In 2021, MCI's Youth Advisory Board (YAB) was able to release an undergraduate research opportunity in an effort to engage young scholars in the field of male contraception. The opportunity was made available with support from the Parsemus Foundation and contributions from Male Contraceptive Initiative.
Qualifying students enrolled in accredited undergraduate institutions internationally and in the United States were encouraged to submit their application before the end of September. Applicants were requested to develop a small-scale research or advocacy project related to understanding or developing novel male contraceptives that could be conducted over the 2021-2022 academic year. Once each application was reviewed, the approved projects were eligible to receive up to $1000 in funding.
The YAB and MCI staff reviewed each application and selected awardees based on relevance, feasibility of the project proposed, and candidate strength. After the reviewal process with MCI was complete, the YAB decided to award four undergraduate students the funds to conduct their project.
The YAB proudly awarded Malena Gabri, Kenitimi Bikikoro, Aryani Pallerla, and Madeline Mahoney the first undergraduate research award since its inception in 2017:
Engaging young people in all stages of male contraceptive research is critical in understanding the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of potential users. The Youth Advisory Board is excited for the opportunity to facilitate youth engagement in male contraceptive research with this grant opportunity. The YAB is grateful for the contributions from the Parsemus Foundation and MCI; the funds will be dedicated to supporting each young researcher as they develop and implement their project ideas.