UNCF, Bristol-Myers Squibb Announce E.E. Just Postgraduate Fellowship in the Life Sciences

The UNCF Bristol-Myers Squibb E.E. Just Postgraduate Fellowship in the Life Sciences Fellowship will transform postgraduate training and career opportunities for African American life scientists in academia and the biopharmaceutical industry research and development

UNCF today announced a partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) to launch an innovative fellowship program in the life sciences that will transform the postgraduate training experience for African American scientists pursuing research careers in academic or biopharmaceutical industry research and development (R&D). Named in honor of Dr. Ernest Everett Just—one of the most prominent African American scientists of the 20th century—the postgraduate fellowship program will offer networking, financial support, mentorship and career coaching as well as unique career development opportunities. Over the next five years, three groups of African American scientists will be selected to participate in this highly competitive fellowship program and will have a chance to engage Bristol-Myers Squibb scientists in the company’s discovery and translational medicine divisions to learn about biopharmaceutical drug research.

“We are excited to partner with Bristol-Myers Squibb, one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies, to broaden opportunities for African American scientists pursuing careers in research and development (R&D). We are also excited to name this fellowship in honor of Dr. E.E. Just, who was an African American pioneer in the life sciences, and someone who deeply believed in historically black colleges and universities,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF President and CEO. “Working together, UNCF and Bristol-Myers Squibb will connect African American scientists to career opportunities in biomedical research and industry R&D.”

“We welcome the opportunity to work with Bristol-Myers Squibb—one of the world’s most innovative biopharmaceutical companies at the forefront of R&D in the life sciences—on what we believe to be a scalable next-generation approach to postgraduate training for life scientists. With Bristol-Myers Squibb as our industry partner, we are confident in our efforts to transform the postgraduate education and training experience for African Americans in the life sciences, and increase the yield for African Americans pursuing careers in R&D and biomedical research. Further, this program honors the legacy of Dr. E.E. Just—a trailblazing scientist and leader within the African American community—whose scientific brilliance shone brightly against the backdrop of challenging times for African Americans,” said Dr. Chad Womack, Director of STEM Initiatives at UNCF.

“Diversity and inclusion are core principles in having great organizations,” said Tom Lynch, M.D., chief scientific officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “At Bristol-Myers Squibb, we have seen firsthand how inclusive dialogue and diverse perspectives are fueling the scientific innovation behind an industry-leading pipeline and helping to deliver transformational medicines for the patients we serve. We are proud to partner with UNCF to invest in the next generation of African American scientific leaders.”

“Bristol-Myers Squibb is pleased to partner with UNCF in its efforts to invest in and broaden opportunities for African American scientists pursuing careers in the biopharmaceutical industry,” said Adrienne Gonzalez, Esq., the lead for the BOLD (Black Organization for Leadership and Development) People and Business Resource Group at Bristol-Myers Squibb.  “Bristol-Myers Squibb’s support of this fellowship is just one example of our commitment to a diverse and inclusive environment internally and externally so that our work for patients reflects the diversity of the communities we serve, including Black/African American patients. UNCF has a rich history of providing support to African Americans in the life sciences and is uniquely positioned to work with Bristol-Myers Squibb. This partnership will enable the company to build relationships and have access to a diverse pool of scientific talent in the African American community.”

According to Science and Engineering Indicators 2016 (statistics generated by the National Science Foundation’s National Science Board, 2016. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation (NSB-2016-1), the number of African Americans graduating with Ph.D.s in biology/life sciences has steadily increased from 106 to 248 per year.  Yet, African Americans make up less than five percent of tenured or tenure-track faculty at major research centers, and less than two percent of the biopharmaceutical R&D technical workforce.

UNCF awards more than $100 million annually via 10,000 scholarships. Of the 400 scholarship, internship and fellowship programs UNCF annually offers, 12 percent are STEM-related.


About UNCF
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF annually awards $100 million in scholarships and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous news and updates, follow UNCF on Twitter, @UNCF.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information, please visit www.bms.com or follow us on Twitter, @bmsnews.