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BAYERBoost scholarship offers experience and funds

BAYERBoost scholarship offers experience and funds

Environmental research and restoration main focus

Applications are now open for an exciting new environmental scholarship scheme that offers senior secondary school and undergraduate tertiary students the chance to work in their chosen areas of study during the summer holidays.

Known as BAYERBoost, the scholarship scheme is the result of a partnership between Bayer New Zealand Ltd and the Royal Society of New Zealand.

The aim of the scheme is to give students experience in environmental research or restoration during their summer break while at the same time providing financial support for further study.

It's the second year the scholarship has been available after it was officially launched last year.

Royal Society CEO Dr Steve Thompson says students studying environmental sciences or related areas are encouraged to participate in summer work programmes, often voluntarily, to gain experience that will support their future careers.

"Under the BAYERBoost scheme, students in conjunction with an employer or host organisation, are able to apply for funding that will essentially pay their wages during the summer break. However, their area of work must be involved in the areas of the environment, conservation or sustainable development.

"The aim is for BAYERBoost to reduce students' reliance on loans to continue their study, as well as enabling young people to learn skills appropriate to their chosen fields of study through summer work projects."

Scholarships awarded last year went to students working on projects as diverse as studying the diet of the pygmy sperm whale; establishing a new black robin population on Pitt Island; controlling didymo; and testing river water quality.

Bayer New Zealand Ltd, which has strong local businesses in crop protection, animal health, plastics and health products, is the main financer BAYERBoost.

Bayer country spokesman Phil McSweeney says environmental education is a key component of the company's corporate social responsibility platform.

"As a research-based enterprise, Bayer places great emphasis upon awakening enthusiasm among young people. Through our global partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme we already support several projects in the region aimed at increasing environmental awareness and improving knowledge of the environment.

"In New Zealand we are delighted to be able to partner with the Royal Society and deliver a scholarship scheme that will help students not only with their studies, but financially too."

This year's scholarships are worth between $3000 and $6000 depending upon whether students are secondary or tertiary.

More information about BAYERBoost is available through the website or through contacting the Royal Society.

Applications for 2006 have been sent out to schools and tertiary institutions this week. The close-off for applications is 22 September 2006.


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