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Graduate Program

Fellowships and Awards

Internal Funding Opportunities for Prospective Students

Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Fellowships
The Sproull Fellowship is the most prestigious fellowship awarded by the University of Rochester. Robert L. Sproull (1918-2014) was a distinguished physicist and the University's seventh president. While in office, he oversaw significant growth of degree programs, faculty size, laboratories, hospital facilities, and other campus structures. The fellowship program named in his honor reflects his commitment to intellectual excellence. The Department of Biology nominates incoming students for this fellowship from among those who have applied for admission to the Ph.D. program.

Provost’s Fellowships
The Provost’s Fellowship is intended to bring to Rochester talented individuals who will broaden the diversity of those pursuing Ph.D. degrees at the University. The Department of Biology nominates incoming students for this fellowship from among those who have applied for admission to the Ph.D. program. Nominees for this fellowship must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Caspari Fellowships
The Department of Biology awards Ernst Caspari Fellowships to outstanding entering students who are interested in carrying out research in genetics. Research in the department encompasses a broad spectrum of modern biology, including evolution, ecology, genetics, and genomics. Genetics is of central importance for research in all areas within the department. These fellowships are named in honor of Ernst Caspari, whose important scientific contributions and intellectual guidance helped define the scope of modern genetics.

Holtfreter Fellowships
The Department of Biology awards Johannes Holtfreter Fellowships to outstanding entering students who are interested in carrying out research in developmental, cellular, or molecular biology. These fellowships are named in honor of Johannes Holtfreter for his pioneering work in amphibian morphogenesis, which helped to lay the foundation for modern vertebrate developmental biology. The department retains his commitment to scientific excellence and innovation.

Internal Funding Opportunities for Current Students

Messersmith Fellowships
The Messersmith Fellowship is a one-year fellowship for students in the pre-clinical departments of the School of Medicine and Dentistry or in the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Optics or Physics. Appropriate candidates have passed the qualifying exam and are in the process of writing their dissertations or are at least engaged in full-time research. The fellowship provides stipend support.

Elon Huntington Hooker Fellowships
The Elon Huntington Hooker Fellowship is a one-year dissertation fellowship for students from various fields of science whose work is primarily and clearly concerned with chemistry. These fellowships are funded by a gift from Mrs. Hooker in memory of Mr. Elon Huntington Hooker, a graduate and, for many years, a Trustee of the University. Appropriate candidates are full-time students who have passed their qualifying exams and are engaged in full-time research toward a Ph.D. degree.

Department of Biology travel funds
The Department offers travel funds (up to $500) to Ph.D. students in biology who give a talk or present a poster at a national or international conference.

Graduate Student Association (GSA) Conference Travel Awards
Each semester, GSA members are eligible to apply for conference travel funding. Students can apply for up to $500 in travel funds. Please send questions to the Academic Programming Officer, Juniyali Nauriyal.

Graduate Teaching Award
The Department of Biology offers teaching awards to outstanding graduate teaching assistants. Awards are announced at the department’s annual retreat.