Biology Scholars Program
Biology Scholars Program
About the Program
The goal of the Biology Scholars Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is to advance the education, research training, and personal development of undergraduate students who have the potential to achieve distinction in the field of Biology, as well as become outstanding leaders in their careers and professions.
Support is provided for nine incoming students working toward a bachelor’s degree in Biology in the form of student stipends, laboratory supplies, and funds for travel to attend and participate in appropriate scientific meetings. Depending on the laboratory chosen for the research experience, students will receive rigorous training by faculty members in the use and applications of a variety of different techniques involved in aquatic and marine ecology, cell biology, and molecular biology. The program will also provide counseling to students to improve their knowledge of career opportunities and to enhance their entrance into higher degree programs in the sciences.
Advantages of the Program
Biology Scholars will have the opportunity to undertake research in the laboratories of outstanding faculty members in the Biology Department and the Medical School. Each Scholar can register for three units of credit for research that will count toward his or her degree. Students will be provided opportunities to assume leadership positions in their respective labs and to interact closely with their mentors.
Career counseling, mentoring, and academic advising are day-to-day activities in labs where students become participants in an academic family. Scholars will also have access to support from the staff of the Biology Department where they can find regular advising and help in the application process to graduate programs. For those students planning to pursue health professions, individual guidance and assistance in the application process from the Health Professions Advisors will be provided.
Eligibility and Conditions of Support
Freshman who will be enrolled in full-time study as a Biology Major at UAB are eligible for consideration for the Biology Scholars award. Awards are highly competitive and will be given to students who have an overall High School GPA of 3.5 or greater, a score of 26 or greater on the ACT, and show leadership skills and academic potential for research. Student finalists will be personally interviewed by representative members of the Biology faculty.
Biology Scholars will be expected in their freshman year to begin identifying areas of research interest, possible faculty research mentor, attend monthly scholars meetings and when possible attend the Department of Biology fall and spring seminar series. In subsequent years, the scholar will undertake up to 10 hours per week of research with a faculty mentor during fall and spring academic semesters.
All Scholars will be expected to present their research findings, either orally or in the form of a poster, at appropriate forums including local, regional and national scientific meetings, symposia, and colloquia. Scholars will also be expected to attend scholars group meetings, attend (when possible) the Department of Biology fall and spring seminar series and enroll in one seminar course during their studies at UAB. Students are also encouraged to participate in a teaching experience and submit research of merit for consideration of publication in peer reviewed scientific journals.
Each Scholar will hold a mid-semester meeting with his/her mentor to assess progress on his/her research project, and to review whether the student is benefiting from and contributing to the overall program. The Scholars will submit written reports at the end of each academic year.
Once selected to be a Biology Scholar, a student will retain the scholarship for up to four years as long as he/she remains biology major, continues to excel academically, and his/her research work shows satisfactory progress.
- A student in biological sciences with a minimum cumulative High School GPA of 3.5 of greater, a score of 26 or greater on the ACT.
- Demonstrate potential for a successful career in science and outstanding leadership in his/her chosen profession.
- Written and oral communication skills as well as interpersonal skills.
- Commitment to the research endeavor and the likelihood that it will be successfully carried out by the individual.
All applications will be screened by the Biology Scholars Selection Committee, which will also select the finalists. The best undergraduate scholars will be selected based on their potential for a successful career in science and outstanding leadership in their chosen profession. Intellect as well as written and oral communication skills and interpersonal skills will be carefully considered as part of the selection criteria. Final selections will be made in compliance with Biology Scholars guidelines and will represent the very best undergraduate scholars.
- Freshman Academic Year: $1,100/ year for 9 students annually
- 3 Additional Years: $ 1,400/year for all returning students, maximum 27 students
A. Apply to UAB no later than December 15th
B. Students whose designated major is Biology and have the minimum ACT and GPA required for the Biology Scholars Program will be emailed an application in late December.
C. All required application materials will be due by February 1st
- One letter of recommendation from a science teacher or researcher
- One page written narrative indicating:
• Previous research or teaching experience
• Why you want a research/teaching experience
• Educational and career goals
D. Interviews will be conducted throughout February
E. Notification will be sent to all applicants in early March
F. Deadline to accept position is May 1st
For more information, contact:
Dr. Mickie Powell
UAB Biology Scholars Program Director
Department of Biology
University of Alabama at Birmingham