The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was awarded a new grant from the Department of Education via the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Needs (GAANN) program. This award will support five Chemistry PhD students each year for the next three years. Since first begun in 2006, the UMD Chemistry GAANN program has awarded GAANN Fellowships to 30 graduate students.

2016 GAANN Fellow Taylor Plank (left) is mentoring undergraduate chemistry major  Deiaa Harraz (right) on research involving synthetic ion channels in the laboratory of Prof. Jeff Davis.   The opportunity to  mentor undergraduate students on cutting-edge research projects is a key element of UMD’s training program for GAANN Fellows2016 GAANN Fellow Taylor Plank (left) is mentoring undergraduate chemistry major Deiaa Harraz (right) on research involving supramolecular hydrogels in the laboratory of Prof. Jeff Davis. Photo credit Shirl Phelps

Prof. Lyle Isaacs, the Director of the GAANN Program, stated
This program has been extremely important in helping us to attract outstanding students. The training this program provides has helped the Fellows launch successful careers in academia, government laboratories and in the chemical and biotech industry. We are delighted that the Dept. of Education recognizes the quality of our programs and has once again selected Maryland as a site for this award.

These prestigious GAANN fellowships carry a stipend of up to $34,000 per year. The GAANN fellows undergo a training program that prepares them for careers in higher education and research. Fellows also complete formal coursework in chemical education pedagogy, hone their mentoring skills by working with undergraduate researchers, and formulate and deliver lectures to undergraduates all under the active tutelage of master teachers drawn from the UMD Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty. The GAANN program is one of the key tools that has allowed the Department to increase the diversity of its graduate program.

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