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The Cottrell Scholar awards, instituted in 1994, are named in honor of Frederick Gardner Cottrell, scientist, inventor and philanthropist. Dr. Cottrell founded Research Corporation in 1912 and provided means for scientific research and experimentation at scholarly institutions. He not only contributed fundamentally and practically to scientific knowledge, but he dedicated his career to enlisting science in the service of society (see Biography of Frederick Gardner Cottrell).
The Cottrell Scholar Award (CSA) program owes its origins to the foundation's concern with the apparent separation of teaching and research in Ph.D. institutions. Rather than being communities of university-scholars, universities are often perceived as collections of specialists. We seek to reinforce the growing awareness that these two functions are complementary rather than wholly or partially exclusive. We believe this convergence is essential for increasing the fraction of students who are attracted and retained in science.
Goals and Desired Outcomes
The main goal of the CSA program is to promote and support the university scholar model. University scholars are faculty members who have both excellent research programs and excellent approaches to student learning at the undergraduate level.
Desired outcomes of the CSA program include:
A culture shift in Ph.D.- granting institutions toward valuing the university scholar
Increased attraction and retention of undergraduates in science
Increased undergraduates from Ph.D.-granting institutions pursuing graduate degrees
A key objective of the program is to build a community of outstanding scholar-educators who are dedicated to becoming leaders in both research and teaching and who collectively have the potential to change the way science is taught nationally. Scholars are required to attend at least two annual Cottrell Scholar conferences while the award is active. The annual conference seeks to promote community among Cottrell Scholars and is held in early July in Tucson, AZ.
Eligible applicants are tenure-track faculty members at U.S. institutions whose primary appointment is in a Bachelor's and Ph.D.-granting department of astronomy, biochemistry, biophysics, chemistry, or physics, but not in a school of medicine or engineering. For the 2013 proposal cycle, eligibility is limited to faculty members who started their first tenure-track position anytime in calendar year 2010.