Gifts to the Fellowship campaign will help UCF compete nationally for the best and brightest graduate students. These future scientists will work with seasoned Burnett school researchers to foster new discoveries in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular, infectious and neurodegenerative disease.

“Graduate students are our future, our link to the world’s next level of scientific discovery,” said Dr. Annette Khaled, associate professor of biomedical science at the Burnett school. Dr.Khaled and her graduate students are investigating whether a “death protein” produced in the body could destroy cancer cells.

In order to have premier academic and research programs, UCF must attract the best and brightest students. Faced with the high cost of post-graduate education, many top students ultimately choose a university based on its ability to provide fellowship funds. To help attract these students, the Burnett school is seeking community partners who will donate $10,000 to fund one year’s tuition for a Ph.D. student, or a five-year tuition gift of $50,000. Donors may also take advantage of the state of Florida’s matching gift program for endowed gifts by establishing an endowed graduate fellowship that will benefit students in perpetuity.

The campaign is off to a great start with a recent gift from The Hollie and Anna Oakley Foundation. The private foundation, founded in 1958, is headquartered in Terre Haute, Indiana, and traditionally awards grants to further education, medical research, arts and other quality of life programs.

“We are pleased to support the world class biomedical research of the Burnett school by establishing an endowment that will help recruit the best and brightest Ph.D. students to its programs,” said Eston Perry, vice president of the Oakley Foundation.

The Burnett school currently has 69 Ph.D. candidates in the Biomedical Sciences, who are becoming part of Central Florida’s emerging biomedical and biotechnology industries