Undergraduate Program


To be considered for Biochemistry Scholarships, please see the following information. 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.

Scholars Program

Biochemistry Undergraduate
Summer Research Scholarships

Travel Award

University of Wisconsin


Biochemistry Scholars Program

In the fall of 2010, the Biochemistry Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison inaugurated a new program – entitled Biochemistry Scholars – designed to provide hands-on research experience to our undergraduate majors. The program is designed from the ground up to provide a rigorous introduction to what basic research in biochemistry is all about. Our goal is to bring students into the program in the fall of their sophomore year. Students will be invited to apply to the program in the spring, at the end of their second semester at UW. Those students accepted will be notified in June, and will be assigned to a department laboratory. In that laboratory, students will be trained and will participate in basic research projects. If you are interested in research and motivated to succeed, we are looking for you! As described below, you may apply to the program even if you are already in a lab.

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 2 credits of the relevant special problems class, Biochemistry 299 to start.

• Students will receive training from other laboratory personnel. In addition, all students will meet regularly, usually weekly, 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, all students in the program will apply for senior thesis fellowships (Hilldale, Mary Shine Peterson, etc).

• In the summer between junior and senior years, students will be encouraged to do an internship in a lab in another city or country. Programs are now available in the United Kingdom, France, and India. Additional research internship opportunities are available at an array of US universities and at some biotech companies. These opportunities are being expanded.

• All program participants will become members of the Undergraduate Biochemistry Student Organization, and will receive student memberships to the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).

• Capstone experience. In April of their senior year, program students will travel to the annual ASBMB meeting and will present their research in the ASBMB undergraduate poster competition. This meeting was held in New Orleans in 2009, Anaheim in 2010, Washington DC in 2011, Anaheim in 2012, and will be in Boston in 2013. Many students will also present the same posters in local poster sessions here on campus.

• Many (hopefully most) participating students will eventually co-author papers based on their research.

• Participating students will receive special consideration in hiring for any student hourly positions that arise in host laboratories.

Biochemistry Scholars Program 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.

How to apply:

*Check here in spring 2015 for the next application cycle!*

Biochemistry Undergraduate Summer Research Scholarships


  To aid undergraduates in gaining focused, full-time research experience early in their academic career

Condition of the Award:

• 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)


• Must be an enrolled undergraduate for the fall 2015 semester

• Must be a declared Biochemistry major

• Project is not eligible if supported by any other undergraduate scholarship, grant, or hourly pay, with the exception of the Hilldale.  If student receives the Hilldale, he/she is still eligible to receive the Biochemistry Summer Research Award, but amount of the Hilldale will be subtracted from the Biochemistry award.

Selection Criteria:

• Quality of research proposal

• Originality and intellectual significance of research

• Academic achievement

Application Process:

1. Fill out the Application form: *Check back in December 2014 for the next application cycle*

2. Project Proposal: No more than five double-spaced pages with at least 1 inch margins and no smaller than 11pt font. The abstract and references are included in the 5-page limit.

All proposals should contain the following:

  – Abstract (200 words or less, may be single-spaced)

  – Background & Significance (literature review)

  – Methods (plans for data collection and analysis)

  – References (may be single-spaced)

3. Personal Statement:
One page summary of personal interests, career goals, and previous lab experience

4. Resume: For help with creating or editing your resume, please visit your school/college career services office. L&S and CALS both have drop-in resume critique hours - hours posted on their websites.

5. UW-Madison Transcript: Unofficial transcript provided by the student, available through Student Center

6. Recommendation Letter: Letter of support from the faculty member in charge of the project. The letter should 1) outline approximately the number of weeks and hours per week the applicant will be participating in research, 2) the significance of the project.  Letters of recommendation may be sent directly to Kendra Abel (kabel2@wisc.edu) separately from the application.

Deadline: February 2, 2015

• Compile all materials above (with exception of recommendation letter, if sent separately) into one PDF document and email to Kendra Abel at kabel2@wisc.edu by February 2, 2015.

• Incomplete applications will not be considered.


April - preliminary notifications will be made to students, with additional rewards potentially being issued after Hilldale Awards are announced.

Biochemistry Undergrad Research Scholarships are generously supported by:

• Genentech Foundation

• Carl Krieger Memorial Fellowship Fund

• Henry A. Lardy Undergraduate Research Fund

• Karen M. Telander Undergraduate Research Fund

• Jerome J. Stefaniak Biochemistry Scholarship Fund

• Mary Shine Peterson Fellowships in Biochemistry


Undergraduate Travel Award


To aid undergraduates seeking a professional opportunity away from Madison.

Condition of the Award:

• Must be using funds directly related to travel, including airfare, lodging, or conference registration fees. Can include attendance at a scientific meeting/conference, delivering a poster or oral presentation, travel to a summer research opportunity domestic or abroad, etc.

• Submit a report of approximately 500 to 1,000 words after participating in the activity describing your experience and the personal/professional benefits gained (no later than the first day of class of the fall term - deadline may be adjusted for later activities)


Must be a current Biochemistry major and must be an undergraduate student.

Application Process:

1. Fill out the application: *Check back in December 2014/January 2015 for spring 2015 application)

2. Provide a brief explanation of budget and travel costs

3. Cover letter:
one page that addresses the following: Why are you interested in pursuing this experience? Describe the personal and professional development needs that would be met by this activity and how you expect to benefit from the experience. Include a brief summary of your level of activity/participation in the program.

4. Recommendation letter:
letter of support from a faculty advisor, research mentor, or program director


• TBD for Spring 2015

• Submit all documents if possible (minimum items 1-3) in PDF format as ONE DOCUMENT to:

- Carol Pfeffer (cpfeffer@wisc.edu) if applying for funds for SCORE/SUPER-G

- Kendra Abel (kabel2@wisc.edu) if applying for funds for any other experience/activity

Recommendation letters can be sent separately from faculty to Kendra/Carol - please note this in your email with your other application documents.


Early March

University of Wisconsin Scholarships

Undergrad academic awards

A) 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.

B) 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.

C) 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


1) National Institutes of Health


2) Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship


3) Rhodes Scholarship



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