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Education
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As of 2016, we are phasing out support of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education as a giving priority to more closely align our charitable giving efforts with our corporate responsibility approach and our company’s mission.

As a result, we are not making any new philanthropic investments in STEM education. This strategic alignment will enable us to focus our resources, including our philanthropic giving, on addressing the world’s most pressing health care needs. There were two remaining graduate/post-graduate education initiatives for which funding concluded at the end of 2015: A partnership with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), and another between the Kilimanjaro School of Pharmacy and Purdue University.

The Science Initiative with UNCF

African Americans currently hold fewer than 3.2 percent of all Ph.D.s in the United States in the biological sciences and chemistry.

To help address this disparity, we joined with UNCF in 1995 to establish a groundbreaking program to support the Science Initiative (“Initiative”) with UNCF, a U.S.-based initiative. Between 1996 and 2015, the Initiative established a highly selective fellowship program that supported the training and development of African Americans pursuing research careers in the life sciences by providing scholarships, stipends and professional development activities. Each year up to 37 outstanding Fellows were selected from a national pool of African American students and postdoctoral scientists, which has resulted in over 700 awards. Scholarship recipients were also part of a larger network of alumni. They were mentored by senior scientists who shared their expertise and offered career advice to ensure that the Fellows moved seamlessly from one educational level to the next.

Since 1995, together with our company’s Foundation, we have committed a total of $47 million to supporting the Initiative.

Impact

Over the 20 years that we have partnered with UNCF, the program has achieved important results. The fellowship program helped to support more than 700 African Americans in the life sciences pipeline—a majority of whom now hold advanced degrees, e.g., PhD, MD or MD, PhD. In addition to achieving tenure as academic researchers, several alumni of the program hold endowed chairs in their respective academic research departments while others have successfully reached the C-suite as executives in biotechnology firms. Over the years that this program has been operating, the science initiative has served as a model for other programs seeking to have similar impact on diversity and inclusion in the industry. The emergence of similarly focused life science initiatives and a vibrant alumni association are legacies of this effort.

Key learnings

  • Summer research experiences were important to prepare undergraduate fellows for graduate school
  • Access to mentors was a key aspect of the program that helped fellows to navigate graduate school and career choices
  • Established a vibrant alumni community of scientists and industry professionals and created long-lasting social bonds beyond the initial fellowship experience. The alumni association will continue to yield professional benefits.
UNCF Partnership (1996–2015)
Company and Foundation investment in the Initiative1$47M
Degree Completion Rates of Fellows
Undergraduate (BA/BS)100%
PhD99%
Employment Outcomes of Graduate Fellows
Academic75%
Business/Industry25%
Number of Fellows hired by our company (2002–2015)19
1 Represents total funding commitment (1996–2015).

GRADUATE PROGRAM IN BIOTECHNOLOGY INNOVATION

To help improve access to quality medicines in Africa, we partnered with the Kilimanjaro School of Pharmacy in Tanzania and Purdue University in Indiana to establish the first master’s degree program in Africa focused on building the knowledge and skills needed to develop and manufacture high-quality medicines.

Our company’s Foundation is supporting a partnership with Purdue University, the Kilimanjaro School of Pharmacy and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to fund a two-year pilot Master of Science degree program in biotechnology innovation and regulatory science. The program also includes our research scientists, who serve as faculty members to facilitate on-site instruction and virtual learning labs. The program has been identified by a number of regional African authorities as a key component of efforts to strengthen regional pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities that are needed in the region.

In 2014, 41 graduate students, including 15 women, became the first two cohorts of master’s degree students admitted to the Biotechnology Innovation and Regulatory Science program at the Kilimanjaro School of Pharmacy and the Purdue University Graduate School. All 41 students were awarded scholarships and have attended a two-week instructional session each semester since September 2014. The first cohort of 10 students is expected to graduate from Purdue University in May 2016. The remaining students are expected to graduate in the spring of 2017.