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NSF Gateway Scholarship in Biology


Gateway Scholars is a cohort-based scholarship program for biology students funded by the National Science Foundation. Gateway Scholars receive professional development skill-building, financial support, cohort experiences, academic advising, and support from a faculty mentor. Students in enroll in Biology 198 during their Freshman year. This course is designed to give new biology majors an introduction to the careers of biology, the concepts of biological research, the research of faculty, and tools to help them achieve success as a biology student.

Financial Support

Gateway Scholars are eligible for a scholarship of up to $10,000 (depending on individual level of need) for each year they are in the Gateway Program if they meet the following criteria:

  • Declared Biology major
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Active participation in Gateway Scholars activities

Cohort and Professional Development Support

An orientation at the start of each fall semester will familiarize students with details of the Gateway Scholars program and kickoff events in the Fall and Spring will welcome students each semester. These events are at no cost to Gateway Scholars. All Gateway Scholars are expected to attend the orientation, both kickoff events and two professional development activities (including academic advising) each semester. Exceptions may be made by discussing with the Program Director.

Criteria for Admission to the Gateway Scholars Program

Students must complete the application and satisfy the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate commitment to completing a Biology degree
  • Enrolled full-time at Boise State
  • Federally qualified with financial need (must complete FAFSA)
  • US citizen or US permanent resident, according to NSF guidelines

How to Apply

  • Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) by February 15th to be considered for need-based aid and scholarships.
  • Coming in October- Complete the Boise State Scholarship Application (deadlines vary)
  • Apply for Department/College scholarships
    • Select College of Arts & Sciences Scholarships
    • Select Biology and Enter Keyword: Biology
  • Review all of the scholarships for the Department of Biological Sciences
  • Prepare an essay for each scholarship
    • Essay requirements are included in the scholarship application
    • NSF Gateway Scholarship Essay Requirements
      • Single page essay explaining your interest in pursuing a biology career
      • What inspired you to choose biology
      • What have you done to prepare yourself for the field of biology
      • What activities have you undertaken to explore a career in biology
  • Apply for each departmental scholarship – including the NSF Gateway Scholarship
  • Return to the Scholarship Checklist page for other opportunities

Questions? Contact:

Dr. Julia Oxford,
NSF Gateway Scholars Program Principal Investigator
DBS Professor and Director of the Biomolecular Research Center

Dr. Amy Ulappa,
NSF Gateway Scholars Program Coordinator
DBS Clinical Assistant Professor

Clay Cox,
DBS Academic Advisor

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