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Graduate Student Awards

Congratulations to the Biological Sciences students who have received the following honors and awards. Following linked years will lead to the associated news release.

Division

Only recent divisional awards are listed on this page. Awards from previous years are listed in the Graduate Student Awards Archive.

Alstroemeria Endowed Fellowship in Plant Biology

This fellowship is awarded once every four years to an outstanding doctoral student under the mentorship of a professor researching plant related subjects and will fully cover the portion of a graduate stipend not covered by the thesis advisor.


2019

Joshua Chevez, Jose Pruneda-Paz Lab

Biology Founding Faculty Award for Graduate Excellence

Founded in 2014, the $1,000 award is bestowed annually through an endowment from the Division of Biological Sciences' founding faculty.


2021

Josh Borin, Justin Meyer Lab
Hanqing Liu, Joseph Ecker Lab

Chris Wills Endowed Graduate Student Research Award

The Chris Wills Endowed Graduate Student Research Award provides support for the scholarly activities of Ecology, Behavior and Evolution PhD students conducting a wide range of dissertation-oriented research, including laboratory and field studies.


2020

Alena Martsul, Sergey Kryazhimskiy Lab

David V. Goeddel Chancellor's Fellowship

A UC San Diego alumnus and biotechnology pioneer, Goeddel established the endowment to support and foster the innovators and scientists of the future. His endowment, which is matched by the division, each year supports the research and scholarly activities of outstanding Biological Sciences graduate students.


2021

Tina Chia-Tien Chang, Alan Saghatelian Lab

David V. Goeddel Endowed Graduate Fellowship

A UC San Diego alumnus and biotechnology pioneer, Goeddel established the endowment to support and foster the innovators and scientists of the future. His endowment, which is matched by the division, each year supports the research and scholarly activities of outstanding Biological Sciences graduate students.


2021

Henry Baker, Jonathan Shurin Lab
Laura Chipman, Amy Pasquinelli Lab
Michelle Bui, Omar Akbari Lab
Wendy Chen, Gen-Sheng Feng Lab
Ziyan (Zoe) Xu, Susan Kaech Lab
Asama Lekbua, Alistair Russell Lab
Stephanie Curtis, Reuben Shaw Lab
Daniela Samaniego-Castruita, Anjana Rao Lab
Nathan Palmer, Prashant Mali Lab

Jeanne M. Messier Memorial Fellowship

This fellowship helps first year Ecology, Behavior & Evolution doctoral students initiate dissertation fieldwork that might not otherwise be possible without the funding. View the full list of past recipients.


2020

Ashley Kim, James Nieh Lab

Marguerite Vogt Award

An endowment to provide fellowships for graduate students in the Biological Sciences at UC San Diego. In alternate years, fellowships are awarded to UC San Diego graduate students assigned to the Salk Institute.


2021

Jiayi Dong, Li-Fan Lu Lab
Bianca Barriga, Sam Pfaff Lab

McElroy Award

The McElroy award provides support for an annual lectureship in Biochemistry, research or a graduate student award.


2021

Gabriel Mullin-Manzanarez, Terry Hwa Lab
Alexis Bantle, Emma Farley Lab
Brent Chick, Diana Hargreaves Lab
Nathan Stutzman, Jazz Dickinson Lab
Alison Vicary, Alistair Russell Lab
Ugbad Farah, Jonathan Shurin Lab

Ray Thomas Edwards Award

The Ray Thomas Edwards Endowed Fellowship Award provides financial assistance to outstanding graduate students in the Department of Biology.


2021

Andrew Ryan, Matt Daugherty Lab
Sara Quon, Ananda Goldrath Lab
D. Alexander (Alex) Stevens, Samara Reck-Peterson Lab
Tara Spencer, Rachel Dutton Lab

Ruth Stern Fellowship

The Ruth Stern award provides support to incoming graduate students with fellowships in the Division of Biological Sciences and awards up to four students per year.


2021

Sarah Ardell, Sergey Kryazhimskiy Lab

Kavli-Helinski Endowed Graduate Fellowship

The the Kavli-Helinski Endowed Graduate Fellowships recognizes outstanding senior PhD students in research labs affiliated with the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind. The award also honors Don Helinski, a pioneer in molecular biology and one of our distinguished emeriti.


2021

Daniel Heinz, Brenda Bloodgood Lab
Yusi Chen, Terry Sejnowski Lab
Gina Powers, Shelley Halpain Lab
Qiyu Chen, Takaki Komiyama Lab

University

Barbara and Paul Saltman Distinguished Teaching Award

The Distinguished Teaching Award is a prestigious award bestowed upon up to five members of the Academic Senate, three non-Senate faculty members, and three graduate students at UC San Diego each year. Read more about Barbara and Paul Saltman Distinguished Teaching Award


2019 Barbara and Paul Saltman Distinguished Teaching Award Article

Raymond Mak, Alan Saghatelian Lab

Brython Davis Fellowship

The Brython Davis Fellowship is an endowed fellowship awarded to select continuing graduate students whose parent is, or was, a regular member of either the United States Navy or Marine Corps.


