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Biology | Graduate Research Funding


  • Biology
    Fax: 202-885-2182
    Hurst, Room 101

    Mable-Young, Wanda
    Senior Administrative Assistant

Mailing Address

Funding for Biology Graduate Student Research

PLEASE NOTE: see below for Bracht Lab 2015 Research Position.

Merit based financial aid in the form of assistantships are awarded by the Biology Department's Graduate Studies Committee starting at the end of February. A full award consists of a $9,000 stipend and tuition remission with a required supervised work component of 20 hours per week per semester of 14 weeks for two semesters. All applicants will be considered and the following criteria are used: prior evidence of academic excellence is most important; congruence of scholarly areas of interest with available faculty; and potential for excellence in teaching. Some part time hours are often available. The assistantship work component and any part time hourly wages involve teaching the laboratory sections of the undergraduate biology courses. This work is essential for the department but it is also designed to provide broad training for students who may go on to various combinations of additional study in advance degree programs, teaching, or commercially oriented careers in biological research.

The Graduate Admissions website has detailed information about other available awards. Some of the funds which graduate students are also eligible include the Massey and United Methodist awards.

Current AU graduate students are strongly encouraged to apply for the College of Arts and Sciences Mellon Fund for research. These funds are usually for $1,000 and can be used for research supplies and travel. Each year the College of Arts and Science also conducts a Student Research Conference (usually in February or March). This is an excellent opportunity for graduate students to display their research in a poster or make a presentation to the members of the University community. Cash prizes are awarded to outstanding research presentations.

In addition to providing each graduate student with $500 for supplies to begin their research, the Department of Biology has funds called the Biology Graduate Research Awards. The purpose of these funds is to support summer research with research materials and/or a stipend. Biology students submit proposals for this award consisting of a one to three page summary of the research project, a resume, letter of support from their research advisor, and a budget. The maximum award is $3,000 ($2,000 for stipend and $1,000 for supplies). All proposals are reviewed competitively based on their scientific merit by the Department’s Graduate Studies Committee.

Bracht Lab Summer Research Position

The Bracht lab has a funded opening for a 2015 summer technician to work on a computational genomics research project. Preference will be given to a candidate who will matriculate into the American University biology MS program, continuing to work on the computational project for their thesis under the guidance of Bracht. 

The project centers on the annotation of the genome of an extremophile nematode (roundworm) that lives over 1km below the surface of the earth. The goal of the project is to identify the evolutionary adaptations allowing it to survive under conditions of low oxygen, high methane, and high pressure. This project will involve next-generation sequence analysis and annotation and genome comparison programs. A major goal of the project, at the end of the student's MS program, is to have written a paper and submitted it to a journal for publication.

Previous experience with computational methods or computer programming are welcomed but not required. The deadline for application to both the summer technician and MS program in biology is March 1, for a start date of June 1 for the technician position, and an August 31 start date for the MS program. To apply for the technician position, please email a copy of your resume, statement of purpose, and unofficial transcripts to jbracht@american.edu

To apply for the MS program, follow the instructions at: http://www.american.edu/cas/admissions/apply.cfm