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.



Improving Student Success in Biology and Biotechnology Scholarship

Priority Deadline: March 31, 2014

Applications after that date will be accepted until funding is exhausted

These scholarships are made available by a generous grant from the National Science Foundation. Scholarship awards will vary based on financial need, with a maximum award of $10,000. They will be given each year to full-time William Paterson University students pursuing a B.S. in Biology or Biotechnology and planning to pursue careers in scientific research, industry or teaching.

To be eligible for an ISSBB Scholarship, you must:

  • Be eligible for and plan to enroll or continue full time in the Biology or Biotechnology B.S. or M.S. degree program at William Paterson University
  • Be thinking about a career in industry, scientific research, or teaching
  • Provide documentation that you are a U.S. citizen, national, alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or an alien classified as a refugee at the time of application
  • Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the ISSBB application deadline. You are to apply online at William Paterson University’s Federal School Code number is 002625. Please note: if you are selected for a process called Verification through the Department of Education, you must complete a verification sheet and return all requested documentations to the William Paterson University Financial Aid Office.

You are required to submit the following electronically:

  • Completed scholarship application form (linked) and send it by pressing “Submit”. If you have difficulty with this, try opening the application form from Internet Explorer (not Google or Google Chrome).
  • Documentation of citizenship status (this can be a passport, birth certificate, permanent resident card, etc.) must be emailed to
  • At least TWO letters of recommendation must be emailed directly to Dr. Gardner (, addressed to THE WPUNJ ISSBB SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE. At least one must be from a faculty member or teacher who taught you science, mathematics or technology.
  • Email a personal statement (no more than 2 typed pages) outlining your goals, need for financial assistance, educational plans and career objectives.

In addition:

  • You must have submitted your current year FAFSA form by the above deadline and must complete any verification materials as requested by the Financial Aid Office as quickly as possible.
  • College transcript(s) from WPUNJ or other college(s) you have attended and high school transcript if you have completed less than 24 college credits will be evaluated. (ISSBB Scholarship Committee will obtain these documents and attach to student’s application)

Scholarships are renewable given the student maintains a minimum GPA of 2.8 in science and math and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.  Renewal is, however also dependent on continued funding of the grant.

Applications which are not accompanied by the required credentials will not be considered.

If you have any questions, you may contact Dr. Gardner at or 973-720-3441.

Robert Noyce Teaching Scholarships

Offered in collaboration with the College of Science and Health and the College of Education.  Click here for more information.

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.