2021

Timothy Nicholson-Shaw, Jens Lykke-Andersen Lab
Alicia Romero, Janelle Ayres Lab
Peter Berube, Joseph Eckers Lab

Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) Fellowship

The CARTA fellowship is awarded to Graduate students who demonstrate enthusiastic and engaging participation in the trans-disciplinary Specialization in Anthropogeny, gaining valuable research experience spanning the sciences and humanities.


2022

Nicholas Nelson, Axel Nimmerjahn Lab

Chancellor's Dissertation Medal

Criteria used by a faculty Dissertation Medal selection committee included: impact (the importance/impact of the research to the field and/or the department); originality (the insight, originality and creativity shown by the author); presentation (the effectiveness of the writing, clarity and organization of the thesis) and quality (the soundness of the methodology and the quality of the data).


2017 Chancellor's Dissertation Medal Article

James Broughton, Amy Pasquinelli Lab

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Award

The annual Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action and Diversity Awards Program honors staff, faculty, students, departments, and organizational units or groups that make outstanding contributions in the areas of equal opportunity, affirmative action, diversity, and the UCSD Principles of Community during the year.


2018 Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Award Article

Chandler Puritty, Elsa Cleland Lab

Friends of the International Center Fellowship

Founded in 1961, the Friends of International Center organization supports international education at UCSD in numerous ways. This fellowship supports graduate students and medical students that in some way promote international friendship, understanding, and cooperation in a meaningful way.


2021

Jiayi Dong, Li-Fan Lu Lab

2016

Bahram Kheradmand, James Nieh Lab

Grad SLAM Champion

The annual Grad SLAM competition challenges graduate students from across campus in a variety of disciplines to distill their research into short, captivating presentations that anyone from grade schoolers to grandparents can understand. The Grad SLAM champion will move onto the University of California system-wide Grad SLAM finals.


2019 Grad SLAM Champion Award Article

Angela Nicholson, Amy Pasquinelli Lab

J. Yang & Family Foundation Award

Supported by the J. Yang & Family Foundation, this initiative serves to recruit and retain highly promising future scholars from Taiwan high schools and universities by supporting student research and fostering collaborations and future research partnerships.


2021

Jo Hsien Yu

2020

Pin-Chung (Tony) Cheng

Mary Anne Fox Dissertation Year Fellowship

The Mary Anne Fox Dissertation Year Fellowship awards $22,000, tuition, and fees, to a student who demonstrates a highly distinguished academic record. This fellowship provides a full year of support for students in the final stages of their dissertation.


2017

Danielle Hagstrom, Eva-Maria Schoetz-Collins Lab

President's Dissertation Year Fellowship

The program is designed to identify doctoral candidates who have been educationally or economically disadvantaged or whose research or planned career direction focuses on problems related to disadvantaged segments of society. UC President's Dissertation Year Fellowships are to be awarded to promising students in the final stages of their doctoral work who demonstrate strong potential for university teaching and research. Read more about President's Dissertation Year Fellowship


2021

Daniela Zarate, Joshua Kohn Lab

Student Veteran of the Year

The Student Veteran of the Year is nominated by the campus community and awarded to a full-time student veteran for their involvement in campus activities, contribution to student morale, and service to the community.


2019 Student Veteran of the Year Award Article

Emerald Liu, Lisa McDonnell Lab

National

American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship

The American Heart Association (AHA) offers a Predoctoral Fellowship to enhance the research and clinical training of aspiring professionals in a predoctoral or clinical health degree.


2021

Yao Yao, Deborah Yelon Lab
Jinhao (Albert) Xu, Xin Sun Lab

2020

Ziyan "Zoe" Xu, Susan Kaech Lab

ARCS Foundation Fellowship

A national nonprofit organization led entirely by women, the ARCS Foundation awards fellowships that recognize exceptional students pursuing research in the natural sciences, engineering and medicine


2018

Laura Chipman, Amy Pasquinelli Lab
Homa Rahnamoun, Shannon Lauberth Lab

2016 ARCS Foundation Fellowship Article

Ben Rubin, Susan Golden Lab
Danielle Hagstrom, Eva-Maria Schoetz-Collins Lab

Bouchet Graduate Honor Society

Named for Edward Alexander Bouchet, the first African American doctoral recipient in the United States, the Bouchet Society seeks to recognize and continue Dr. Edward Alexander Bouchet's pioneering contributions to doctoral education by developing a network of pre-eminent scholars who serve as examples of leadership, character, service, and advocacy for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy.


