Biochemistry Awards and Funding

The Department of Biochemistry is proud to offer its undergraduate students in the major several award and funding opportunities. For example, our Biochemistry Scholars Program assists students in finding undergraduate biochemistry research opportunities early in their academic careers, and our Biochemistry Undergraduate Summer Research Awards provide students funds so they have the flexibility to spend more time in lab over a summer. Read about our different programs and awards below. Students who are eligible may apply for all departmental scholarships, but will only be awarded one per academic year.

All other University of Wisconsin-Madison or National Scholarship information and applications may be obtained from the awarding department or program. Students who are awarded other University of Wisconsin-Madison Scholarships can be supplemented by one of the Biochemistry Scholarships.


Biochemistry Scholars ProgramBiochemistry Undergraduate Summer Research Award
Mary Shine Peterson Undergraduate AwardUniversity of Wisconsin ScholarshipsNational Scholarships


Biochemistry Scholars Program

In the fall of 2010, the Department of Biochemistry inaugurated a new program — entitled Biochemistry Scholars — designed to provide hands-on research experience to our undergraduate majors. Students will be invited to apply to the program in the spring at the end of their second semester at UW–Madison. Invitations will be made to students officially declared in the biochemistry major and first semester GPA will be a factor. The program is designed from the ground up to provide a rigorous introduction to what basic research in biochemistry is all about. Those students accepted will be notified in June, and will be assigned to a department laboratory and will begin their research work in fall of their sophomore year. In that laboratory, students will be trained and will participate in basic research projects. As described below, even if a student is already in a lab, he or she may apply to the program if he or she receives an invitation.

Program Outline

  • Students will participate in one or more research projects for a period of up to three years. Each semester, students will generally enroll in two credits of the relevant special problems class, Biochem 299 to start.
  • Students will receive training from other laboratory personnel. In addition, all students will meet regularly with that laboratory’s mentor.
  • A general meeting of program participants will take place every fall, during the first week of classes.
  • After one year in the program, an assessment will take place. Students who are progressing at a satisfactory pace will continue. This will also be an opportunity for a few students to change laboratories according to changing interests, or halt participation if they find that laboratory research is not for them.
  • In the spring of junior year, students are encouraged to apply for research awards and senior thesis fellowships (Hilldale, Mary Shine Peterson, etc.).
  • All program participants are encouraged to join the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) UW–Madison Student Chapter. Joining the student organization will result in being a student member of the national ASBMB organization.
  • In April of their senior year, program students are encouraged to travel to the ASBMB meeting and will present their research in the ASBMB undergraduate poster competition. These meetings are held in great cities across the U.S.
  • Many (hopefully most) participating students will eventually co-author papers based on their research.

Requirements

  • Each participant must have a declared biochemistry major.
  • Although there are no specific GPA requirements, overall GPA will be a significant consideration for acceptance into the program. Even in this select group, we cannot guarantee space for all applicants.
  • Motivation to pursue biochemistry research.

How to apply

If a student has received an email invitation to apply, his or her complete application must include:

  • Completed cover form (received via email). Form can be completed electronically, but it may need to downloaded and opened in Adobe Acrobat to be able to edit the fields.
  • A brief (<1-page double-spaced) letter explaining something about the student, including where he or she is from and why he or she chose biochemistry as a major.
  • The student's unofficial transcript (Student Record), available via Student Center.

Biochemistry Undergraduate Summer Research Award

This award aids biochemistry undergraduates in gaining focused, full-time research experience early in their academic careers. Award amount is $4,000.

Program Outline

  • Work in a lab at UW–Madison full-time (equivalent of 30-40 hours/week over eight weeks) during the summer following receipt of the award
  • Submit a research report of approximately 500 to 1,000 words upon completion of research (no later than the first day of class of the fall term)

Requirements

  • Must be an enrolled undergraduate for the following fall semester and be a declared biochemistry major
  • Submit a quality research proposal, communicate originality and intellectual significance of research, and possess excellent academic achievements
  • Students may not accept other research funding or awards for use during the summer in which they will receive the biochemistry summer research award. If a student receives a Hilldale award, the Hilldale work (i.e. registration for the corresponding credits of directed study/senior thesis) must be performed during the academic year, so that the biochemistry award can be utilized for the summer research project. If a student chooses to accept a non-biochemistry summer award, they may not move their biochemistry award to a different term/semester but rather must choose one award or the other.
  • Students can apply via Scholarships@UW (in MyUW) in December each year — the application is listed as the “Biochemistry Undergraduate Summer Research Award.” The application will include the following:
    • Research/project proposal: should be no more than five double-spaced pages with at least one inch margins and at least 11-point font. Abstract and references are included in the five-page limit. Proposals should contain the following: Abstract (200 words or less, may be single-spaced), Background and Significance (literature review), Methods (plans for data collection and analysis), and References (may be single spaced).
    • Personal statement: a one-page summary of personal interests, career goals, and previous lab experience.
    • Resume
    • Letter of recommendation from the faculty mentor supervising the student’s project. Letter must outline approximately the number of weeks/hours per week the student will be engaged in research and the significance of the project. Letters must be requested and submitted via the Scholarships@UW website.
    • If the student is unable to access or having trouble with the online application, please contact undergradadvisor@biochem.wisc.edu.
    • Deadline is February 2 and notification of award status is in late March

