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NSF Scholars

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NSF Scholars Program | Benefits | Eligibility | Biology at Wilkes

National Science Foun
dation Scholars Program

Supporting Minority Students Interested in Research Careers in the Biological Sciences

What is the NSF Scholars Program?
The National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholars Program supports minority students interested in pursuing graduate study and careers in biological research. The program provides select undergraduate juniors and seniors with:

  • hands-on, year-round experience in research techniques and projects.
  • close association with a Wilkes faculty-mentor to assist in research,
  • curriculum choices and the graduate school application process.
  • financial support for living expenses, research supplies and travel to
  • scientific conferences.

What areas of research can be explored?
Delve into subjects such as botany, cellular and molecular biology, ecology, genetics, invertebrate and vertebrate physiology and microbiology.

NSF Scholars may select a research project in many topics, including:

  • Genomics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Molecular biology
  • Plant and animal physiology
  • Wildlife ecology and biology
  • Microbial ecology in mammals
  • Conservation biology
  • Wetland ecology
  • Restoration of damaged ecosystems
  • Plant-animal interactions
  • Developmental biology

    This program is not for students interested in pursuing medical careers.


NSF Scholars will join teams of students working on projects tied to their mentor’s research interests. They receive:


  • a scholarship of $6,000 per year (in addition to any financial aid or scholarships for which they may qualify), $6000 in wages for research conducted over the summer and during the academic year and free housing during summer.
  • an individualized curriculum designed to help scholars succeed in graduate school. It will include courses emphasizing oral and written presentation skills, interpretation and analysis of research literature, experimental design and data analysis, as well as preparation for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required for entrance into graduate schools.
  • research presentations at Wilkes and at regional and national conferences. They also will describe their research in publications co-authored with their faculty mentors.
  • Wilkes Center for Global Education and Diversity services, including interactions with professional scientists from minority backgrounds, visits to research institutions and social functions to encourage the sharing of ideas, and experiences with professionals and peers.


NSF Scholars must be undergraduate juniors or seniors and citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions, and they must belong to groups historically underrepresented in science: African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Hispanic Americans, Native Pacific Islanders, and persons with disabilities.

Selection to the program is competitive and based on:

  •  academic performance
  • personal interview
  • letters of recommendation
  • interest in graduate-level research in the biological sciences

Up to four participants will be named in each academic year. Scholars will work with one of eight participating Wilkes faculty members year-round, including a full-time summer research project. During the academic year, they will work 10 hours per week on their research project.

(Transfer students are encouraged to apply, but should recognize that the research experience begins the summer before the junior year.)

Application deadline: March 1

For more information, contact:
Dr. William Terzaghi
Professor of Biology
Wilkes University
84 W. South St.
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766
(570) 408-4762

See what students had to say about biology at Wilkes University

The Wilkes University NSF Scholars Program has been made possible by funding from the National Science Foundation, which aims to increase the number and diversity of individuals pursuing graduate studies in all areas of biological research it supports.

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