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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is pleased to announce the names of the 101 recipients of the highly competitive awards under the new Homeland Security Scholars and Fellows Program. This educational program will support the development and mentoring of the next generation of scientists as they study ways to prevent terrorist attacks within the U.S., reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recovery efforts from attacks that occur.

"We are extremely pleased to welcome these individuals as part of our team to explore the future scientific possibilities for protecting our nation against terrorism," said Secretary Ridge.

The Department received nearly 2,500 applications for review by over 100 experts selected from a variety of fields that included physical, biological, social and behavioral sciences, engineering, mathematics, or computer science. The Homeland Scholars and Fellows Program is open to all U.S. students interested in pursuing scientific and technological innovations that can be applied to the DHS mission. Students from engineering disciplines comprised about one-third of the awards followed by computer science and math, psychology and social sciences.  Men and women were almost equally represented as award recipients.  The students have begun their programs this fall.  

"We firmly believe that this program will produce talented scientists and engineers that will play a vital role in securing our national against terrorism," said Under Secretary for Science and Technology, Dr. Charles McQueary. "This first group of scholars and fellows will be the foundation that we can build upon in the coming years that will specifically focus on, science and homeland security issues."  

Funding for this program will be up to $2 million dollars for fiscal year 2003.  In addition, DHS has proposed increasing its funding for fiscal year 2004, with a commitment to increase the number of scholarship and fellowship awards for next year.  In addition, the Homeland Security Scholars and Fellows Program will be expanded to provide internships and specialized fellowships for students and faculty to further their knowledge of homeland security through short- and long-term exchanges at laboratories, facilities, and organizations throughout the homeland security complex.

The DHS Scholarship and Fellowship Program will ensure the future supply of individuals skilled in critical areas such as the life and social sciences. After graduation, students are encouraged to consider employment offers from DHS, state and local operational offices, DHS-affiliated laboratories and facilities, and/or DHS-related university positions.

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), a U.S. Department of Energy facility focusing on scientific initiatives and educational programs is the coordinator of the program. ORISE is managed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities and has many years of experience coordinating well-known fellowship programs like the National Science Foundation.

The U.S. Department Homeland Security's Office of Science and Technology serves as the primary research and development arm of the Department, utilizing our nation's scientific and technological resources to provide federal, state and local officials with the technology and capabilities to protect the homeland.  

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