2022 Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Article

Andres Nevarez, Nan Hao Lab
Tara Spencer, Rachel Dutton Lab

2021 Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Article

Donte (Alex) Stevens, Samara Reck-Peterson Lab

2020 Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Article

Daniela Zarate, Joshua Kohn Lab

2019 Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Article

Chandler Puritty, Elsa Cleland Lab

2017 Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Article

Dianne Pater, Julian Schroeder Lab

2016 Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Article

Leilani Cruz, Li-Fan Lu Lab

Ford Foundation Fellowship

The Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation's college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. Fellowships are awarded in a national competition administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on behalf of the Ford Foundation.


2022

Lennice Castro, Matthew Daugherty Lab

HHMI Gilliam Fellowship

The goal of the program, which supports exceptionally promising doctoral students motivated to pursue careers in academic science, is to prepare a diverse and highly trained scientific workforce that can help develop the next generation of scientists.


2021 HHMI Gilliam Fellowship Article

Tara Spencer, Rachel Dutton Lab
Analine Aguayo, Sonya Neal Lab

2020 HHMI Gilliam Fellowship Article

Matthew Maxwell, Diana Hargreaves Lab

2019 HHMI Gilliam Fellowship Article

Donte Stevens, Samara Reck-Peterson Lab

2017 HHMI Gilliam Fellowship Article

Marie Adomako, Susan Golden Lab

2016 HHMI Gilliam Fellowship Article

Kyle Begovich, Jim Wilhelm Lab

Melvin Cohen Award

The prestigious Melvin Cohn Award was established to recognize scientific innovation and impact of early career scientists who have performed exceptional research. The highly competitive award carries a $1,000 prize and the opportunity to deliver a special presentation on the final day of the La Jolla Immunology Conference.


2020 Melvin Cohen Award Article

Lara Labarta-Bajo, Elina Zúñiga Lab

National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG)

This highly competitive fellowship serves to support the training of scientists and engineers in a broad range of disciplines with an emphasis on research of interest to the Department of Defense.


2020 National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG) Article

Gabriel Mullin-Manzanarez, Terry Hwa Lab

NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award

A National Institutes of Health funded award, the purpose of this Kirschstein-NRSA program is to enable promising predoctoral students with potential to develop into a productive, independent research scientists, to obtain mentored research training while conducting dissertation research.


2022

Beverly Naigles, Nan Hao Lab

2021

Ivy Fernandes, Debbie Yelon Lab
Gidsela Luna, Xin Sun Lab
Daniel Heinz, Brenda Bloodgood Lab

2020

Nathan Jayne, Dong-Er Zhang Lab

2019

Alberto Carreno, Jens Lykke-Andersen Lab
Rose Malinow, Yishi Jin Lab
Kaisa Hanley, Gen-sheng Feng Lab

2018

Daniel Johnson, Dong-Er Zhang Lab

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

NSF's Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) offers approximately 2,000 fellowship awards annually, following a national competition. The program recruits high-potential, early-career scientists and engineers, and supports their graduate research training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

2022 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Article

Karagan Lu Smith, Elsa Cleland Lab
Joshua Dominguez, Jonathan Shurin Lab

2021 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Article

Jasmin Revanna, Fred Gage Lab
Olivia (Livia) Songster, Samara Reck-Peterson Lab

2020 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Article

Megan Hayes, Cressida Madigan Lab
Matthew Maxwell, Diana Hargreaves Lab
Alexandria Palaferri Schieber, Janelle Ayres Lab
Gabriel Mullin-Manzanarez*, Terry Hwa Lab *accepted NDSEG in lieu of NSF

2019 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Article

Rhea-Comfort Addo, Deborah Yelon Lab
Chris Beierschmitt, Matthew Daugherty Lab
Devon Birdseye, Steven Briggs Lab
Alana Gibson, Susan Ackerman Lab
Donte Stevens, Samara Reck-Peterson Lab

2018 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Article

Danielle Garshott, Eric Bennett Lab
Homa Rahnamoun, Shannon Lauberth Lab

2017 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Article

Brooke Anderson, Rachel Dutton Lab
Stephanie Nehasil, Carolyn Kurle Lab
Amy Pribadi, Sreekanth Chalasani Lab
Laura Chipman, Amy Pasquinelli Lab
Angela Nicholson, Amy Pasquinelli Lab

2016 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Article

Daniela Zarate, Joshua Kohn Lab

Calls for Nominations

Please find a list of select awards and prizes below.

Campus awards/prizes/deadlines application deadlines

Campus Awards/Prizes/Fellowships

Application Schedule

Dissertation Year Fellowships Early May
UC President's Dissertation Year Fellowship Early May
Fletcher Jones Dissertation Fellowship Early May
Marye Anne Fox Endowed Fellowship Fund Early May
Friends of International Center February
Guru Gobind Singh Fellowship April
Jean Fort Dissertation Prize Early May
UC President's Pre-Professoriate Fellows January
Katzin Prize Jan/Feb and Feb/March
Distinguished Teaching Award February/March
Grad Slam Competition Information Sessions in Fall quarter. Contest held during Winter quarter.
Davis/Noyes/Stacey Fellowships September