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Gabriele Wienhausen Biological Sciences Scholarship

Recipients of Wienhausen scholarship

The Gabriele Wienhausen Biological Sciences Scholarship is a highly competitive annual award presented to students who have demonstrated outstanding academic and community engagement while enrolled at UC San Diego. Named in honor of Gabriele Wienhausen, Ph.D., this award recognizes students who share her passion and dedication to the Division and campus.

Beginning in 2016, the Division of Biological Sciences will present the award to highly engaged and motivated scholars that reflect the strongest qualities of Gabriele herself. This award is dedicated to honoring her service to the Division and to providing outstanding biology students with affirmation of their bright futures as scientists and leaders in our society.

The Wienhausen Scholarship promotes engagement in community service, leadership, and research by supporting students' participation in experiential learning opportunities on and off the UC San Diego campus. This scholarship is a one-year award up to $2,000.

Who Can Apply?

Students who have a declared major in the Division of Biological Sciences, and will return as a registered undergraduate student at a minimum for the Fall Quarter after receiving the award. Undergraduates should be currently involved in experiential learning opportunities outside the classroom and are expected to continue after receiving the award. The minimum GPA requirement is 3.0. Applicants must be citizens, permanent residents, or eligible under AB540 "California Dream Act".

Selection Criteria

Students will be selected based on the quality of experiential learning opportunities, the strength of the support letter, the quality and persuasiveness of the personal statement and their academic performance (overall GPA).


The student's application must include a resume (including employment, volunteer opportunities, leadership roles, and non-credit research work related to major), a recommendation letter (from faculty, supervisor, or advisor), a personal statement, responses to supplemental questions, and an unofficial transcript.

Tips for personal statement : Student should provide information about their interest and goals in their field of study. Additionally, the statement should address how receiving this award will allow them to continue pursuing experiential learning opportunities.

Tips for recommendation letter : Select a faculty, supervisor, or advisor who is familiar with the student’s work, community involvement, and/or leadership role. Recommender should be able to validate student’s leadership abilities and transferable skills developed while under their current or previous mentorship/employment. Select recommender early to allow ample time in which to complete and upload letter of recommendation before the deadline.

More information on the Gabriele Wienhausen Scholarship (AcademicWorks)

The deadline for the next award cycle is January 25, 2021.

  • 2018 Recipient

    Nirosh Mataraarachchi

    Nirosh Mataraarachchi

    Major in Physiology & Neuroscience
    Minor in Psychology

    Nirosh is a first-generation American and college student. Nirosh began his undergraduate research endeavors under the mentorship of Dr. Gulcin Pekkurnaz in his first quarter as a freshman. He is now under the mentorship of Dr. Farah Sheikh and graduate student William Bradford where he is conducting his Senior Honor’s Thesis. On campus, he is the President of a Pre-Health organization where he helped found Preventative Health Seminars to help educate and teach underserved refugees in local communities. Nirosh’s passion for teaching and education extends further as an Undergraduate Instructional Apprentice and Tutor for Upper-Division Biology courses. Additionally, Nirosh serves as President and Founder of UC San Diego’s first Sri Lankan Students’ Association. Moreover, Nirosh volunteers, interns, and scribes in several hospitals within Southern California.

  • 2017 Recipient

    Anika Ullah

    Anika Ullah

    Major in Human Biology
    Minor in Computing Visual Arts

    Anika Ullah is a Bangladeshi-American emerging scientist, activist, and currently a 2018-2019 Fulbright Research Fellow in Taiwan, a National Geographic Explorer, and incoming graduate student at the MIT Media Lab investigating culturally miscible approaches to betel nut linked oral cancer mitigation with the Taiwanese Ministry of Health and Welfare. Ullah founded the award-winning nonprofit organization Intersectional Health Project San Diego and has been nationally recognized by the American Gastroenterological Association and Association of Women in Science for her research on helping develop a low cost therapeutic platform for inflammatory bowel disease at Stanford University. Her senior honors thesis in Biology and Visual Arts at UC San Diego centered on leading a clinical microbiome study to understand the urinary microbiome’s link to urinary tract infections and using new media arts to investigate the intersections of race and gender shaping stigmas in women’s health.

  • 2016 Inaugural Recipient

    Candice Sy

    Candice Sy

    Major in Molecular Biology
    Minor in Computer Science

    Candice Sy is the inaugural winner of the Gabriele Wienhausen Biological Sciences Scholarship. Candice is currently in her fourth year as a molecular biology major at UC San Diego and pursuing a minor in computer science. In her activities on and off campus, Candice has demonstrated the active involvement in community leadership and academic excellence recognized by this award.

Questions? Contact Student Engagement Opportunities via email,, or phone at (858)534-5515.