BFP Application Information

Biology Fellows Program

Application Information Sheet



The purpose of the Biology Fellows Program (BFP) is to provide independent research opportunities for undergraduates in the biological sciences, particularly those for whom financial support would significantly enhance their ability to participate in research. The emphasis of this program has been to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups and women doing research. However, all qualified undergraduates are encouraged to apply and will be equally considered.
The grant program also seeks to enhance interaction among the peer group of undergraduate researchers through faculty seminars, professional development workshops, and by students presenting their research at the BSP Undergraduate Research Symposium.
This research experience is not designed simply to provide technical training. It is intended to involve curious undergraduates in exploring biological questions. Top candidates will be interested in learning about a research laboratory, research careers, asking questions at the bench, and learning how to effectively use the scientific method to investigate a biological problem.


The 2016-17 academic year program will run through both semesters. The fellowship includes a stipend of $2000 and a $125 lab supply award and $500 travel award per semester. Please note that BFP may affect your financial aid package (see the FAQ on the BFP website for more information).Students who are selected to participate in the program will be required to meet with a financial aid advisor to understand how, if at all, this funding may impact their financial aid package. Participants are required to do research in a laboratory for 10 hours/week during the semester, attend all meetings, at least 5 workshops/seminars throughout the semester, meet with the BSP Research Coordinator at least once per semester, and to present at the Undergraduate Research Symposium (date TBD). 


* Continuing Berkeley students with an overall GPA of at least 2.7.
* An interest in pursuing a research-related career in some aspect of the biological sciences
* Some laboratory experience (whether in university coursework or in research inside or outside the university).
* Awards in previous summers or semesters do not guarantee an award this year.
* Prior awards also do not disqualify one from receiving a subsequent award.


Students can work with any UC faculty member in the biological sciences on the Berkeley campus. Some stipends can be made available to students working in labs at other sites such as UCSF, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Oakland. See the FAQ on the website for details.

It is not necessary that the student have a research position in a laboratory prior to applying for a fellowship. However, it is the responsibility of the student to obtain a position in a laboratory by initiating contact with faculty whose research is related to the student's interests. Awardees having difficulty arranging a laboratory should contact Program Coordinator, Dr. Sabriya Rosemond If you are selected as a Biology Fellows Program participant, you must have a laboratory placement within 2 weeks of the award.


A committee of biology faculty, post-doctoral researchers and graduate students will evaluate the applications. Criteria for selection of awardees will include interest in pursuing a research career, enthusiasm for research, the extent to which the student may benefit from the experience, and community engagement. The statement of purpose and letters of recommendation are particularly important.
For previous BFP awardees: You also must provide a statement detailing the progress of your research project and must include a letter of recommendation from your research advisor.


Apply here by August 1, 2016 at 8 am (no exceptions)

Please be sure to read all directions in the application.

Your submitted electronic application must include the following uploaded pdf items:

* Statement of Purpose
* Resume
* Unofficial Transcript (from BEARFacts)
* Progress Report (if you are a previous BFP participant)
* Financial Aid Information (optional- a PDF copy of your BEARFacts financial aid statement is sufficient)
* Statement of financial need (optional, but recommended)


Letters of recommendation are due August 1, 2016 8am (no exceptions)

We require two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your interests, abilities, and career goals. The letters can be from any individual in or outside of the University and might include your professors, GSIs, research supervisor, employers, or former teachers.

The best letters will come from individuals who know you well and can speak to your academic preparation, capacity to do research, and interest in research. If you are a previous BFP awardee one of the letters MUST be from your PI/Research Supervisor. Similarly, if you are currently working in a lab and plan on continuing research in that lab, one of your letters MUST be from your PI/Research Supervisor.

Suggestions for requesting recommendation letters: Contact your recommenders well in advance and ask them if they will write you a letter. Tell them about the program and why you are applying. Include information about the submission deadline and how/where to submit the letters. You may also want to email a copy of a recent resume to update any recommenders that you have not had recent contact with. Recommenders' letters should address how they know you, your motivations and capacity to do independent research and how you will benefit from participation.

Email options for sending recommendation letters

Recommenders can email letters directly from the letter writer's email to Letters must be sent as a PDF attachment.

A scanned PDF version of letters that include the letter writer's signature can be emailed to from the Berkeley Career Center Letter Service.

Incomplete applications will not be considered for funding. Awardees will be notified before the beginning of the semester. Laboratory mentors of awardees will also be notified once the award is accepted.

FUNDING SOURCE: This program is supported by the Dean of Biological Sciences, Dean G. Steven Martin.

For further information, please see the FAQ on the BFP webpage or contact Sabriya N. Rosemond, Ph.D., 510-643-4746.