Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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Fellowships & Awards

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Fellowship and award information for incoming students

Incoming Students:

Homer F. Braddock and Nellie H. and Oscar L. Roberts Fellowships - Each year the admissions committee offers a number of these incentive fellowships to outstanding applicants to our program. Amounts of the awards are based upon qualifications of the applicant and the funds available for any given year.  Funds from this award are provided in addition to standard departmental stipend support, and these supplemental fellowship funds are disbursed directly into students’ accounts.

University Graduate Fellowships - The Graduate School sponsors eighty University Graduate Fellowships. This prestigious fellowship program is available to incoming students. All applicants are considered for this fellowship by the BMMB admissions committee which forwards nominations for those selected to the Eberly College of Science for a final decision.

Bunton-Waller Graduate Awards Program - Bunton-Waller Graduate Awards are assistantships granted to incoming graduate degree students from underrepresented groups who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents as part of the University's comprehensive educational opportunity program. The graduate admission application serves as the Bunton-Waller Graduate Awards application. Applicants must be nominated by their graduate program, and nominations are evaluated based on the scholarly promise of the applicant. Awards from the Bunton-Waller Graduate Awards Program can be for one or two years, and they also involve a commitment from the student's graduate major program to support the student for a comparable period of time thereafter.

Current Students:

Paul Berg Prize in Molecular Biology - Each year the Eberly College of Science awards the Paul Berg Prize in Molecular Biology to an outstanding graduate student completing his or her first or second year of graduate study in the area of molecular biology. The exceptional achievements of Paul Berg in the field of molecular biology bestow considerable prestige to this prize, which typically consists of a certificate and appropriate scientific books, journals, memberships or travel expenses. The student is nominated by his/her advisor, and decisions are made by a college-wide committee based upon academic and research achievements while at Penn State.

Paul M. Althouse Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award - Each year the department recognizes the outstanding teaching of a graduate assistant by presenting the Althouse Teaching Assistant Award. Awardees are selected by the Graduate Affairs Committee based upon student evaluations and the evaluation of the supervising instructor for the course taught.

Travel Awards - The BMB department will provide a one-time travel award of up to $750 to attend a meeting. Students must have passed their comprehensive examination and be the first author on an abstract selected for a talk or a poster presentation at the meeting to be eligible for these travel awards.

Alumni Association Dissertation Award - The Alumni Association Dissertation Award provides funding and recognition to outstanding full-time doctoral students who have passed their comprehensive exams and have received approval of the dissertation topic. This award is considered to be among the most prestigious available to Penn State graduate students and recognizes outstanding achievement in scholarship and professional accomplishment.

Nominations are solicited from doctoral programs at Penn State and are forwarded to a Graduate School selection committee via the student’s academic college. From the pool of qualified nominations, a minimum of two awards of $5,000 are made for each of the following categories: Fine Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, Physical and Computational Sciences, Life and Health Sciences, and Engineering. Funds for this award will not replace existing college or departmental support and will be disbursed directly into student accounts.

Richard L. and Norma L. McCarl Graduate Scholarship Endowment in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology (BMMB)- The purpose of this scholarship is to provide recognition and financial assistance to the outstanding graduate students enrolled or planning to enroll in the BMMB graduate degree program.  The McCarl Graduate Scholarship Endowment in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology is a one-time academic award and shall not be renewed.    Consideration for scholarship is given to a full-time graduate student enrolled or planning to enroll in BMMB graduate degree program in the Eberly College of Science with preference given to all graduate students working with a biochemistry faculty member or a faculty member doing biochemical research. Recipients of this scholarship are appointed by the Dean of the Eberly College of Science upon recommendation by the Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Wedler Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award - Each year the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department selects one Ph.D. dissertation for the Wedler Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award. The monetary award is given to the student whose dissertation is judged to be the best, based upon evaluation criteria given to the student’s dissertation committee. All students defending a Ph.D. dissertation are automatically considered for this award.