Illinois logo MCB The Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology

School of MCB Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships

Continuing undergraduate students interested in applying for research fellowships through the School of MCB, Departments of Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology and Microbiology, should apply using the common application form, which will open in January 2020. The deadline for submission is 5:00 PM on Friday, February 14, 2020. No late submissions will be accepted. Students may be eligible for multiple fellowships, but each student may accept only one. Eligibility requirements for each fellowship can be found below. MCB is dedicated to increasing the participation of underrepresented populations in research and actively encourages applications from these groups.

Fellowships range from $2,000 to $5,000. Students currently receiving financial aid or other scholarships should be sure to check with a financial aid officer to understand how accepting a fellowship might affect other awards. Please complete the application in its entirety and submit prior to the deadline of February 14 for full consideration.

Requirements to complete this application are listed below. All documents (excluding the P.I. nomination letter) should be saved as one single PDF before uploading. Students are responsible for ensuring that the submitted proposal conforms to all of the formatting requirements and instructions. The online submission system will NOT notify you if your application fails to conform to the formatting guidelines. As such, students are strongly encouraged to review their proposals before submitting. Applications that fail to conform to the formatting requirements and instructions will not be considered.

Please be sure to click SUBMIT to complete your application. If you simply SAVE AND FINISH LATER, we will NOT get your submission and you will NOT be eligible for any of the fellowships. You should receive an email confirmation, which includes your responses after clicking submit (check spam folders). Please save this email for your records. If you do not receive an email confirmation, then your submission did not go through and you should try again. Problems ensued after a 2nd attempt should be reported to Tina Knox at tmknox@illinois.edu

SURF proposals will be evaluated using a rubric that incorporates the strength of the proposal, the letter of recommendation from the advisor, the student’s GPA, and the number of semesters that the applicant has been conducting research in their current laboratory. Applications that fail to follow the formatting guidelines or are incomplete, including the advisor’s letter of recommendation, after the submission deadline will not be considered. While transdisciplinary projects are encouraged, the proposed summer research project must include the study of biological problems at a molecular and cellular level.

Students selected for any of the fellowships will be notified on or after March 16, 2020, but no later than March 27, 2020. Students cannot accept more than one School of MCB research fellowship.

Requirements
  1. One-page proposal (excluding any necessary references) of research to be conducted. The proposal should be typed using 11-point Arial font (or equivalent), single-spaced with 0.5-inch margins on all sides and include a title/topic of research project. It should describe the overall goals and objective of the project along with the specific research that will be undertaken by the student. This document should be an original and professional document prepared by the student with input from the principal investigator (P.I.) of the laboratory.
  2. Current CV/Resume for applicant.
  3. Unofficial undergraduate transcript available from Enterprise Student Self-Service (Registration and Records/Student Records and Transcripts/View Academic History).
  4. Nomination letter from Principal Investigator (PI) supporting the applicant's research, uploaded as a PDF at the following site, by the February 15 deadline.
  5. MCB Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

    Fellowships are available to undergraduate MCB and Biochemistry majors to provide the basis for a Senior Research Thesis in MCB or Biochemistry. The School of MCB will contribute $2,500 in fellowship money to the undergraduate student and $500 to the approved, supporting lab to fund supplies which support the undergraduate summer research.

    Eligibility Requirements for MCB Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships:

    • Must be an officially declared Biology, MCB or Biochemistry major for the semester immediately preceding the fellowship.
    • Must be continuing as an MCB or Biochemistry major in the fall semester following receipt of the fellowship. Students graduating in May are not eligible.
    • Must be conducting MCB 290 or BIOC 290 research in an approved lab during the preceding spring semester or have written approval of the faculty research advisor to participate in a summer research fellowship in their lab.
    • Student must agree to continue their research project for course credit during the following fall and, if applicable, spring semester and submit a senior thesis prior to graduation.
    • The recipient cannot accept more than one School of MCB research fellowship. MCB Fellowship recipients are ineligible for the Biochemistry, Microbiology, Jenner Family Research Fellowship, Dawn Carlson Fellowship or any other School of MCB Fellowship.

    Jenner Family Research Fellowship

    The School of Molecular and Cellular Biology has received a generous donation from Dr. Kris Jenner and his family of Annapolis, Maryland to fund premier fellowships providing $5,000 toward summer research for undergraduate MCB and Biochemistry majors to provide the basis for a Senior Research Thesis in MCB or Biochemistry.

    Dr. Jenner credits his own research experience as an undergraduate at Illinois as an important factor in his career successes in medicine and business.

