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Society for Science & the Public received a $100,000 funding commitment from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation in June to support the Society Advocate Grant program. This matches the Society’s previous $100,000 funding commitment, which was designated to cover the costs of the pilot project.
The Advocate Grant program is designed to provide additional support to underrepresented and socioeconomically challenged students who have conducted scientific or engineering research projects, and encourage them to take the next step in the process by submitting their research to a scientific research competition.
The program provides a $3,000 stipend to an individual (such as a teacher, counselor, or mentor) who agrees to serve as an advocate for a group of three to five underrepresented students. The individual agrees to support the students by prompting and communicating to them about possible competitions and relevant deadlines, and supporting the gathering and writing of the required elements of an application.
The Society will be distributing nearly $30,000 in advocate grants during the pilot year and will then evaluate its impact on participation rates, with the goal of expanding the advocate pool in 2016.
“We thank the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for their support of the Society's Advocate Grant program,” said Maya Ajmera, CEO & President of Society for Science & the Public and publisher of Science News. “As an alum of the Society's Science Talent Search and other scientific competitions, I know the impact that applying to and participating in competitions can have on a young student. It increased my self-confidence, enhanced my public speaking abilities, and gave me great focus on my project. I believe that all students should have that opportunity. We hope that having a dedicated advocate to encourage and support these students will increase their rates of participation.”
Read the press release, with full list of selected advocates