SU2C and PBS LearningMedia Open Applications for Emperor Science Award Program - Stand Up To Cancer


Posted September 9, 2015

SU2C and PBS LearningMedia Open Applications for Emperor Science Award Program

SU2C and PBS LearningMedia Open Applications for Emperor Science Award Program

INAUGURAL LAUNCH OFFERS 100 SCIENCE AWARDS TO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTSSeptember 9, 2015: Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, and PBS LearningMedia, a media-on-demand service designed for K-12 classrooms, announced today the opening of applications for the inaugural year of The Emperor Science Award program. The Emperor Science Award program is an initiative designed to encourage high school students to explore careers in science, specifically cancer research and care, through a unique mentoring opportunity. The education initiative was first announced in spring 2015 by SU2C Co-Founder Katie Couric at Columbia University in connection with Ken Burns Presents CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES a Film by Barak Goodman, a three-part film on the history of cancer that aired on PBS in the spring of 2015 and can be streamed online here. The program aims to empower high school students to become the next generation of cancer and health researchers and will award 100 students each year, for at least three years, with an opportunity to work alongside an esteemed scientist on a rewarding multi-week cancer research project.

“The documentary CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES was an incredibly powerful event and its impact continues through these science awards, which will encourage students today to explore the possibility of becoming the next generation of cancer researchers,” said SU2C Co-Founder Sherry Lansing who led the committee, which conceived and implemented this plan. “From the outset, it was an important goal for the documentary not only to inform, but also to engage and empower young people to pursue scientific careers, particularly in cancer research.”

Entry is open to students in the 10th and 11th grades living in the US and the District of Columbia who have a strong scientific interest, especially in cancer research and care.  Special emphasis will be focused on students from economically disadvantaged high schools.  Entries will be accepted from September 1 through November 1, 2015 at 11:59pm ET. In addition to the mentoring opportunity, students will also be awarded a Google Chrome Notebook to enhance their studies and to extend the reach of mentors to students living in rural and suburban communities, a $1,500 stipend for expenses, and the opportunity to continue the mentoring program, through high school, to further their academic pursuits. Students, including those who receive Emperor Science Awards, will be eligible to reapply in subsequent years.

Students, teachers, guidance counselors and parents can visit The Emperor Science Award website ( to learn more about the program and to apply. The webpage contains an overview of the program and associated resources for students. To enter, students will be asked to submit a 750 maximum word essay on the following topic:

“Cancer has been referred to as The Emperor of All Maladies and millions of people around the world are looking for a cure. In America, more than 1600 people die each day. Tell us why scientific research is so important in helping to find a cure for cancer. And if you could be a scientific researcher, what would you study and why?”

Essays will be judged on sincerity, creativity, clarity and persuasiveness.

Winning students will be connected with science mentors from a host of high-profile medical research centers, including more than 100 SU2C-affiliated institutions, universities and industry leaders in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Among the renowned researchers who have committed to serving as mentors are:

  • Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., Ph.D. (Author, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer);
  • Otis W. Brawley, M.D., F.A.C.P. (Chief Medical Officer, American Cancer Society)
  • Researchers from leading institutions, including University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Stony Brook University Cancer Center
  • Researchers from leading industry organizations, including Genentech, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novartis and Siemens Corporation

The Emperor Science Award Program has been made possible by generous support from Founding Donors Genentech, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Novartis. Their support will fund a total of 300 awards through the first three years.

This initiative was organized by the CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES Education Subcommittee, chaired by Sherry Lansing, SU2C co-founder, chairperson of the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Board of Directors and founder of the Sherry Lansing Foundation. Other advisory members include the creative team behind CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES, including Ken Burns (executive producer); Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee (author); Barak Goodman (producer/director); and Pam Williams (executive producer; president, Laura Ziskin Pictures; SU2C Council of Founders & Advisors), and documentary production supporters. For a full Education Subcommittee membership list, click here.

About Stand Up To Cancer
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in the United States in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about cancer prevention as well as progress being made in the fight against the disease. As SU2C’s scientific partner, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, conduct rigorous, competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and provide expert review of research progress. For more information about Stand Up To Cancer, visit:

About PBS LearningMedia
As America’s largest classroom, PBS offers digital content and services for teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS LearningMedia, a partnership of PBS and WGBH Educational Foundation, is a free and paid media-on-demand service offering educators access to the best of public media and delivers research-based, classroom-ready digital learning experiences to engage students in exploring curriculum concepts that align with National and Common Core State Standards. Nationwide, more than 1.6 million teachers and users have registered access to more than 100,000 digital resources available through PBS LearningMedia. More information about PBS LearningMedia is available at or by following PBS LearningMedia on Twitter and Facebook.

About Genentech
Founded more than 35 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco, California. For additional information about the company, please visit

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 or follow us on Twitter at

About Novartis
Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care and cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. For more information, please visit


# # #Press Contacts:
Stand Up To Cancer

Jane Rubinstein (

PBS LearningMedia
Atiya N. Frederick (

For images and additional information on Ken Burns Presents CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES A Film by Barak Goodman and other PBS programs, visit PBS PressRoom at


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