Sources of Funding


All 500-701 research students (with Biology advisers) are required to prepare a budget detailing their expected project expenses. This budget is due within the first two weeks of the semester. See the Deadlines section of the website for the exact deadlines each semester.

There are two reasons why we are requiring you to prepare a budget.  First, the process of preparing a budget will allow you to practice the skill of designing research budgets.  If you continue on in research, you will at some point find yourself writing a grant proposal and proposing a budget for a research project.  The agencies and foundations to which you send those proposals are not particularly receptive to requests for increased compensation for unplanned expenses, so knowing how to design a solid budget is an important part of successful grant-writing and research.  Second, the process facilitates the department's budget planning, and insures that the money available to support student research lasts throughout the academic year.

Although the Biology Department supports student research, we expect you to take advantage of several other sources of funding before turning to the department for funds.  (Note that if you have funding needs for things like travel to meetings, the Undergraduate Research Office has several sources of funding, described here.)

Internal Funding Sources:

Senior Research Project Supplement

The Senior Research Project Supplement should be your first source of support. You may apply once (and only once) during your senior year.  Awards:  up to $1600 (October 1 deadline for fall applications) and up to $350 throughout the academic year as funding permits.  View the full details, including deadlines and applications.

Priscilla (Kay) Beck '52 Botanical Research Funds

Through a generous gift to the Biology Department from Don Beck ’52 and the Pfitzer Foundation, we have funds to support student independent research in botany (including ecological, evolutionary, systematic, molecular, and genetic approaches to botanical questions). Current Middlebury College students enrolled in BIOL 500, BIOL 700, BIOL 701, ENVS 500, ENVS 700, or MBBC 700 are eligible to apply for this fellowship, provided that the research project has a primary botanical focus.

Applications for research funds should include a completed application (below), which should be submitted with the budget form and budget justification required of all students enrolled in 500 or 700 projects in the Biology Department.  The Beck Funds will support the same costs as Biology Department funds; details are provided on the Biology Department website.  A maximum of $500 will be awarded annually to each applicant.  Applications are due at the same time as 500/700 budgets.  The application can be downloaded by clicking on the following link: Beck Research Funds Application

Note that Beck funds are also available to support summer research projects-- see the Beck Botanical Research Funds & Fellowship page (under "Student & Faculty Research") for more information.

Biology Department Funding

You are required to submit a budget to the Biology Department by the aforementioned deadlines even if you anticipate receiving all necessary funds from the Senior Work Fund. We recognize that unexpected expenses do arise, and so we will try to accommodate emergency budgetary requests, however, we can not guarantee that we will be able to meet all non-budgeted requests, so you should make every effort to prepare a complete budget. The next page of the website, "Preparing Your Budget", describes the categories of expenses that are normally reimbursed, and should give you some guidelines as to the kinds of expenses you should consider. You should be sure to consult with your advisor to develop a comprehensive research plan and list of likely expenses. Students may re-apply to the Biology Department in Winter and Spring terms but awards at that time will be highly dependent on the availability of departmental funds.

External Funding Sources

This is only a partial list of external funding sources-- we will make other opportunities available to you as we hear about them!

Sigma-Xi Research Grants:
The deadline for Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research applications is October 1 of each year. Applicants will be notified of funding by the end of December. There is also a March 15 deadline, but successful applicants will not be notified until the end of May, so this may be less practical for academic year research.

Lake Champlain Research Consortium:
The Lake Champlain Research Consortium (LCRC) has funding available for students attending LCRC member institutions who are conducting research on Lake Champlain and its basin. LCRC Website.

American Society for Microbiology

Department of Biology

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Middlebury College
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