IRBLleida promotes scientific vocation in High School students

A program of grants to students of Science and Technology is promoted, with the collaboration of the Institute of Education Sciences of the University of Lleida and the Educational Service of the Department of Education of the Generalitat

The Institute of Biomedical Research of Lleida (IRBLleida) has convened the fourth edition of the IRBLleida Grants for high school students, with the collaboration of the Institute of Education Sciences of the University of Lleida (UdL) and the Educational Service of the Department of Education of the Generalitat of Catalonia. This is a program of grants for first-year high school students, in the category of Science and Technology related to the Life and Health Sciences. The program will provide young people with the opportunity to get in touch with the world of biomedical research in order to awaken and encourage research vocations for the future.

The 5 scholarship recipients will benefit from a grant, which will consist of a cash grant of 200 euros, and a one-month stay at IRBLleida to become familiar with a scientific environment and the techniques commonly used in basic biomedical research. It is also planned to conduct targeted experiments, make contact with scientific methodology and the operation of high-tech equipment used in the different technical units of IRBLleida. In addition, the director of IRBLleida, Elvira Fernández, announced today that, of the 5 reports presented at the end of the stay, the best work will have an extra grant of €400. "Because we are in a competitive environment and the best should have a prize" explained Fernández.

The training period will be held at the IRBLleida facilities from July 1st to August 30th, 2018, with a duration of one month, to be agreed between the student and the research group. The research groups in which the program will be developed are: Cell cycle, Metabolic pathophysiology, Vascular and renal translational research group, Oncological pathology and Neuronal signaling unit.

In the act of presentation of the program, the vice-rector of Students of the University of Lleida, Neus Vila, said that "we must give visibility to research centers and society must know their task". Vila has also highlighted the involvement of the Vice-rectorate of Students of the UdL in this initiative and has shown all its support for the proposal, with the possibility of incorporating more students in the case of many requests.

For his part, the researcher and professor of the UdL responsible for the call, Joan Ribera, said that "we must detect as soon as possible the future researcher to promote their critical spirit, so we started this project". The first edition of the grants was in 2013 and the years 2014 and 2015 were subsequently followed.

The director of the Territorial Teaching Services in Lleida, Miquel Àngel Cullerés, has indicated that the realization of the stays "is one of the best experiences that can offer students to have the opportunity to be in a working environment of excel excellence". Cullerés has proposed the possibility for scholarship students to offer informative talks to other students to offer their peers "peer learning".

The director of IRBLleida, Elvira Fernández, wanted to clarify that "the initiative is a mandatory return of researchers to society that gives us resources". Fernández has highlighted "the obligation of the IRBLleida to teach literacy in science and bring research closer to the classroom" and has also reported the need to promote contact with science to women "to contribute to helping their scientific vocation". In this sense, he explained the importance that the aid is distributed to 50% between men and women.

Applicants selected by the teaching center, according to the criteria of the call, must have completed, before July 1, 2018, the first course of Baccalaureate in the modality of Nature and Health Sciences. The deadline for submitting applications will end on June 4, 2018. Applications for grants will be evaluated by a Selection Commission. The selection will be made in competitive competition and will be based on criteria of merit and ability accredited by the level of academic performance of the student, attending to the average grade of high school.

The bases of the call can be found on the website

From left to right, Miquel Àngel Cullerés, Neus Vila, Elvira Fernández and Joan Ribera.

Each student will enjoy €200 and a one-month stay at the research center to become acquainted with a scientific environment and the techniques of common use in basic biomedical research