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ARCS Foundation: Advancing Sciences in America and Here in Pittsburgh

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2018

In the scientific exploration that paves the way for discovery, innovation and making our world better, America is being challenged. 

Rising to the challenge, ARCS Foundation (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) advances the competitiveness of science and technology in the United States by providing financial awards to academically outstanding U.S. citizens completing advanced degrees in science, engineering and medical research. 

The Pittsburgh chapter (one of 15 in the US) began in 2003 when 15 women became committed to the mission.

Since the Pittsburgh chapter’s founding, it has grown from a dedicated core of women supporting a single scholar to a vital group of 100 annually committed members. Over that time, the Pittsburgh chapter has provided three-year awards to 157 PhD scholars at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

The aggregate of committed awards through 2019-2020 totals more than $2.2 million. Award winners can use funds as they see fit to cover personal or education expenses.

ARCS Pittsburgh members also believe that advancing science in America requires more than just funding. A key emphasis of the chapter is introducing scholars to opportunities in the Pittsburgh region, and encouraging these brilliant young scientists to seek their fortune here. To facilitate that, ARCS Foundation Chapters build industry partnerships to support research important to their own communities.

“Our relationship with our scholars is unique. We provide monetary support, but there is much more to it than that.  Through our scholar awards and events, we are a family, a mutual support network in a difficult and challenging environment,”  said Jennifer Martin, Immediate Past Co-President. 

And, Immediate Past Co-President Bev Elliott shares her sentiment too. “Increasingly, research funding is tight and the scholars need all the help they can get to support their personal and professional lives. We wish we could do more, but every dollar makes a big difference to their research and our scientific competitiveness. And we are rewarded by watching some brilliant young people thrive and succeed as leaders in their areas of science and technology.”

Collectively, the chapters of ARCS Foundation have raised over $100 million funding more than 10,000 scholars in leading areas of science, technology and medical research since their founding in 1958.

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(The Pittsburgh Technology Council published the above article about ARCS Pittsburgh on their website ( in September 2018, which talks about how ARCS Pittsburgh helps advance the competitiveness of science and technology.)