Penn Named Partner Campus in AAAS Emerging Leaders in Science & Society Program

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has selected the University of Pennsylvania to be an Emerging Leaders in Science & Society, ELISS, founding partner campus.  Three other universities were also chosen, Stanford, University of Washington, and Purdue.

ELISS, a new AAAS initiative, is a one-year competitive program designed to compliment graduate and professional student studies by producing leaders to help the nation understand and address tough issues related to community, the economy, health, energy and the environment.  Two broad, cross-disciplinary themes of Health & Well-being and Energy & Environment have been chosen for the year, to include students with diverse expertise and fields of study in the program.

ELISS Fellows will receive funding, career development, and networking opportunities to develop and mount interdisciplinary theme-related and professional development programs for students at their institutions.

More than 1500 graduate and professional students from more than 100 universities participated in a “Bring ELISS to my Campus” online signature drive.

“Penn was chosen because individual Penn graduate students, prompted by the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, GAPSA, and the Biomedical Graduate Student Association, BGSA, responded with enthusiasm to the AAAS online-survey to ascertain student demand at various campuses,” said Samantha White, a PhD student in Neuroscience at Penn who with Katie Reuther, a PhD student in Bioengineering at Penn, led the effort to bring ELISS to campus. 

With matching funds from the Office of the Provost and GAPSA, Penn will fund at least four ELISS fellowships for the 2013-14 application period to talented Penn graduate and professional students. 

Those interested in applying to the program can set up a profile in the ScholarSelect online application system by visiting the ELISS webpage beginning May 7.

The application period will be June 17- July 15, 2013. Eligibility is based on completion of at least a bachelor's degree and enrollment in a degree-granting graduate or professional program at Penn for the duration of the program.

More information is available at or by emailing

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