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Finding and Applying for Biology Scholarships

Higher Education Articles April 26, 2014

Big parts of students’ college funds come from private student loans and federal financial aid. Scholarships, fellowships, and grants also help students pay for college; these do not have to be repaid. Students that are interested in the biological sciences are usually targeted by various free-money options.

The Way to Find and Apply for Biology Scholarships

The Department of Education has found in a study that biological and biomedical sciences dominated 10% of the 60,600 doctoral degrees earned by students in the school year of 2006-07. Undergraduates also preferred biological and biomedical sciences over other subject areas during 2007-2008, when more than 77,000 degrees were awarded in these concentration areas of study.

Armed with biology degrees, graduates can choose careers from a wide array of options. Biology majors can choose from positions such as those of zoological, technological, educational, environmental or biomedical researchers or workers. Biotechnology has been found to be the most progressive area of scientific research (U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics). Students interested in biology are offered research opportunities and financial aid by many organizations, foundations, universities and companies. This article lists a few of several scholarship options available to biology majors.

Online Database for Biology Scholarships

Scholarship options for numerous majors, such as biology, are listed by, which was set up in 1999, as an independent resource run by women to provide free information about a wide range of scholarship options.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), among other such applications, is typically completed by students, accompanied by recommendations from professionals or teachers who are familiar with the student’s scientific aptitude, in addition to proof of eligibility and a written essay.

Throughout the site are found details of financial aid and biology scholarships, as described below:

•The Merck Company Foundation and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) offer 37 scholarships for postdoctoral, graduate and undergraduate biomedical African American students.

•The Paul and Ellen Ruckes’ Scholarship make financial aid available to support undergraduate and graduate biology students.

•The American Museum of Natural History offers fellowships and internships aimed at helping students interested in evolutionary biology.

•The American Physiological Society offers a research fellowship for biology undergraduates aimed at aiding microbiology students.

•The American Chemical Society offers annual scholarships aimed at helping for minority students pursuing degrees in biology.

The We Believe Biology Major Scholarship

This scholarship is offered through donations by residents and local businesses to help Biology majors with costs, including tuition fees at the Iowa Lakes Community College. Eligibility for the scholarship includes submission of a formal application, accompanied by an article and an overall GPA of 2.5 during the program attended.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Scholarships

STEM programs, where ‘STEM’ is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math, offer scholarships in these subjects. Biology majors can benefit from STEM scholarships and support programs by approaching the school’s financial aid office. These scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students are funded by the National Science Foundation on the basis of financial need.

The Association for Women in Science STEM Scholarships

Donations are received by the Association for Women in Science from its supporters and members, and awards around 25 scholarships annually for the benefit of pre-doctoral and undergraduate students (in the second or third graduate year), in STEM programs. Specific requirements are contained in certain scholarships, and the submission processes and eligibility for the coveted scholarship should be reviewed by students. Applications have to be submitted online, with attached references and transcripts for review.

The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Scholarships

The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology offers scholarships and research grants for the benefit of researchers pursuing Ph.D. degrees in Biological Sciences, such as zoology, physiology, or cellular biology. Students need to complete an online application to be eligible for some awards, while some others are awarded at the annual meetings of the organizations during which winning students present research findings.

The Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship is also awarded by the SICB to exceptional undergraduates or first- and second-year graduate students in the field of marine biology. Academic studies or field research by students enrolled in graduate biology courses are funded by the scholarship.

The American Society for Microbiology Scholarships

Different research fellowships, grants and awards, are funded by the American Society for Microbiology to help students actively engaged in microbiology studies and research. Research projects are offered through fellowship opportunities to highly motivate or minority students. Unique application procedures and eligibility requirements characterize each award, and discounted rates are offered on society membership to students.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholarships

Scholarships and grants are offered by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to many educational institutions across the United States for the benefit of biology undergraduates. Since 1985, the organization has awarded over $10 million in graduate fellowships to graduate students involved in research in fields, such as genetics, cellular biology and microbiology.

The Kathleen S. Anderson Award for Promising Biologists

The Manomet Center for Consevation Sciences offers the Kathleen S. Anderson Award for Promising Biologists to help biology students regardless of their age. An annual business award is given to one or more scholarship winners. Research in avian studies is funded by the award; such research could include migratory habits, bird conservation projects and endangered species, among other subject areas.

Rocky Mountain Biological Lab REU Program

The National Science Foundation offers tuition assistance, accommodations, travel assistance and an allowance to undergraduate students to facilitate their participation in a research project conducted at Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Biological Lab. Determination, minority status and need are the parameters used to judge candidates for the REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) program. Through the 10-week research programs, students are afforded the chance to work with scientists to complete an independent research study or senior thesis.

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