Eleven students studying science at PSU have won highly competitive research grants through the Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE).

The students, who plan to attend professional or graduate school upon completing their degrees, each received $4,000 ($1,000 of which goes toward their research supplies) through the grant program, which provides money to qualifying university scholars throughout the state. The funds come through the National Institutes of Health, which aims to provide money for biomedical research in states that have traditionally been underfunded.

Dr. Virginia Rider, PSU’s campus representative for K-INBRE, said the university has received more than $700,000 since the program became available in Kansas. With the addition of chemistry majors competing for grants for the first time in 2009-10 (four were awarded), more science majors received funds this past year than ever before.

“We probably have the most competitive students of any university in Kansas. Their maturity, their drive, their grades, their ethics – they can compete with students at any university in the state,” Rider said. “Research is expensive, and we couldn’t sponsor undergraduate research projects without this.”

The students who received scholarships are Alissa Becknell, a senior from Cherryvale, Kan.; Caleb Burrows, a senior from Quapaw, Okla.; Afrita Davis, a senior from Coffeyville, Kan.; Sierra Foster, a junior from Edna, Kan.; Dustin Graham, a senior from Carl Junction, Mo.; Emma Hayes, a senior from Andover, Kan.; Joshua Kristalyn, a sophomore from Iola, Kan.; Joshua Mayfield, a sophomore from El Dorado, Kan.; Meagan Miller, a sophomore from Wichita, Kan.; Haley Ruther, a senior from Robins, Iowa; and Sarah Wolfe, a sophomore from Shawnee, Kan.