BURST Program

Biology Undergraduate Research in Science & Technology

Click here to submit an application

The Biology Undergraduate Research in Science and Technology (BURST) fellowship program is designed to give qualified UMD Biology/Cell & Molecular Biology majors the opportunity to take part in an in-depth summer research project. For students interested in pursuing further education once they attain their bachelor’s degree, this is an excellent opportunity to experience what in-depth research outside the classroom is like. The BURST program is intended to be an intensive research experience for students who already have some less intensive experience (e.g. UROP, lab volunteering, etc.).

The BURST program runs for ten weeks from Late May to early August.  Fellows are expected to work full-time during that period. Due to the nature of biological research, this may on occasion involve working in the evening or on weekends. Fellows are expected to be willing to make reasonable accommodations in this regard as required for their specific research projects. The BURST program will end with a poster session in early August at which fellows will present their research to other BURST fellows, members of the UMD Biology Department, and donors who have contributed to funding the BURST program. In addition, it is expected that many BURST research projects will lead to peer-reviewed publications in which the BURST fellow will be a co-author. This may involve additional participation beyond the ten-week summer period for data analysis and manuscript preparation. All BURST fellows will be appropriately recognized for their contributions to research that leads to a peer-reviewed publication.

BURST fellows will receive a stipend of $4,300 for their ten-week fellowship period. They will receive an additional $700 for research expenses. Any additional research expenses will be the responsibility of the faculty mentor.

BURST applicants are required to have contacted a potential faculty mentor prior to submitting their application in order to discuss potential research projects. As part of the application, the potential faculty mentor is required to provide a letter of recommendation to the BURST Fellowship Committee. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact their potential faculty mentor and request a letter at least 2-3 weeks before the application deadline of March 2, 2022. Applicants will be notified in late March if they will be offered a BURST fellowship, and will be expected to accept or decline the fellowship within one week.  

To receive a BURST fellowship, you must:

1) Be a registered Biology major at UMD;
2) Have a 3.0 or better GPA in Biology courses;
3) Plan on registering full-time for the Fall semester of 2022-2023 academic year; and
4) Be willing to commit at least 40 hours per week for ten weeks in summer 2022 to your BURST research project

THE BURST Fellowship Committee will select recipients on the following basis:
1) BURST application form;
2) A copy of your unofficial transcript (upload to the BURST application form);
3) A letter of recommendation from your potential faculty mentor (submitted through this link);
4) An ~ 200-word essay that focuses on your past research experience and your future plans in Biology; and
5) An ~ 500-word essay that focuses on your proposed research project, including the question you'll address and the methods you'll use to address it.

Fellowships will be awarded based on the quality of the student essay, faculty recommendation letter and student's Biology GPA.

For questions, please contact Jared Strasburg at [email protected] or Jessica Sieber at [email protected]. The BURST Fellowship Committee and the UMD Department of Biology reserve the right to not award a fellowship if no applicant is deemed as meeting established criteria.

Click here to submit an application