POST HURRICANE MARIA HELP FOR RESEARCHERS

This article is reproduced by CienciaPR with permission from the original source.

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Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust, AAAS Caribbean, and Ciencia Puerto Rico offer grants initiative for students and researchers

The Caribbean Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust (PRSTRT) and Ciencia Puerto Rico have launched a funding program following the emergency of Hurricanes Irma and Maria to support researchers, professors, science teachers and students through grants and financial aid.

The initiative was initiated by the Caribbean division of AAAS, an entity with more than 120,000 members globally, over 500 members of them in the Caribbean. After Hurricanes Irma and Maria impact, its members initiated a fundraising campaign to provide support to researchers to allow them to continue their work and research projects.

Juan S. Ramirez Lugo, President of AAAS Caribbean, stated that "our mission as a Division has always been to create and promote science and innovation initiatives with a positive impact on society." After Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit us, we need more than ever the skills and scientific knowledge to develop and employ innovative strategies for the restoration process. Through this program we hope to provide economic support and relief to researchers and students in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands to continue their studies and research projects and thus, contribute to the recovery process of our islands.

Lucy Crespo, Chief Executive Officer of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, points out how important is to support researchers, at a time when all organizations are joined to help in the recovery of the island. "Researchers and scientists are a very important group in our economy and every economy of the world and it is important to support them with initiatives and aid to continue their research at these challenging moments. It’s part of the mission and commitment of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, " said Crespo. 

Those interested can apply for monetary aid for traveling to continue their research; restore and repair laboratory equipment or affected classrooms; and even to continue their thesis advocacy. This grant fund will be managed using the platform and evaluation process used for the Grants Program of the PRSTRT.  Representatives from these three entities will participate in the evaluation and selection of applications/ submissions.

Before applying students and researchers are invited to review the more than 250 space offers and other support received through Ciencia Puerto Rico, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving science education and careers through a community of thousands of scientists, students and educators committed to the sciences and Puerto Rico. Aid offers, including institutions such as Yale, Berkeley, and MIT, covering virtually all fields of science and technology, can be reviewed here:https://ql.tc/sAXAL6

Dr. Giovanna Guerrero-Medina, Executive Director of Ciencia Puerto Rico, states that "these offers arise from the commitment of the Puerto Rican scientific diaspora to Puerto Rico and from the recognition of the contributions of Puerto Rican science to the international scientific community. This database may be used to contact laboratories for visits or collaborations prior to requesting to the funding program. "

Applications will be available beginning on October 30, 2017 and can be completed through Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust’s website (prsciencetrust.org). The grants will be available as long as there are funds available.

If you don’t have internet access, you may visit the offices of the Science Trust, located at Carretera #21, Sector Monacillos, Rio Piedras. There will be a computer and internet access to complete online applications. 

For more information, please call: 787-523-5858, or send an email to Aaas.caribe@gmail.com.  

Below are the types of funds that may be requested and the requirements for each of them: 

Continuity funds:  support researchers who need to relocate temporarily to continue research projects with collaborators outside the Caribbean region. Eligibility: undergraduate and postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers, research staff and teachers. Applicants should meet the following requirements:

  • Submit an abstract of 250 words that summarizes the work to be done during the time outside the institution of origin.
  • Statement of specific needs, reasons for those needs and how temporary relocation will be beneficial.
  • Support letter from the home institution to participate in a collaborative project and to excuse their obligations during the time abroad.
  • Letter of commitment of the collaborator abroad with agreements on the use of space, equipment, resources, etc.
  • Commitment to report results, through the Wizehive platform of the Grants Program of PRSTRT, in future events sponsored by the AAAS-Caribbean Division.

Restoration Funds: help in restocking materials, repairing damaged equipment and / or rehabilitating teaching or research facilities. Eligible for this grant are undergraduate and postgraduate students, postdoctoral students, research staff, and teachers at K-12 levels. The requirements are the following:

  • Brief description of the loss or damage resulting from the hurricane
  • Statement of specific needs, reasons for those needs and how supplementary funds will be beneficial.
  • Commitment to report results, through the Wizehive platform of the Grants Program of PRSTRT, at future events sponsored by the AAAS-Caribbean Division.

Thesis Funds: For graduate students who are within a year of completing their degree and intend to complete a teaching and research career in the Caribbean region. These are the requirements:

  • Applicants must have completed all departmental and institutional requirements for their degree, with the exception of writing and defending the thesis.
  • Personal statement describing applicant's background, experience and commitment to a career in science and education in the Caribbean region.
  • Statement of specific needs, reasons for those needs and how the supplementary funds will be beneficial to you.
  • Proposed plan and schedule to complete the dissertation.
  • Letter of support from the faculty advisor.
  • Commitment to report results at future events sponsored by the AAAS-Caribbean Division, through the Wizehive platform of the Grants Program of the PRSTRT.

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