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Sciences at Eckerd

Center for Molecular and Life Sciences

Student Research

“Eckerd professors consider the mentoring of students their sole responsibility. It’s very different from the large research institutions where I’ve taught.”
- Dr. Susan Slaugenhaupt ’85
Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

Every summer, nearly a dozen Eckerd students head to Boston to intern at the Center for Human Genetic Research at Massachusetts General Hospital or in the labs at Harvard Medical School. Others go to the University of South Florida to do marine science or cancer research. Fifty or more stay right here on campus to engage in research with Eckerd faculty.

But you don't have to wait for summer to get into the lab. From the Freshman Research Program to the Dolphin Project, Eckerd offers many opportunities for budding scientists to find and follow their own passions.

Research pays off

Due largely to the hands-on experience they get here, our students have won more Hollings Scholarships than students at any other U.S. College or University – including large public research universities like the University of Miami, Penn State University, University of Oklahoma and Cornell University.

The $16,000 scholarships are awarded every year to the top 100 students in environmental, marine, oceanic or atmospheric science. So far, we have 52 winners, and the program is only eight years old.

Freshman Research Program

Freshman Research Associateships are awarded to incoming freshmen each year. The winners are selected on the basis of their overall high school record and are given the opportunity to work closely with a member of the faculty on a research project of mutual interest. The associateship includes a one-year stipend of up to $1,000.

Natural Sciences Summer Research Program

Students receive modest stipends and on-campus housing for 10 weeks to work with faculty members on various research projects. The Eckerd College Natural Sciences Summer Research Program, originally developed with a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, continues to be generously funded by the College. This program provides funds to support faculty and students engaged in collaborative scientific research. Funds may be used to support students, and to purchase research supplies and small pieces of equipment.

The Dolphin Project

The Eckerd College Dolphin Project is composed of a team of several students who conduct population surveys of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) during the summer months. Initiated in 1993, the project has been training dozens of students on how to take and analyze scientific data on dolphin populations to better understand their population dynamics and ecology in Tampa Bay. Such information can be used to help conserve dolphin populations.

Student Research Symposium

All Eckerd College students are invited to participate in the annual Student Research Symposium highlighting student research. Entering its seventh year, current students from all academic areas are welcome to participate by giving either a poster or oral presentation describing their work.

Submissions consist of significant original research performed by a student or group of students. All first authors must be current Eckerd College students. Abstracts are due in February and the Symposium is held in March each year.

Awards for the Symposium have been made possible through SunTrust/ASPEC/Faculty Learning Grants and the Eckerd College chapter of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. Each winning presentation has received a $100 prize.

Eckerd College Science Symposium

The Eckerd College Science Symposium was established in 2009 to promote the public understanding of science. The symposium encourages collaboration and communication among notable scientists, alumni, faculty, staff and students and welcomes visitors to learn more about Eckerd College. A student photo contest, and resulting exhibit, offers everyone an opportunity to share in a visual feast of science.

Click here for photos of past Science Symposia.

NOAA Holling Scholars---Most in the Nation

53 Eckerd students have been named by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as Hollings Scholars—more than any other in the nation. With seven recipients in 2013, Eckerd continues to expand its lead over other colleges and universities, such as University of Miami, Penn State University, University of Oklahoma and Cornell University, as the top winner of Hollings Scholarships.

The undergraduate scholarships, awarded in honor of Senator Hollings (South Carolina-D) who championed the creation of the NOAA and was among the most vocal of ocean advocates during his 36 years in Congress, are awarded annually to accredited college or university students interested in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology and education. Each recipient receives an $8,000 scholarship for the junior year, an $8,000 scholarship for the senior year, and a 10-week fully paid internship at a NOAA agency in the summer between junior and senior year. The internship provides the Scholars with hands-on, practical educational training experience in NOAA-related science, research, technology, policy, management, and education activities.

The Hollings program has resulted in nearly $850,000 in scholarships for Eckerd students and approximately $170,000 in internship support.

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