    Eligibility Requirements for Jenner Family Research Fellowship:

    • Must be an officially declared Biology, MCB or Biochemistry major for the semester immediately preceding the fellowship, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50.
    • Must be continuing as an MCB or Biochemistry major in the fall semester following receipt of the fellowship. Students graduating in May are not eligible.
    • Must be conducting MCB 290 or BIOC 290 research in an approved lab during the preceding spring semester or have written approval of the faculty research advisor to participate in a summer research fellowship in their lab.
    • Student must agree to continue their research project for course credit during the following fall and, if applicable, spring semester and submit a senior thesis prior to graduation.
    • Must be free of academic integrity violations.
    • The recipient will be asked to provide a written summary of their research for Dr. Kris Jenner and family members, during the fall semester following receipt of the fellowship. The deadline for this requirement will be the same as the university deadline to drop a fall semester course.
    • The recipient cannot accept more than one School of MCB research fellowship. Jenner recipients are ineligible for the Biochemistry, Microbiology, Dawn Carlson or any other School of MCB Fellowship.

    Berkowitz Research Fellowship

    The School of Molecular and Cellular Biology has received a generous donation from our alumnus, Richard Berkowitz, M.D. to fund a premier fellowship providing $5,000 toward summer research for undergraduate MCB majors to provide the basis for a Senior Research Thesis in MCB.

    Eligibility Requirements for Berkowitz Research Fellowship:

    • Must be an officially declared Biology or MCB major for the semester immediately preceding the fellowship, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50.
    • Must be continuing as an MCB major in the fall semester following receipt of the fellowship. Students graduating in May are not eligible.
    • Must be conducting MCB 290 research in an approved lab during the preceding spring semester or have written approval of the faculty research advisor to participate in a summer research fellowship in their lab.
    • Student must agree to continue their research project for course credit during the following fall and, if applicable, spring semester and submit a senior thesis prior to graduation.
    • Must be free of academic integrity violations.
    • The recipient will be asked to provide a written summary of their research for Dr. Berkowitz, during the fall semester following receipt of the fellowship. The deadline for this requirement will be the same as the university deadline to drop a fall semester course.
    • The recipient cannot accept more than one School of MCB research fellowship. Berkowitz recipients are ineligible for the Biochemistry, Microbiology, Dawn Carlson, Jenner or any other School of MCB Fellowship.

    Spudich Summer Research Fellowship

    This $5,000 award supports an undergraduate conducting research at the interface of MCB and Chemistry. The award will rotate between the School of MCB and the School of Chemical Sciences each year, with MCB awarding in odd numbered years and Chemistry awarding in even numbered years.

    Eligibility Requirements for Spudich Summer Research Fellowship:

    • Must be participating in interdisciplinary research in chemistry, biology (or both) for the semester immediately preceding the fellowship.
    • Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50.
    • Must be continuing research in the fall semester following receipt of the fellowship. Students graduating in May are not eligible.
    • Must demonstrate financial need.
    • Must be free of academic integrity violations.
    • The recipient will be asked to provide a written summary of their research for Dr. Spudich, during the fall semester following receipt of the fellowship. The deadline for this requirement will be the same as the university deadline to drop a fall semester course.
    • The recipient cannot accept more than one School of MCB research fellowship. Spudich recipients are ineligible for the Biochemistry, Microbiology, Dawn Carlson, Jenner, Berkowitz or any other School of MCB Fellowship.

    Dawn M. Carlson MD, MPH Research Fellowship for Women in Science

    Dr. Dawn Carlson, a UIUC alumnus (1982 BS Microbiology) currently works for Abbvie and has generously offered to fund a $3,120 fellowship for our top female undergraduate student, majoring in MCB and conducting summer research.

    Eligibility Requirements for Dawn M. Carlson Fellowship for Women in Science

    • Must be a female (Woman in Science).
    • Must be an Illinois High School Graduate pursuing a career in science or medicine.
    • Must be an officially declared MCB major for the semester immediately preceding the fellowship.
    • Must be continuing as an MCB major in the fall semester following receipt of the fellowship. Students graduating in May are not eligible.
    • Must be conducting MCB 290 research in an approved lab during the preceding spring semester or have written approval of the faculty research advisor to participate in a summer research fellowship in their lab.
    • Student must agree to continue their research project for course credit during the following fall and, if applicable, spring semester and submit a senior thesis prior to graduation.
    • Must be free of academic integrity violations.
    • Recipient cannot accept more than one School of MCB research fellowship. The Carlson recipient is ineligible for the Biochemistry, Microbiology, MCB or the Jenner Fellowships.

    Department of Biochemistry Research Fellowships

    Eligibility Requirements for The William T. and Lynn Jackson Fellowship - $3,000 to student (up to 3 awarded)

    • Must be an undergraduate performing a biochemistry-related research project.

    Eligibility Requirements for the Biochemistry Research Fellowship - $3,000 to student (1 award)

    • Must be a junior performing a biochemistry-related research project.

    Department of Cell and Developmental Biology Fellowship

    Cycyota Undergraduate Research Fellowship
    $2,500 awarded to student, $500 awarded to the lab.

    • Must be an undergraduate performing research in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology.

    Department of Microbiology Undergraduate Student Fellowships

    Eligibility Requirements for the Undergraduate Student Research in Microbiology Summer Support Fellowship

    • Must be and undergraduate committed to conducting research in a Department of Microbiology faculty's laboratory over the ENTIRE summer. The entire summer is defined as the entire 12-week period between the beginning of Summer Session Term I and the end of the Summer Session Term II.