Wiesman Scholarship

The Department of Brain and Cognitive Science (BCS) and Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience are committed to promoting diversity and fostering equity in our educational and research opportunities for undergraduate students. To this end, we are delighted to be able to offer two annual Wiesman Scholarships funded by a generous gift in honor of Dr. Janice Faye Wiesman.

Wiesman Scholarships 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, these scholarships will be available to first-, second-, and third-year students with an interest in brain-related research.

This 10-week program is for eligible students with faculty mentors at URMC or River Campus working in brain research, which for this purpose is broadly defined. Projects may range from clinical research to basic science to computational, as long as there is a connection to the brain. 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, including recipients of Meliora Fellowships, Wiesman Scholarships, and Bilski-Mayer Fellowships. 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.
  • Fall or end-of-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


  • Students in their first, second or third year 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 (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-20-031.html):
    • 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, but a mentor must be identified and a research plan in place.
  • A major in BCS or NSC is not required. Interest in BCS and/or Neuroscience research required.

Application process

Link to Application Form

  • 2024 applications will open on January 26, with a deadline of February 26, 2024 at midnight EDT. Apply online.
  • Decisions by March 8, 2024.
  • Application materials: (upload via Google Forms):
    • CV/Resume
    • Personal statement – 300 words min, 800 words max.
    • Research proposal – 500 words min, 3000 words max.
      This should cover your project rationale, research aims and planned experiments. For students that are already engaged in research within the faculty mentor’s lab, research proposal should also cover any preliminary data you have already collected. Students that have yet to join the faculty mentor’s lab should discuss plans for summer research with the faculty mentor before writing the research statement This document should be well-organized and concise, and you should work with your faculty mentor to complete it.
    • Transcript (unofficial is OK).
    • Letters of recommendation from: 1) the PI with whom you intend to work this summer, and 2) another professor, mentor, supervisor, etc. (someone that can attest to a strong work ethic and motivation). Both letters must be emailed directly from the letter writers to Renee Miller (Renee_Miller@URMC.Rochester.edu).