Lilly Scholars at Purdue program

Eli Lilly and Company has committed $42.5 million to Purdue over 10 years to fund an innovative pharmaceutical manufacturing scholarship program for incoming undergraduate students.
Students on campus
Eli Lilly and Company has committed $42.5 million to Purdue over 10 years to fund an innovative pharmaceutical manufacturing scholarship program for incoming undergraduate students. (Photo credit: Brayden Williams, Purdue for Life Foundation)

Eli Lilly and Purdue University are partnering on an innovative pharmaceutical manufacturing scholarship program that will continue Purdue’s track record of finding unique ways to keep the cost of college within reach.

Through the new Lilly Scholars at Purdue program, a selection of talented incoming undergraduate students will benefit from a long-standing partnership between Purdue and Eli Lilly. Lilly’s commitment includes $42.5 million over 10 years to fund pharmaceutical manufacturing scholarships for incoming Purdue undergraduate students, offering 75-100 talented students each year full tuition with a guaranteed internship or co-op at Lilly and a promise of coordinated interaction with company leaders. The first scholarships will be offered for fall 2023. 

Priority access to the new Lilly Scholars program will be given to new beginners and preference will be made for undergraduate students who are underrepresented in Purdue’s student population, have other socioeconomic or educational disadvantages, or are among the first generation in their family to attend college.

Students applying to majors that could relate to the pharmaceutical industry will be considered for these awards with preference given to STEM majors.

As Lilly and Purdue work together on new curricula, experiential learning and certificate and degree programs in pharmaceutical manufacturing, they will help continue to grow pharmaceutical manufacturing in Indiana and expand Purdue’s talent pipeline to the company with students supported by the new scholarship program.

“As the number of people who may benefit from our innovative medicines continues to increase, we are investing to advance critical research and build a more diverse pipeline of talent in Indiana. Together with Purdue, we can help to keep our state’s best and brightest in Indiana, furthering Lilly’s ability to make life better for millions of people,” said David A. Ricks, Lilly’s chair and CEO. “As a Purdue graduate, I am proud of the success the university has built and even more proud to see Lilly and Purdue team up to make both institutions better and better.”  

Every year, Lilly hires Purdue graduates in areas such as engineering, sales, finance, human resources, marketing, procurement, supply chain and more. Lilly employs nearly 2,500 Purdue graduates – more than from any other university.

“These commitments will better position Purdue to recruit the best, brightest and most diverse students we can,” said Kristina Wong Davis, vice provost for enrollment management at Purdue.

new course and certificate enhance skills and career development for undergraduate students

Through the Office of Professional Practice, ENGR10301 Pharma Careers & Drug Development, a one-credit course, serves to enhance career development in the pharmaceutical industry. Currently, 83 students are enrolled in the course.

Speakers regularly attend sharing on different topics to inform and prepare students for internships, co-op positions and jobs in the pharmaceutical industry. The course is geared toward first-year engineering (FYE) and sophomore engineering students, in addition to Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Science (BSPS) students and other majors from the colleges of Science and Engineering.

Joe Tort, associate director for the Office of Professional Practice, said that Purdue is working with Eli Lilly and others to extend the course to Lilly Scholars.

In addition, an Undergraduate Certificate in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing has been developed by the William D. Young Institute for Advanced Manufacturing of Pharmaceuticals at Purdue and will be offered starting in Fall 2023. The credential is designed to prepare undergraduates from various majors across for careers in the pharmaceutical industry, especially within the manufacturing and supply chain sectors.

“The unique aspect of the certificate is the hands-on experiential learning through co-op/internships in industry, research experience and study abroad options relevant to pharmaceutical manufacturing careers,” said Alina Alexeenko, associate dean for undergraduate education and co-director of William D. Young Institute.

The certificate is designed to supplement the baccalaureate plans of studies in different majors, including but not limited to engineering, computer science, chemistry, biology, pharmaceutical sciences, health sciences, technology, business, chemistry, biology, pharmaceutical sciences and health sciences. All students who complete the ENGR10301 course are eligible for the certificate program.

“Through the development of professional skills and industry knowledge courses, the OPP is committed to connecting students with industry in the early stages of their academic careers,” Tort said. “This allows students to maximize their time at Purdue by seeking out courses and professional experiences, which aid in career satisfaction after graduation.”