ICON plc, a global provider of drug and device development and commercialisation services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and government organisations, today announces that it has established a scholarship programme to provide students from underrepresented groups increased opportunities to access third level education.
Through the programme, ICON is partnering with three universities in Ireland – Dublin City University (DCU), Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and the University of Limerick (UL) – as well as with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) in the US, to fund 33 scholarships for students of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) courses. TMCF is a not-for-profit organisation that supports nearly 300,000 students attending its 47 member-schools that include publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
ICON CEO, Dr. Steve Cutler, said: “In addition to inspiring more students to choose STEM-related university courses, we want to help students who, due to socio-economic or other circumstances, might not be able to benefit from third level education opportunities. We also want to contribute to building a diverse graduate pool of talented and ambitious STEM professionals who can help to ensure the future success of the life sciences industry.”
“Our partnership with ICON advances our overall mission to remove financial barriers for students,” said Dr. Eric Hart, Chief Programs Officer at Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “ICON’s STEM scholarships will address a very real need to ensure more STEM talent persists to degree completion.”
Sarah Hartnett, Director of Development, University of Limerick Foundation said: “Our sincere thanks to ICON for so generously supporting UL’s Access students. This wonderful scholarship programme will have a huge impact in both encouraging the next generation of scientists and engineers and, most importantly, offering financial support to those who need it most.”
Joe Quinsey, CEO, DCU Education Trust said: “STEM is at the centre of a technological revolution that is transforming the way we live and work. As we face an unscripted future, we know that a strong and diverse pipeline of talented STEM graduates will play a key role in driving innovation and addressing societal challenges. We are hugely grateful to ICON for funding Access scholarships that will enable students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue STEM degrees at DCU. This support will help our students to cope with the additional costs of attending university, and ultimately, to achieve a qualification that will leave them well placed to exploit the opportunities of the future.”
Dr. Lisa Keane, Acting Director, Trinity Access, Trinity College Dublin said: “In Trinity Access we work to create pathways for students from underrepresented groups into higher professional careers. The ICON Scholar programme is an exemplar in this regard. It will directly impact the lives of our students, enabling them to engage more fully in all aspects of university life and it will also have a positive knock-on effect on their communities and on the sector as a whole.”
ICON’s scholarship programme will support students commencing with the 2022/2023 academic year.