BOREALIS Scholars Program
- BOREALIS Scholars are engineering students who are interested in learning more about biomedical engineering, and willing to engage in research related to biomedical engineering as an undergraduate student.
- Most BOREALIS Scholars will enter with little or no previous scientific research experience; all will leave with 4 years of research experience. All participants MUST major in some form of engineering.
- Applicants must identify as underrepresented in biomedical engineering. To see who is underrepresented in biomedical research, please see information from the NIH website below.
From the NIH website:
Underrepresented Populations in the U.S. Biomedical, Clinical, Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Enterprise
In spite of tremendous advancements in scientific research, information, educational and research opportunities are not equally available to all. NIH encourages institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations to enhance the participation of individuals from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences, such as:
A. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27) and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be demonstrated convincingly to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in this program. For more information on racial and ethnic categories and definitions, see the OMB Revisions to the Standards for Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity (https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-1997-10-30/html/97-28653.htm).
B. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended. See NSF data at, https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17310/static/data/tab7-5.pdf.
C. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as those who meet two or more of the following criteria:
- Were or currently are homeless, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Definition: https://nche.ed.gov/mckinney-vento/);
- Were or currently are in the foster care system, as defined by the Administration for Children and Families (Definition: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/focus-areas/foster-care);
- Were eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program for two or more years (Definition: https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/income-eligibility-guidelines);
- Have/had no parents or legal guardians who completed a bachelor’s degree (see https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2018/2018009.pdf);
- Were or currently are eligible for Federal Pell grants (Definition: https://www2.ed.gov/programs/fpg/eligibility.html);
- Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) as a parent or child (Definition: https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/wic-eligibility-requirements).
- Grew up in one of the following areas: a) a U.S. rural area, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer (https://data.hrsa.gov/tools/rural-health), or b) a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-designated Low-Income and Health Professional Shortage Areas (qualifying zip codes are included in the file). Only one of the two possibilities in #7 can be used as a criterion for the disadvantaged background definition.
Students from low socioeconomic (SES) status backgrounds have been shown to obtain bachelor’s and advanced degrees at significantly lower rates than students from middle and high SES groups (see https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_tva.asp), and are subsequently less likely to be represented in biomedical research.
The BOREALIS Scholars program is an exclusive opportunity to learn about the bioengineering research process by becoming an undergraduate researcher before the freshman fall semester begins! BOREALIS Scholars participate in:
- A pre-first-year full-time bridge program for 5 weeks in Summer 2024 that includes:
- A preparatory technical course to ensure readiness for the Fall semester, and a seminar about how to successfully navigate college life.
- Hands-on, scholarly research and actually get to participate as a researcher in a laboratory; students will be matched with research mentors based on mutual interests.
- Social events with other student groups on campus this summer.
- Room, board, and a stipend for the summer program are provided here at Clarkson.
- Three pre-campus virtual meetings (via Zoom) in June 2024 to get you ready for the on-campus phase.
- Paid mentored research experiences during both semesters of the first and second years at Clarkson, with a stipend of up to $10,000 per year. Upon successful entry to the Honors Program in the junior year, Clarkson will continue this stipend in the final two years of undergraduate study.
- Mentoring and support during the academic year, including but not limited to community-building activities, common courses taken with other BOREALIS Scholars, and completion of a 4-semester-long course about careers as a scientific researcher.
- An on-campus research experience following the second year of academic study.
- An application to join the Honors program in the junior year. Upon entry to the Honors program, students receive additional academic and career preparation support.
- Mentoring and professional development opportunities to prepare students for next steps beyond Clarkson, which may include applications to graduate school or work in the healthcare field, including healthcare research.
Our 2023 Student Scholars
Our inaugural cohort of BOREALIS Scholars includes first-year students Rose Leader, Ciara Nuesi and Jonathan Sanchez-Salgado.