New Program To Increase STEM Research Opportunities for SUNY Undergrads

March 11, 2013

Albany — State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and Dr. Tim Killeen, SUNY vice chancellor for research and president of the Research Foundation for SUNY (RF) today announced a new program designed to stimulate undergraduate experiences and connections to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The program will dedicate $300,000 in RF funds to SUNY’s state-operated campuses for offering such opportunities to students.

“Experience and knowledge in the STEM fields are among the most valuable tools we can provide our students,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “This new program complements the focus of our regional STEM hubs, which bring campuses and businesses together to design college curricula and develop internship opportunities that give SUNY graduates a competitive edge as they enter the workforce.”

“There is a critical need to fill an estimated 477,000 STEM-related jobs in New York by 2018,” said Killeen. “This program is one of many efforts SUNY and the RF are making to build a marketplace for New York that consists of more rewarding, high-paying professions and to train SUNY students to meet the resulting workforce demands upon graduation.”

Stony Brook University will oversee the program, evaluating its progress and documenting and assessing best practices and outcomes across all participating campuses. The RF will fund the program by redeploying $300,000 realized by operational savings in fiscal year 2013. Allocations will range from $5,000 to $31,000 per campus, based on campus type: research center, comprehensive, technology, or doctoral granting institution.

SBU President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., said, “The overall demand for scientists and engineers over the next decade is expected to increase at four times the rate of other occupations, and SUNY is uniquely positioned to answer that call. This new and important connection of RF support will enable campuses across the state to meet today’s academic needs to prepare the workforce of tomorrow.”

Funds may be used to increase the participation of undergraduates in STEM research by adding new programs and expanding their availability, for example, or by adding new components to existing programs in order to enhance students’ research skills, increase their knowledge of research-related career options in the STEM fields, providing new opportunities for faculty mentorship; or strengthening program assessment.

The program was developed by the RF in partnership with the University Faculty Senate and endorsed by the SUNY Student Assembly.

“We’ve worked closely with our partners at the RF to establish this important and forward-looking program,” said Dr. Kenneth P. O'Brien, president of the University Faculty Senate. “We know how important undergraduate research is to keep students engaged and on track to graduation. We are grateful that the RF was able to make these funds available to enhance our campus programs."

“The benefits that this new program will provide SUNY students are timely and real,” said Kevin Rea, president of the Student Assembly. “The demand for skills and experience in the STEM disciplines has become an essential component of any college degree and SUNY and the RF are to be commended for expanding these opportunities for students.”

 

About the Research Foundation for The State University of New York
The RF was founded in 1951 to serve SUNY and to capitalize on its scope, scale and diversity as an engine of New York’s innovation economy. The largest, most comprehensive university-connected research foundation in the country, the RF supports nearly $1 billion in SUNY research activity annually, providing sponsored programs administration and innovation support services to SUNY faculty performing research in life sciences and medicine; engineering and nanotechnology; physical sciences and energy; social sciences, and computer and information sciences. To learn more about the RF visit www.rfsuny.org and connect with the RF on Facebook.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2015–16, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit-bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.


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