Arthur A. Wilson Research Scholarship Award (AWRSA)

The Arthur A. Wilson Award has been established to encourage undergraduates, especially women, to pursue careers in the biological sciences. The award emphasizes research in molecular biology, cellular biology or biochemistry. Recipients are expected to have an excellent academic record and a strong desire to pursue graduate work leading to a career in the sciences.

Eligibility The student selected for this award would typically apply during the first three years of undergraduate education. Both women and men are eligible but first priority for funding will go to a female student of female faculty members who have an interest in pursuing research in molecular biology, cellular biology or biochemistry.

Expectations Each applicant will choose a faculty mentor, discuss ideas for scientific study and prepare a written proposal. Research begins in the spring semester with a thorough review of the relevant scientific literature. Summer is typically devoted to conducting the proposed research which may extend into the following academic year.

Each awardee will help to select and host an outstanding female scientist in the field of the student's research interest who will be invited to speak at the annual Wilson Symposium in Biology at Willamette University. Prior Wilson Scholars are encouraged to attend this annual event.

Each research scholar will submit a final polished research paper and present their results orally in a recognized formal research meeting at Willamette University (e.g. the Science Collaborative Research Science Program meeting; Student Scholarship Recognition Day).

Application Deadline and Award Notification Applications will be due to the faculty mentor by the first Monday in March no later than 5 PM. Notification will be made approximately one week later. The selection committee shall consist of the Chair of Biology and at least two faculty members with appropriate expertise. The offices of the President and the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts will be notified of the final decision in addition to the award donor, Eleanor Wilson-Berg.

* Arthur A. Wilson was a summa cum laude graduate of Willamette University in 1942. He believed that science held great potential to create a better world and strongly encouraged women to stand with men as equals in the world of scientific research. In honor of his memory, his wife and two daughters established this award to create opportunities for women to pursue careers in science. Not a scientist himself, Wilson had a keen love for books, ideas and humor.


AWSRA Application Guidelines

To apply, please carefully complete each of the following steps:

1. Meet with a biology faculty member who is willing to sponsor you in an investigative project that examines significant questions in molecular biology, cellular biology or biochemistry. Discuss research topics of mutual interest. The topic you pursue should be closely related to the faculty mentor's expertise.

2. Submit 3 copies of an application to the potential faculty mentor. Include:

- your name, class year, faculty sponsor

-a one-page explanation summarizing why you are applying to this program, your tentative career interests and your qualifications for the research program you propose. Include relevant course work, prior research experience and any other skills that may be applicable.

- a 3-5 page proposal which includes in order: a title, background and significance of the research, the specific research questions or objective, a description of the experimental design, and a budget. Finally, integrate the current, relevant literature in the text of the proposal and cite full references in the literature cited section.

3. Submit supporting materials to the potential faculty mentor as follows:

- an unofficial transcript of your academic performance.

- a letter of recommendation that addresses your abilities, aptitude and enthusiasm for research.

Good luck!

If you have any questions, contact your perspective faculty mentor or Professor Barbara Stebbins-Boaz, the AWSRA liaison (email:

NOTE: Faculty mentors will submit a copy of student applications to the full committee upon receipt of the application.