Oct 5, 2011

2011 Davidson Institute Fellowship Awards

Tonight the Davidson Institute for Talent Development honors 18 very special high school students at a reception taking place at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Each student has completed a significant piece of work or a project demonstrating unusual talent, creativity, or originality, and each will be presented with a scholarship of $10,000, $25,000, or $50,000—with very few strings attached.

Since 2001, Davidson has awarded more than $4.5 million to 184 brilliant young scientists, mathematicians, musicians, and writers. This year’s awardees include a student who designed an efficient yet inexpensive method for detecting landmines as well as another who created a yangqin or Chinese hammered dulcimer portfolio that will contribute to the preservation of ancient Chinese music.

Similar to the MacArthur Foundation “genius grants,” Davidson fellowships are awarded on the basis of “significant work” that experts in the field recognize as having potential to make a positive contribution to society. According to the Davidson website, the work may be:

• an exceptionally creative application of existing knowledge
• a new idea with high impact
• an innovative solution with broad-range implications
• an important advancement that can be replicated and built upon
• an interdisciplinary discovery
• a prodigious performance
• another demonstration of extraordinary accomplishment

Applications may be submitted in any one of seven different categories, including science, mathematics, technology, music, literature, philosophy, and “outside the box.” Group and team projects are not eligible.

The Davidson fellowships are made possible through the generosity of Bob and Jan Davidson—the geniuses behind children’s educational software such as “Math Blaster” and “Reading Blaster.” The scholarships are one component of a multifaceted program intended to support extraordinary talent among young people.

The deadline for next year’s competition is February 1, 2012, and application forms are now available from the Davidson Institute. To learn more about the fellowship or download the 2012 application, go directly to the Davidson website.

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