Department of Biology Awards

Several competitive awards are available to graduate students in the Department of Biology.


Conference Travel Grants

These grants provide support for graduate students to attend professional scientific meetings to present their research. Two sets of conference travel grants will be awarded per academic year. Applications are due November 15 (covering conferences from July 1 through March 1) and March 15 (covering conferences from January 1 through September 1). Biology graduate students and students from interdisciplinary programs whose advisor is on the Biology faculty are eligible. To apply, students complete the online form; their faculty advisors will receive an email requesting comments. Students will not receive more than one travel grant per academic year. Any questions should be directed to the Graduate Committee.


Belamarich Award

This award is given to a recent PhD student for the outstanding doctoral dissertation completed in the Department of Biology. Frank A. Belamarich joined the BU Biology Department in 1963 as an assistant professor where he quickly gained international recognition for his research in the field of comparative hemostasis, the process of blood clotting. Throughout his tenure at BU he was a popular teacher of a core course in cell biology which he developed.  Belamarich maintained research laboratories in Boston as well as at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole in Falmouth, MA as part of the BU Marine Program.

Recent Recipients:
2017 James “JP” Gilbert
2016 Cassidy D’Aloia
2015 Ysabel Giraldo
2014 Eva Fast
2012 Stephen Amato


Dr. Marion R. Kramer Scholarship

This award provides support for high-achieving female students majoring in Biology. The award was established in 2001 in honor of Dr. Marion Kramer who earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Boston University in 1963 and went on to a long and satisfying career in biology and medicine.

Recent Recipients:
2017 Elizabeth Burmester
2016 Darcy Gordon
2015 Tracy Meehan
2014 Kristina Cohen
2013 Sarah Sullivan


The Thomas H. Kunz Award

This award provides support for EBE Ph.D. candidates who have completed the qualifying exam, with a preference for those conducting field research in the award year. The award was established in 2015 in recognition and appreciation of Professor Thomas H. Kunz’s mentorship. One of the world’s leading authorities on the biology of bats, Professor Thomas H. Kunz, has for the past 40+ years been an inspiring teacher to thousands of undergraduates, an enthusiastic proponent for bats and science in the public arena, and an exceptional mentor to dozens of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and junior faculty. His current and former graduate students established this award to serve as a lasting legacy of Tom’s contributions at BU and beyond. Learn more about Dr. Kunz and how you can support this award.

Recent Recipients:
2017 Stephen Decina
2016 Jesse Delia
2015 Jesse Delia


The Brenton R. Lutz Award

This award provides support for Neurobiology or GPN Ph.D. candidates who have completed the qualifying exam and made significant contributions to their field. Brenton R. Lutz was the person to receive an MD/PhD at Boston University, receiving his Ph.D. in 1916.  He later became a Professor and Chairman of BU’s Department of Biology. Dr. Lutz also gave the first University Lecture at BU on December 11, 1950 “The Living Blood Vessels.”  The University Lecture was established at Boston University in 1950 for the purpose of honoring members of the faculty engaged in outstanding research.

Recent Recipients:
2017 Emma Elguero
2016 Gloria DeWalt
2015 Iker Etchegarary


The I. Alden Macchi Award

This award provides support to be used to attend a conference for candidates who have completed the qualifying exam in the fields of endrocinology and/or regulatory biology. The award was established by the late I. Alden Macchi, Professor and former Interim Chairman in the Department of Biology. Dr. Macchi received his Ph.D. in Endocrinology from BU in 1954. Professor Macchi’s research contributed, among other things, many important observations regarding the mechanisms of steroid hormone biosynthesis in the adrenal glands.

Recent Recipients:
2017 Ashley Penvose
2016 Alla Yalonetskaya
2015 Rama Krishna Simhadri
2014 Kellie Cotter
2013 Allison Timmons


The Charles Terner Award

This award provides support for a CM or MCBB Ph.D. candidate who has completed the qualifying exam and who has made significant contributions to their field. Charles Terner was a Professor of Biology at Boston University for over 20 years before he retired in 1985. Dr. Terner specialized in biochemistry and focused his research on the metabolic properties of male reproductive cells. The award was established in his memory after he passed away in 1998.

