Student Research, Awards, and Opportunities

The Department of Biology encourages student involvement in research, offers scholarships and senior awards, recognizes academic achievement with invitations to Beta Beta Beta membership, and provides support for students to participate in off-campus experiences (e.g., research, coursework). To see what some of our students have been doing, please refer to this link.

  1. Research
  2. Biology Scholarships
  3. Senior Awards
  4. Beta Beta Beta Honor Society
  5. Off-Campus Experiences


Students are encouraged to join Biology faculty in conducting field and laboratory research. Financial support for students is often available through external grants awarded to members of our faculty, the College of Science and Health’s Center for Research, and WPU’s Student Research and Creative Expression Program. Course credit through Independent Study (BIO4990) may be obtained if specific requirements are met. We also support many of our students through the GS-LSAMP-MAPS  (Garden State -Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation/ Minority Association of Premedical Students) programs. These programs, led by Dr. Danielle Desroches, provide financial support and mentoring to increase the participation of minority and underrepresented students in science.  These programs also provide financial support for participation in summer research internships on and off campus.  GS-LSAMP- MAPS also hosts meetings where students present their work, socialize, and learn about available scholarships, grants, and research opportunities.  Contact Dr. Desroches for details and meeting times.

Information about Graduate Independent Study (BIO 7000) and Graduate Independent Reading (BIO 7010) can be obtained from our graduate coordinator, Dr. Michael Peek.


C. Kent Warner Scholarship

The C. Kent Warner Scholarships (maximum of 5 recipients per year at $1,000 each) are presented to full-time Biology and Biotechnology undergraduate students each spring (the deadline is typically mid-March). A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required at the time of application. Awardees may re-apply during the next or following years if they meet eligibility requirements. The application (which requires an essay on a defined topic) will be available both online and in the office of department of Biology on February 1st of each year. 


Please write a short original essay (maximum 3 pages, typed and double spaced) on the following statement.

One might argue that evolution is the common theme linking all of biology. Therefore we can enrich our understanding of present life on earth by looking to the past. Explain what this means in your own words. Use examples from at least three sub disciplines in biology (e.g. Neurobiology) to illustrate your explanation.

The application is due in the office of department of Biology on April 1st 2016. Also send an electronic copy of the completed application to Dr. R. Benno ( by the same due date.

For the link to the application form, click HERE.

Monroe Spivak Fellowship

The Monroe Spivak Fellowship ($4,000) is awarded to a new or returning full-time graduate student who intends to pursue a career in Ecology. Applications must include undergraduate transcripts and a statement that addresses the student's career goals in Ecology. The Spivak Fellowship is awarded during fall semester.


Several awards are presented to outstanding seniors each spring at the department’s end-of-the-year reception for Biology and Biotechnology students and their families. Selection is based on GPA, independent research, and/or extracurricular activities including service to the department.


Membership in the nationally-recognized Biology Honorary Society, Beta Beta Beta, is based on academic excellence. Invitations to membership in our Chi Rho Chapter are extended to primarily juniors and seniors each year. The initiation ceremony is held during the department’s end-of-the-year reception for students and their families. Dr. Risley ( is the BBB advisor.


The Department of Biology strongly encourages undergraduate students to take part in extracurricular summer programs offered in the United States and abroad. Opportunities include field and laboratory research at academic institutions, off campus summer technical courses, and internships in industry, government, and the medical fields. Beginning with a grant from the Provost's Office in 1997, the department has financially supported a number of minority and economically disadvantaged undergraduate Biology and Biotechnology majors to take part in on- and off-campus internship experiences. Locations have included: Morris County Medical Examiner's Office, University of Iowa, Tortuguero National Park (Costa Rica), New Jersey State Aquarium, Appledore Island (Maine), University of Colorado, Southwestern Research Station (Arizona), and Australia (Brisbane).  Opportunities are announced through the Biology/Biotechnology major’s listserv and at the department’s various club meetings.