Caltech is a world leader in research and education, and involving undergraduates in the research enterprise has long been an integral part of the undergraduate experience. The Caltech Amgen Scholars Program provides students the opportunity to conduct research in biology, chemistry, and biotechnology related areas under the mentorship of faculty who work at the frontier of their fields.
Through the Amgen Scholars Program, students are welcomed into the community of researchers and scholars and are able to experience the life of a scientist. Students take intellectual ownership of a project as they explore the secrets of nature, learn to ask questions, persist in the challenges of research, and experience the joy of discovery.
The application is modeled on the grant-seeking process. Taking on the role of grant applicants, students collaborate with potential mentors to define and develop a project. A faculty committee reviews all applications. Awards are made on the basis of reviewer recommendations. Amgen Scholars carry out the research over a 10-week period in the summer, and at the conclusion they submit a technical paper and give an oral presentation at Seminar Day, a symposium modeled on a professional technical meeting. Participants receive a generous stipend along with housing, board, and travel subsidies.
Caltech seeks to ensure that the experience is not only intellectually challenging and interesting, but enjoyable as well. Along with participating in research-related seminars and professional development workshops, students can enjoy a variety of social and cultural activities available in Southern California.