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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. UMBS offers 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.


To apply for funding, complete a research proposal application in MField. Application deadline is March 1, 2023. Please make sure to complete all fields of the application, regardless of redundancy with the uploaded materials. In the additional documents section, upload a single pdf document which includes the following:

  1. Your research plan

  2. Degree completion timeline

  3. Field work timeline for the upcoming season

  4. Data management plan (including data archiving plans and a timeline for data sharing)

  5. Itemized budget and justification

  6. Curriculum Vitae. If you have been at UMBS before, please highlight products from UMBS work and list community activities you were involved in here (mentoring of students, outreach, teaching, volunteering, community events etc.)

  7. Letter of support from your advisor indicating how your research is funded

All new proposals will be reviewed by the Staff and Research Review Committees. Graduate fellowship funding is contingent on the Committees’ approval of your project. If you are requesting fellowship support for a project that has already received approval, please just edit your proposal by uploading the above mentioned document.

Contact Helen Habicht ( with any questions.

UMBS support must be used within 12 months of the award. Awards can be used for UMBS fees such as research/facilities fees, analytical costs, and housing/dining fees.

Within the year of your grant, you must submit a progress report by December 1. This report should explicitly state how you have followed your data management plan (and archiving of data) and provide a summary of your research progress. Failure to submit the report and your data may result in no further funding. 

UMBS support should be acknowledged in all publications and presentations that result from this work. 



Priority will be given to those applicants who:

  1. Plan to be in residence for at least 4 weeks

  2. Demonstrate financial support for their research from other sources such as their department advisor, graduate school, fellowships, etc.

  3. Are conducting work at UMBS toward the completion of a thesis or dissertation

Applications will be evaluated for scientific feasibility, soundness, applicant promise, data management, community activity (if returning) and need for financial support.  

Community and Lakes Environmental Awareness and Research (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 25 - July 23, 2022.

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 mid-August.

Fellows will report to the Monitoring Programs 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 ( ; 734-763-4462).

Deadline: open until filled. 

UMBS Graduate Student Awards and Fellowships

  • 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.