Meliora Fellowships in BCS

The Department of Brain and Cognitive Science (BCS) is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion. We are particularly dedicated to fostering equity in our educational and research opportunities for undergraduate students. Motivated by these goals, we are establishing Meliora Fellowships funded by a generous gift from the University President Sarah Mangelsdorf and BCS Professor Karl Rosengren.

Meliora Fellowships will fully fund summer research opportunities for students from backgrounds underrepresented in research. With a goal of maximizing the long-term impact of undergraduate research experiences, Meliora Fellowships will be primarily available to first- and second-year students.

This 10-week program will pair students with faculty labs working in brain research for an intensive research experience. The in-lab experiences will be paired with a full calendar of career development, academic and community events organized by the Meliora Mentors and participating departments. Meliora Mentors are three graduate students that will organize and run extracurricular programming for all summer research students in BCS. The objective is to establish a vibrant, intellectually stimulating summer research community in BCS.

Program details

  • A 10-week full time program starting in the first week of June
  • Research supported by a $5,000 stipend.
  • End-of-the-summer poster and/or talk session
  • Weekly research lectures
  • Weekly career development activities
  • Social events
  • All program activities are contingent upon University, State and Federal COVID restrictions


  • Strong preference for students in their first and second years at UR. Graduating seniors are ineligible. Students currently in their junior years are eligible to apply.
  • Strong preference for students from backgrounds underrepresented in science, as defined by the NIH (
    • Students who are Black/African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander.
    • Students with disabilities, and/or
    • Students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including first-generation college students and students who come from families with income below established low-income thresholds (
  • No prior research experience is required.
  • A major in BCS or NSC is not required. Interest in BCS and/or Neuroscience research required.

Application process

Applications for 2023 are closed.

  • 2024 applications will open on January 22, with a deadline of February 26, 2024 at midnight EDT. Apply online
  • Decisions by March 12, 2024.
  • Application materials (upload via Google Forms):
    • CV/Resume
    • Transcript (unofficial is OK).
    • Preferred host labs, chosen from the list of available labs on the form.
    • Personal statement – 200 words max. This should cover your background and your eligibility for this fellowship (see above for eligibility details).
    • General research interest statement – 200 words max. This should cover your research interests, and, if any, your prior research experience.
    • Host lab justification – 200 words max. Explain why you are specifically interested in your top two choices. This can include describing how work in those labs matches your career interests and how your academic/research/skill background matches research done in those labs. 

2023 Participating Labs

BCS Labs

Affiliated Labs