Scholarships, Grants & Fellowships

For biology students, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, there are numerous grants, fellowships or scholarships available to help fund education and research. Scholarships are given to the student to help financially support their secondary education. They can be for general academic merit – or target to specific groups, like prospective teachers or science majors. Grants are awards given to students to be used for a specific research project. Grants can range from $100 to upwards of $100,000. And lastly, fellowships are financial awards given to promising graduate students that cover full or partial tuition and living expenses.

The following list is only a small sample of different possibilities and should be used as a starting point for further exploration. Students can also check with the Biology Department Office for more resources and support.

American Society For Microbiology

Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship

This is a three-year award for graduate-level students from historically excluded and underrepresented groups to conduct research in microbiology. The fellowship aims to encourage students to continue and complete their research projects in the microbiological sciences. There are also summer programs available for undergraduate students pursuing similar research goals. For more information, please visit the ASM website.

Association of Public Health Laboratories

Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory Fellowship Program

This is a two-year program, sponsored by APHL and the CDC, for doctoral-level research in infectious diseases. Special attention is paid to development and evaluation of diagnostics, antimicrobial resistance, vector control, and emerging pathogens. There is also a one-year program for researchers that have completed a bachelor or master’s level degree in biology or related discipline. For a complete list of requirements and application information, visit the Program’s website.

Association of Women in Science – Educational Foundation

AWIS Undergraduate College Scholarship

This scholarship is given to female high school seniors who plan to study science in college and plan a career in research or teaching. Smaller awards, including Citations of Merit and Recognition Awards may be given. To learn more about Evaluation Criteria and Timeline, please visit the AWIS webpage.

AWIS Pre-Doctoral Awards

These awards are given to female students enrolled in science program leading to a Ph.D., including graduate biology work and graduate plant biology. There is also a smaller Citation of Merit to qualified students. Each award is describe in full with deadline on the AWIS site. 

Environmental Protection Agency – STAR Programs

EPA-Science to Achieve Results Research Grant

This is a research grant funded by the Environmental Protection Agency for graduate-level environmental research studies. According to the EPA, these grants currently focus on drinking water, water quality, ecosystem assessment and repair, pollution prevention, children’s health and global change. Visit the STAR program website to learn more about each particular request for application.

EPA – Science to Achieve Results Graduate Fellowship

The STAR program also offers master’s and doctoral level students financial support for environmentally related fields of study. Master’s students may receive funding for up to two years and doctoral students may receive funding for up to three years. For more information and the application, visit the STAR Fellowship website.

National Geographic – Committee for Research and Exploration

Graduate Research Grant

This award from National Geographic is for projects that have a geographical dimension as well as relevance to other scientific fields, like biology. The 1-year grant requires research to not be entirely laboratory work or archival research. To learn more for obtain an application form, visit the grant’s website.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grants

Keystone Initiative Grants

This award is given to researchers, undergraduate or graduate, who aim to sustain, restore and enhance the Nation’s fish, wildlife and plants, and the habitats on which they depend. There is a minimum of 1:1 non-federal match, which requires the recipient to raise equal amounts of money for their research in non-federal funds. In order to learn more, please visit the Foundation’s website.

Special Grants Programs

Along with the Keystone Initiative Grants, the Foundation also awards Special Grant Programs that have specific guidelines and timelines. Many of these special programs focus on the control of invasive species, minimal-impact energy sources, and developing future conservation leaders. The entire list of Grants can be found on the Program Website.

National Science Foundation

Graduate Research Fellowship Program

This program is intended for students in their early stages of the Graduate level work toward a research-based master or doctoral degree. The fellowships provide three years of financial support with the aim of building and reinforcing the diversity of the human resource base of science and technology. For more information, visit the Program website.

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring

This award is given to undergraduate or graduate students who have made outstanding mentoring efforts to enhance the participation of underrepresented groups in science. More information can be found on the Program website.

UNCF-Merck Science Initiative

Undergraduate Science Research Scholarship Award

These awards are intended to help African American undergraduate students who are interested in science to further their science education and potentially pursue science careers by providing tuition support and research opportunities. Each Fellow will be mentored by a Merck scientist and will receive two Summer Research Internships with stipends, following the Junior year and the year after graduation either at Rahway NJ, West Point PA or Boston MA. Click on the following link for more information and application forms: Undergraduate Research Scholarship

Graduate Science Research Dissertation Fellowship

This award will help African American graduate students complete coursework, conduct research, and prepare the dissertation required for a doctoral degree in the biomedically relevant life or physical sciences. The stipend is expected to cover 12-24 months with additional funds to support the research. Click on the following link for additional information and application forms: Graduate Dissertation Fellowships

Seeding Postdoctoral Innovators in Research and Education Program

Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

This program is a three-year post-doctoral fellowship that allows for 2 years of research at UNC-Chapel Hill and 1 year of teaching in a minority-serving institution in North Carolina. The goal of SPIRE is to invest in tomorrow’s scholars and educators by allowing them to combine research with education. For more information, visit the SPIRE website.

Sigma Xi – GIAR Program

Grant-in-Aid of Research

This grant, for undergraduate or graduate students, is given for research into all areas of science and engineering. Larger grants are also given for astronomy or vision-related research. Membership in Sigma Xi is not required, but 75% of awards are given to student members or mentees of members. For more information, including application deadlines, visit the Sigma Xi GIAR Program webpage.

The Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology 

Grants-in-Aid of Research

This grant is for graduate students in the field of integrative and comparative biology who are active members of the SICB. For more information and to learn about the application process, visit the SICB website.

Fellowship for Graduate Student Travel

This award funds a student’s travel to distant research sites with the goal of learning specialized techniques or using unique resources. Students must be active members of SICB and never receive the Grants-in-Aid of research prize. For more information, visit their webpage.