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Student Research Fellowships

We invite graduate and advanced undergraduate students from any institution to apply to conduct their research at the University of Michigan Biological Station. We are are an optimal location for research in ecology and evolutionary biology, as well as atmospheric chemistry. We have a variety of habitats on or near Station property and state-of-the-art equipment and facilities for data collection and analysis.  For many research sites, we have long-term or historical data sets for baseline or reference points.

Additionally, alumni gifts and University sources have provided limited funding to assist graduate students who are working toward their degree while in residence at the Station.

Cathy Bach and Brian Hazlett Student Research Fund

Provides need-based undergraduate student research support in behavior and ecology, allowing them to conduct independent research with a faculty member while enrolled concurrently in one summer session field class at UMBS.

To apply, email Associate Director Karie Slavik:

CLEAR Fellowship

The Station is pleased to offer the Project CLEAR (Community and Lakes Environmental Awareness and Research) Fund Fellowship. CLEAR began as a student-led project conducted from 1977-81 at the Biological Station. Its members have funded this fellowship. CLEAR Fellows have two roles and commitments:

  1. They will be spring/summer interns for the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council.
  2. They will be UMBS students for the Summer Session.

From mid-May to the beginning of the UMBS Summer Session, CLEAR Fellows will be full-time interns for Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council. CLEAR Fellows will continue to work as interns at the Watershed Council on a half-time basis, once the Summer Session begins. During this time, Fellows will be required to:

  • Conduct independent research on freshwater ecosystems (e.g. water quality improvement, ecosystem protection or stewardship, or freshwater sustainability);
  • Involve/engage local communities in their research/research findings;
  • Enroll concurrently in 1 summer session field class at UMBS (tuition support provided). This summer session runs from June 20 - August 7, 2020.

Support: This fellowship provides tuition support, room, board, research fees, and supplies at UMBS. Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council will provide an additional $700 stipend.

Housing is provided for CLEAR Fellows at UMBS from mid-May until the conclusion of the Summer session.

Fellows will report to the Monitoring and Research Director at the Watershed Council.

CLEAR Fellows Responsibilities:

  • Volunteer Monitoring Programs: Fellows will work to organize and carry out volunteer monitoring activities, including trainings, field data collection, laboratory analyses, and quality assurance.
  • Field Surveys, Inventories, and Restoration Projects: Fellows get their feet wet in the water resource management field assisting both our Monitoring and Research Director and our Watershed Projects Director with a variety of field projects, but also helping in the lab with calibration and maintenance of field survey equipment, water quality monitoring instrumentation, sampling gear, and GPS.
  • GIS (Geographical Information System), Database, and Office Tasks: Fellows assist staff on the GIS front by processing field GPS data, developing GIS data layers, producing display maps, performing spatial analyses, and ground-truthing in the field.

Qualifications: Must be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in natural resources, environmental studies, or equivalent; possess strong written and verbal skills; and have a valid driver’s license. Proficiency in swimming and paddling (kayak and canoe), as well as the ability to work 10+ hours/day, is required for fieldwork. Prior experience with field work, macroinvertebrate identification, and GIS is a plus. Strong computer skills are also required, including familiarity with Microsoft Office software such as Access, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

To Apply: 
Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to UMBS Associate Director Karie Slavik.

Deadline: open until filled. 

Student Research Funding Application Process

To Apply for Research Support:

1) Visit our Researchers page and follow the instructions to submit a housing form.

2) Submit a brief cover letter, via e-mail, with an application attached as a single document (Word or Word-readable file, e.g. PDF). The application must include the following, in order:

· Project Summary (1 page maximum):
· Research Plan (1 page max.):
· Budget (1 page max.)
· Budget Justification (1 page max.)
· Curriculum Vita or Resume (2 pages max.).

Applicants should indicate the name and professional affiliation of their mentor within the cover letter. Mentors should submit a separate letter (as an e-mail) in support of each student application.

Funds may be requested in support of supplies, analytical costs, laboratory use fees, and unmet (from other sources) costs of housing and board at UMBS during the summer. Applicants may also request support for field and analytical activities for fall and winter if justified within the context of the proposed research project.

The student cover letter with an attached application file, and an independent letter from the faculty mentor should be sent to:

Karie Slavik, Associate Director, UMBS

Due: March 1


To be eligible, applicants should be enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate research program and the research should be part of their thesis research, a pilot study preliminary to thesis research, or a required part of their academic program. Funding is partial and considered only for applicants who plan to be in residence at the Biological Station and/or base their research here.

Priority will be given to those applicants who: 1) plan to be in residence for at least a half term (4 of 8 weeks); 2) demonstrate financial support for their research from other sources such as their department, advisor, graduate school, fellowships, etc.

UMBS Research Funds, Awards, and Fellowships

  • Ann Arbor Farm and Garden Association Award:  Annual award to one or more graduate researchers. Sponsored by the Ann Arbor Farm and Garden Association.
  • Project CLEAR Fund: Provides room, board and research fees and supplies for 1-2 students (graduate or undergraduate) studying aquatic ecosystems at UMBS. Research may focus on water quality improvement, protection and stewardship, or freshwater sustainability and should include a community engagement/outreach component. The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council is participating with the project to help students with community engagement. Recipients of this funding are expected to take a UMBS class concurrent with their research. This award does not cover tuition for the UMBS class. However, separate financial aid is available through the Biological Station (due in March).
  • Marian P. and David M. Gates Graduate Student Support:  Provides support for graduate education for students studying at the Biological Station.
  • Henry Allan Gleason Fellowship: Awards to graduate students to enable them to pursue advanced study in plant ecology.
  • J.B. and Marilyn McKenzie Graduate Student Fellowship:  Supports graduate student study at UMBS.
  • Vaden and Maxine Miles Fund: Provides scholarship or fellowship support for graduate students studying ornithology at UMBS.
  • Mort Neff Graduate Student Scholarship:  Provides graduate student research and study at UMBS.
  • Stellanova and Chase S. Osborn Endowment: Supports research based at the Osborn Preserve on Sugar Island.
  • Ralph E. Bennett Endowment: Support for an annual lecture on mycology and plant biology. Any excess can support student research in mycology and plant biology.
  • Biological Station Fund for Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Support: Fellowship support for graduate students.
  • Brenda Fancher Dorsey In Gratitude Fund: Provides fellowship support for U-M graduate student research at UMBS.