Opportunities at HHMI

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
offers a number of opportunities for undergraduates, graduates, and early-career scientists and professors to conduct research and teach at an HHMI campus. Most recently, the institute announced its winners for the 2014 HHMI Professors Competition, which identifies a handful of successful scientists and engineers to award $1 million over five years to integrate their research with student learning.

The professors competition has not posted dates for next year’s cycle, but read below the cut for other HHMI opportunities.

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University Innovation Fellowships

The University Innovation Fellows Program is now accepting applicants for the Spring/Fall 2014 cohort, and the application deadline is June 30.  The program trains mainly engineering undergraduate and graduate students from around the country to conduct research and use resources to bring innovation and venture activity to their campuses. Since 2012, the students have hosted 124 events and activities, reaching 9,000 students and faculty. They’ve founded clubs, hosted speakers, created spaces for innovation, collaborated on new classes, and organized competitions in order to encourage entrepreneurship on campus.

The program is run by Epicenter, an NSF-funded partnership between Stanford University and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA). According to a news release, students can apply individually or in groups of up to five, and must be sponsored by a faculty member or administrator who can provide a program see, travel support, and a letter of support. The applicant website lists more information.

A One-stop Shop for NASA Student Opportunities

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) now makes it easier than ever to find student internships, fellowships, and other projects through their One Stop Shopping Initiative website. The website lists all internships, fellowships, and other student opportunities that NASA has to offer, including non-technical roles, and also allows users to create one universal profile for applying to multiple opportunities.

NASA internships can be full or part-time, conducted at a NASA facility, contractor facility, or anywhere activities are ongoing to advance NASA’s missions. Mentors can be civil servants, contractors, or faculty conducting activities directly related to NASA’s unique assets and ongoing mission activities.

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Presidential Innovation Fellows

white house logoSince the initiative launched two years ago, the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program has been funding students to use the power of open government data to spur the creation of new products and jobs. The White House recently launched round three of the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, and is looking around the nation for for those who can contribute to the areas of data innovation, crowd-sourcing, and modernizing the veterans’ experience. Fellowship applications are open until April 7.

Fellows serve limited-term “tours of duty,” during which they team up with innovators in government on projects aimed at saving lives, saving taxpayer money, fueling job creation, and building a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation within government.The first program launched in August 2012 with five projects. The second class of fellows has broken new ground and expanded upon the work of the inaugural class to deliver results — from increasing consumers’ access to their own personal healthcare information, to designing and launching pilot projects to improve federal procurement, to using open government data to spur new products and services.

Spotlight: The Benefits of Biomimicry

Millions of years of evolution have shaped organisms to survive and adapt to Earth in remarkable ways, and engineers have been taking note for centuries. Birds inspired human flight, and supercomputers are often tested against the power of brains, for instance.

Mother Nature continues to make her mark on modern engineering, and some researchers are looking to the smallest creatures, like insects, amoebas, and small sea creatures, to solve big problems. Read about a Harvard group that runs an army of termite-inspired robots, a University of Maryland lab interested in tiny, insect-like drones, and a Cornell researcher trying to understand how living creatures can create incredibly strong crystals.

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