500 grants.
The first 300 EMPEROR Science Awards have been fully funded over 3 years, with 100 being donated by Genentech, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Novartis, respectively. ■