Recent Recipients:
2017 Yuda Huo
2016 Cody Desjardins
2015 Mike Piacintino
2014 Allison Timmons
2013 Michelle Toomey


Warren-McLeod Fellowships

These awards provides support for graduate students conducting research in marine science. Patricia Warren (the granddaughter of BU’s 1st President, William Fairfield Warren) established this fund in 1990 to support graduate students in the BU Marine Program (BUMP). Guy McLeod was Patricia’s brother-in-law and the long-time director of research at the New England Aquarium. He was a marine biologist, whose scholarship focused on the role of iron, vanadium, and other metal ions on the physiological ecology of marine animals. Learn more about this award.

Recent Recipients (12-Month Award)
2017 Katelyn Mansfield
2016 Kathryn Lesneski
2015 Daphne Schatzberg
2014 Ben Carr & Mike Piacentino
2013 Elizabeth Burmester and John Majoris

Recent Recipients (Summer Awards)
2017 David Minkoff, Nicholas Ray, and Natchar Naowarojna
2016 Rebecca Branconi, Elizabeth Burmester, David Minkoff, Katelyn Mansfield, and Karina Scavo
2015 Rebecca Branconi, Elizabeth Burmester, William Kearney, and Kathryn Lesneski
2014 Tina Barbasch and Lauren Friedman
2013 Benjamin Carr


Dana Wright Fellowship

This award provides support for M.A. and Ph.D. students in Marine Biology. Dana Wright graduated with a MA degree from the BU Marine Program in the summer of 2000. This award was established by her parents to honor Dana’s life and her love of marine biology.

Recent Recipients
2016 James Garner and Adrienne Lohe
2014 Kathryn Lesneski
2013 Valentina DiSanto
2012 John Majoris


Oboh-Weilke Postdoctoral Travel Award

This award offers one $1000 Travel Grant to a Biology Post-doc, to present their research at a professional scientific meeting. This award has been made possible by Biology Alumna Dr. Aruoriwo M Oboh-Weilke. You can read about Dr. Oboh on our Alumni page. Applications are due March 15, 2018, covering travel between September 1, 2017 and August 31, 2018. To apply, applicants should complete and submit the online application. Please consult with your advisor about funds available from your lab before applying. When applicants submit their applications, faculty advisors will automatically receive an email asking them to approve the application and submit additional comments by email, including information about availability of funds. Any questions should be directed to Professor Fred Wasserman.

Graduate Student Fellowships

The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences awards various types of fellowship aid to PhD students.

  • Non-Service Fellowships: These fellowships provide a stipend and scholarship for students to focus primarily on their degree coursework with no departmental research or teaching responsibilities. These include:
    • Dean’s Fellowships
    • Martin Luther King Jr. Fellowship
    • Whitney M. Young Jr. Fellowship
    • Trainee Fellowships
  • Teaching Fellowship: A teaching fellowship at Boston University is a kind of apprenticeship, providing an opportunity for graduate students to gain classroom experience under the close supervision of the faculty members who have the formal responsibility for the courses to which the teaching fellows are assigned. Your obligation in this fellowship would include instructional duties assigned by your department and participation in a specific course in the pedagogy of your discipline. Instructional and other duties total approximately 20 hours per week.
  • Doctoral Research Fellowship: Doctoral Research Fellowships provide a stipend and scholarship for exceptionally qualified students in return for research work done for the department. Your obligation in this fellowship would include research duties assigned by your department that total no more than 20 hours per week.
  • Graduate Research Abroad Fellowship: The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, using funds from alumni gifts, has established a fellowship program, Graduate Research Abroad Fellowships, to support foreign-based research by doctoral students whose field-based or archival research requires an extended period of residence in another country or countries.

Other Awards and Fellowships:

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Fellowships: Graduate students in either their first- or second-year are encouraged to apply for these prestigious three-year fellowships. NSF Fellowship applications are due in November of each year. For applications and instructions go to: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/education.jsp?fund_type=2
  • Graduate Student Organization (GSO) Travel Grants: GSO offers two types of travel awards, a Presentation Grant and a Research Grant. For application instructions and deadlines go to: https://www.bu.edu/gso/travelgrants/
  • Graduate Women in Science & Engineering (GWISE) Professional Development Grants (PDG): GWISE offers the PDG program to help members benefit from professional development opportunities in the Boston area and beyond. The PDG Program will provide funding for registration fees and other expenses associated with participating in professional development events. For application instructions and more information go to: https://www.bu.edu/gwise/resources/professional-development-grants/
  • Students should consult their faculty advisors for other potential sources of financial support.