PROVO — Two Brigham Young University undergraduates, Nigel Reuel and David Healey, have received the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in the fields of science, mathematics and engineering. As two of this year's 321 scholarship recipients, Reuel and Healey were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,035 students nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.

The scholarship covers the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year of undergraduate education. BYU is allowed to nominate four candidates each year.

Healey, a biochemistry major from Provo, does undergraduate research with Allen Buskirk in the BYU department of chemistry and biochemistry for which he has co-authored a paper. He will conduct research on the effects of small molecules on zebra fish behavior as an intern at Harvard Medical School. After graduating from BYU in April 2009, Healey plans to earn a doctorate.

Healey says the unique research opportunities BYU provides to undergraduate students positioned him to receive the scholarship.

Reuel, a chemical engineering major from New Mexico, did summer research at Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, where he achieved one patent and two publications. After he graduates in April 2009, Reuel plans to pursue a doctorate in biomedical engineering, conduct research in metabolic mechanisms and biomimetics, design medical devices and teach introductory science and engineering classes at a university.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, who served for 30 years in the U.S. Senate. In its 20-year history, the foundation has awarded 5,523 scholarships worth approximately $54 million.