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 faculty in conducting research. Financial support for students is often available through grants awarded to members of our faculty. In addition, the recently-established WPUNJ Student Undergraduate Research Program, supported by the Office of the Provost, provides monetary support and recognition to students pursuing independent research.

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 support and mentoring to increase the participation of minority students in science.  In cooperation with the Minority Education and Enrichment Center, these programs provide financial support for minority students to participate 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.

Students are also encouraged to conduct independent research projects under the supervision of a member of our biology faculty. Course credit may be obtained if the requirements are met. The requirements and guidelines for independent projects help students determine which path is most appropriate for their career goals. Choices include: Independent Reading (BIO 497), Field Experience (BIO 498), and Independent Study (BIO 499). You may hear members of the biology faculty refer to Field Experience as the Internship course. Members of the Biology Department Independent Study Committee can be contacted for clarification of guidelines and application forms.

Information about Graduate Independent Study (BIO 700) and Graduate Independent Reading (BIO 701) 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. Applications are in the Department office and the deadline is typically mid-March. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required at time of application. Awardees may re-apply during the next or following years if they meet eligibility requirements. APPLY NOW!  Submit application by Thursday March 28, 2013.

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 a special end-of-the-year reception for Biology and Biotechnology students and their families. Selection is based on GPA and 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. The initiation ceremony is traditionally held during the end-of-the-year reception for students and their families. Dr. Chesney ( is the BBB advisor.


The Department of Biology offers financial and logistical support for placement of our undergraduate students in summer programs offered in the United States and abroad. Opportunities range from highly-competitive, federally-supported research programs to summer courses, to placement with a researcher in the student's area of interest. University credit may be earned, depending on the experience. Beginning with a grant from the Provost's Office in 1997, we have financially supported minority and economically disadvantaged undergraduate Biology and Biotechnology majors to take part in off-campus summer courses, field work, and laboratory-based research. 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). Click here for a link to current research or internship opportunities or contact Dr. Leonard ( or Dr. Risley ( for more details.