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May 03, 2003— Ottawa, Ontario

NRC Women in Engineering and Science (WES) Program

NRC-ICPET student holding biosynthetic cornea material.McGill University student Amy Robinson said she was "absolutely ecstatic" after finding out she had been awarded an NRC Women in Engineering and Science (WES) placement. The program provides summer and co-op work placements for women pursuing undergraduate studies in science, engineering or mathematics, matching promising students with world-class researchers and facilites. The purpose of the program is to encourage talented female students to pursue professional careers in these technical fields, professions where women continue to be underrepresented.

NRC recently awarded 25 new scholarships as part of the highly successful WES program. This year's scholarship recipients join hundreds of WES alumni who have benefited from the program, which began in 1989. There are currently 65 students in the program pursuing placements at NRC's national network of research institutes.

NRC-IMI employee initiating solidification studies with an aluminum alloy solidified on a copper substrate.

Robinson, will be starting work soon at the NRC Biotechnology Research Institute (NRC-BRI), her second WES work term. She spent her first term at the NRC Institute for Biological Sciences in Ottawa. Robinson noted the WES program has given her a deeper appreciation for laboratory work, "something you don't really get from school lab courses." She was also positive about the impact of the placement on her education and career. "I think that the WES program is one of the best educational/career experiences I could have had. Not only do I gain valuable lab experience, but I get to meet inspirational supervisors and valuable contacts. It is a great program to be involved in, with up-to-date labs, brilliant investigators, and great pay for a summer of learning."

Meghan Webb, a second year student from the University of Manitoba, spent her first WES work term at NRC-BRI and recently started a second WES work term at the NRC Institute for Biodiagnostics in Winnipeg. Webb described the experience so far as "priceless." Said Webb, "How many other students my age can say they've worked at two different NRC institutes. I know the contacts I'm making now will be very important in the years ahead, for getting into grad school, winning scholarships and eventually landing a full-time job."

NRC-IMB employee holding research results.

WES students can complete up to 3 work terms with NRC. For their final work term, WES students have the opportunity to complete their placement with NRC partners from the private and public sectors where there are research collaborations.

WES students contribute to leading-edge research projects and gain valuable laboratory experience in the process. In turn, NRC is enriched by the contributions of these promising young students and gains the opportunity to help round out the education of up-and-coming women science and engineering professionals.

For more information on WES, visit the Careers section of our Web site:

Enquiries: Media relations
National Research Council of Canada

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