By Mr. Daniel Lafontaine (RDECOM)July 22, 2011
ARLINGTON, Va. -- The U.S. Army is bolstering its future scientific workforce by awarding 100 scholarships to college students this year.
Young scientists gathered July 11-14 at the Hyatt Regency here for orientation to the Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation Scholarship for Service Program. They had their first face-to-face meetings with representatives from their future employers.
Students accepted into SMART receive up to five years of tuition and a full-time position as a civilian scientist in a Department of Defense laboratory after graduation, said Jo Ann Wright, the Army’s program liaison.
During the application process, students select their preferred research center and location. Army organizations then select students in 19 scientific disciplines depending on needs.
The Air Force, Navy and DoD intelligence agencies also participate. Overall, the military offered 288 scholarships this year.
Wright said all U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command laboratories are involved in SMART. Most have increased participation in the past year, especially the Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center and Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center.
RDECOM organizations typically choose about 35 percent of Army scholarships, Wright said. The Army Corps of Engineers is another large participant.
During the orientation, SMART honored the U.S. Army Public Health Command as facility of the year and Erica Bertoli of Communications"Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center as liaison of the year.
Undergraduate through post-graduate students are eligible to apply. Applications are accepted from Aug. 1 to Dec. 1 for next year’s scholarship recipients. For more information, go to http://smart.asee.org.