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Biology Scholarships and Research Fellowships

There is a vast array of scholarships and fellowships that support biology students, so you should consider the following information as a representative sample rather than a complete list.

Government Scholarships

Many of these scholarships are given to students in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Programbiology scholarships

One of the goals of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program is to train more Americans in the natural sciences. The Goldwater awards go to high-achieving undergraduates who are juniors or seniors, and to be considered you must be nominated by your school.

The most you can receive in a single year is $7,500, but the Goldwater can be used to pay for tuition, fees, books, housing, and meals. If you plan to study abroad, you can use the Goldwater for that purpose. For biology students, any of the following careers are accepted specializations: agricultural or environmental science, genetic engineering, immunology, molecular biology, or biomedical science.

Scholarships From Colleges

You can find similar scholarships wherever there is a serious biology program. Most go to students specializing in particular types of biology or to students who excel in academics.

Indiana University

As is usual, the Department of Biology at Indiana University maintains a page of information on its scholarships, internships, and awards. Here are three of the thirteen options listed:

  • The Sears Crowell Scholarship supplies $1,000 for a summer at a research station to a junior, senior, or graduate student. Marine internships receive preference.
  • The L.S. McClung Scholarship in Microbiology gives $3,000 to a student with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 and a 3.0 GPA in the sciences. You must be a freshman, sophomore, or junior, and a resident of Indiana.
  • The William G. Roessler Microbiology Scholarship brings $1,000 to a graduate student with a satisfactory academic record. If you are a junior or senior with a GPA of 3.5, you may apply.

University of Utah

The University of Utah’s Department of Biology has also posted a page of scholarship information. Here are three of the possibilities:

  • The Stephen D. Durrant Scholarship requires a GPA of 3.0 and pays $4,000 for a maximum of two years to a biology major.
  • The Kim Newby Scholarship for $1,000 is awarded to a full-time biology major based chiefly on financial need.
  • The Thomas S. Frank Memorial Scholarship Fund gives a variable number of $1,000 awards each year to biology majors focusing on genetics who also produce art, whether written, visual, or musical.

Scholarships From Private Organizations

Many of the scholarships distributed by these groups intend to promote diversity among scientists, especially those who take advanced degrees.

American Indian Science and Engineering Society

The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) works to increase the numbers of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the STEM disciplines, both as students and as professionals. AISES currently offers two scholarships suited to biology students:

  • The A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship is open to the following groups: American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. You must belong to AISES to apply, and your GPA must be at least 3.0.
  • The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Foundation Scholarship requires a GPA of 2.0. It is limited to students from the thirteen-state area covered by the railroad who are members of the same ethnic groups as required for the Anderson award.

UNCF/Merck Science Initiative

The UNCF/Merck Science Initiative is a joint venture of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and the Merck pharmaceutical corporation, which provides three levels of financial support to African American students pursuing degrees in the sciences. The three awards are as follows:

  • The Undergraduate Science Research Scholarship Awards pay up to $25,000 towards your cost of attending college, and include both mentoring and an internship at a Merck facility.
  • The Graduate Science Research Dissertation Fellowships pay each fellow up to $43,500 for 12 to 24 months of living expenses, plus an additional Research Grant of up to $10,000 (paid to the school that hosts the fellow).
  • The Postdoctoral Science Research Fellowships, for students who want to do research after obtaining their doctorates, provides as much as $77,000 in living expenses and a Research Grant worth as much as $15,000.

American Physiological Society

The American Physiological Society (APS)’s Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowships give undergraduates with no experience working in a laboratory the chance to conduct biological research under professional supervision. The program lasts 10 weeks, for which the student is given $4,000 to live on while the student’s advisor receives $300.

You may also receive as much as $1,300 to cover your travel expenses to an APS meeting in order to present your findings.

American Museum of Natural History

The Richard Gilder Graduate School of the American Museum of Natural History trains students in the sciences of natural history used in the museum’s work. There are fellowships offered to undergraduates, graduate students, students who have just earned their doctorates, and other students who wish to perform research in the field. Disciplines recommended for biology students include comparative biology, evolutionary biology, genomics, and terrestrial or marine biology.


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