Biochemistry Undergraduate Summer Research Awards are generously supported by: 

  • Gilboe Family Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • E. W. Hopkins Fund
  • Carl Krieger Memorial Fellowship Fund
  • Floyd C. McIntire Biochemistry Award Fund
  • Eric Bey and Amanda Boley
  • Henry A. Lardy Undergraduate Research Fund
  • Marc A.T. Muskavitch Undergraduate Research Fund
  • Jack Gorski Fund
  • Ezra L. Totton Scholarship in Biochemistry

Mary Shine Peterson Undergraduate Award

This prestigious undergraduate award is designed to recognize UW–Madison Department of Biochemistry undergraduate students with demonstrated excellence in and commitment to research by providing financial assistance to foster and support their experience in biochemistry-relevant activities during the summer session before their senior year and/or during their senior year. Relevant activities for support include: 1) conducting faculty-advised research in a biochemistry-oriented laboratory on campus or overseas, 2) traveling overseas to participate in a global health program, and/or 3) traveling to a scientific meeting to present a research-oriented poster or paper.

Mary Shine Peterson awardees will be chosen annually, depending on the pool of undergraduate applicants and the availability of funds. Award winners will be announced in March of that year. The award amount is up to $5,000 per awardee.

Program Outline

  • Prior to graduation, awardees are required to submit a written report (500 to 1,000 words); the report must be approved by the student’s research or program supervisor. The report must describe how the Peterson Award enhanced and fostered the student’s training in the field of biochemistry. The report deadline is the last day of classes in which the student is enrolled at UW–Madison.

Requirements

  • Applicant’s declared major must be biochemistry and intend to graduate in the academic year following the year in which the application is due.
  • Applicant has a cumulative GPA ≥ 3.5 after the end of the fall before applying.
  • Applicant has completed at least one biochemistry course at the level of 500 or higher.
  • NOTE: Preference will be given to applicants with at least one year of laboratory research experience.
  • Students can apply via Scholarships@UW (in MyUW) starting in December each year — the application is listed as the “Mary Shine Peterson Undergraduate Award.” Application deadline is February 1 of the year prior to their senior year, with notification of award status in March. Applications will include:   
  • List of lab experiences with dates and other notable extra-curricular activities, including participation in international programs (information will be input in the "profile" section of Scholarships@UW).
  • Personal statement (describe the applicant’s professional career plans, the activity or research project the award is intended to support, and how the award would enhance and advance the applicant’s research education in biochemistry and scientific career). The personal statement is limited to 1 page (11-point type or larger, 0.8 inch margins).
  • Curriculum vita or resume.
  • Grade transcripts from all college coursework (UW–Madison transcript will be automatically generated at Scholarships@UW).
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty. For those proposing research on campus, one letter must be from the faculty member in whose lab research will be done.
  • A copy of any co-authored papers.

University of Wisconsin Scholarships

Undergrad academic awards

  • Hilldale Scholarship - Wisconsin/Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowships provide support for collaborative research between undergraduate students and faculty or instructional academic staff members. Fellowships provide a grant of $3,000 to the student and $1,000 to the faculty/staff supervisor to help defray the costs of research. Students must have at least junior standing at the time of application.
  • Holstrom Scholarship - Holstrom Environmental Scholarships are awarded for collaborative research on environmental issues between undergraduate students and faculty or instructional academic staff members. Scholarships provide a grant of $3,000 to the student and $1,000 to the faculty/staff supervisor to help defray the costs of research. Students must have at least junior standing at the time of application.
  • Academic Excellence Scholarship - Academic Excellence (University Book Store) Award is supported by a generous grant from the University Book Store, recognizes undergraduate students who have completed an outstanding independent project, such as a senior thesis, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Projects in all academic fields are eligible.

National Scholarships

Nationally Competitive Scholarships