Levinson Emerging Scholars Program

Website: Undergraduate Research Program


The Levinson Emerging Scholars (LES) Program is designed to support promising students who work on creative and sophisticated research projects in biosciences and related fields under the guidance of UW faculty. Art and Rita Levinson generously support this program in an effort to recognize and support undergraduates who achieve a high level of motivation and independence in research.

Levinson Emerging Scholars will receive critical, flexible support to do independent research projects guided by faculty; this support may include funding for research supplies, transportation, or other reasonable project expenses and scholarship support. Once selected, Levinson Emerging Scholars are also eligible to apply for funding to present their work at a national professional research conference. Students applying for a LES award need to submit a project budget, approved by their faculty mentor. The Undergraduate Research Program reviews all requested items and reserves the right to negotiate each award based on the proposed project and applicant needs.


To apply for support from the Levinson Emerging Scholars Program, a student must:

  • Be a current UW (Seattle, Bothell, Tacoma) undergraduate engaged in a biosciences-related research project during their award period.
  • Propose to continue or initiate a research project for the duration of the award (2-3 quarters) that shows some level of independence and originality.
  • Be registered full time (at least 12 credits) during the award period, pursuing a bachelor’s degree at the UW Bothell, Seattle, or Tacoma campus.
  • Have completed the equivalent of two years of university-level coursework and have had at least 3 quarters of prior research experience.
  • Receive guidance from a UW faculty member serving as the student’s research mentor (applicants may also be working with a graduate student, staff, and/or post-doctoral associate in addition to the faculty mentor).
  • Submit a completed online application, including a detailed budget (details below).

If you have other scholarships, fellowships, awards or stipends supporting your research project and you are also selected for a Levinson Emerging Scholars Program scholarship, you may not be eligible to receive the full amount of the award.

Applicants may be awarded WRF Fellowship/Levinson Award up to two times during their undergraduate education.

Student Type
  • junior
  • senior
Citizen Type
  • US Citizen
  • Permanent Resident
  • International or Other Visa Status
  • Undocumented

The Levinson application is joined with the Washington Research Foundation Fellowship application. You have the option to apply for both, but you must add a budget proposal if applying to Levinson. Thus, Levinson Emerging Scholars applicants will be expected to submit the following via the online system:

  • An abstract of your research project (up to 300 words)
  • Statement of educational and long-term goals: Please share the role that your proposed research plays in helping you meet your educational and long-term goals. Specifically, in what ways has research complemented your coursework to enhance your undergraduate academic experience? How does the proposed project advance your plans for graduate study and your professional goals? How would this award impact you and your ability to conduct this research? (up to 1 page, double spaced)
  • Research plan: Please provide a four-paged research proposal. The proposal should include the following:
    – Significant questions or problems the research will address
    – Project methods and timeline
    – Anticipated or possible results
    – An explanation of the importance of your project to your field of study, your community, society, etc.
    – An indication of the ways your research could contribute to innovation in your field and/or the development of new technologies, if applicable
    (Up to 4 pages, double spaced. You may also include up to two additional pages for references and figures, if applicable)
  • Equity, Inclusion and Justice Statement: How are you currently promoting equity, inclusion, and justice in your field (through allyship; the impact of your research; and/or your own identities, experiences, values, etc.)? (up to 1 page, double spaced)
  • Budget and budget justification: A budget for the proposed project that identifies support for the student, including scholarship funds for educational expenses and modest support for research books, supplies, or materials. Requests should not exceed $8,000. A budget template is available in the online application system. If you have any questions about preparing a budget, URP advisers are available to help. Email urp@uw.edu to set up an appointment.
  • Faculty mentor recommender information: The student must submit contact information for one faculty mentor recommender. Faculty recommenders will receive letter-writing instructions via email. One additional mentor letter of recommendation may be added, if desired. (The secondary letter may be from another faculty member or from a graduate student, postdoctoral researcher, teaching assistant, or research staff member.)


Selection Process & Criteria

The WRFF application opens in spring. Selection decisions are made at the beginning of the following autumn quarter. A team of faculty and staff reviewers score each proposal.

Evaluation of each application will be based on:

  • demonstrated potential for the applicant to achieve significant scholarly advancement through completing the proposed research
  • level of independence and originality of the applicant’s proposed research project
  • potential for applicant to make important future contributions to their field
  • students’ commitment to promoting equity, inclusion, and justice in their field
  • potential for the project to eventually lead to interesting new findings, applications, innovation, or directions in a science or technology field
  • ability of the mentor and research environment to create the conditions necessary for the proposed project’s success
  • impact of this award on the student’s ability to conduct the project
Service Agreement

During the program, Levinson Emerging Scholars will be expected to:

  • Remain active in the research project described in their application for the duration of the award
  • Provide project updates to program administrators and funders when requested
  • Participate in various professional development events offered by the Undergraduate Research Program, including opportunities to interact with other researchers and program alumni and workshops on various topics related to career building
  • Present their research at the annual UW Undergraduate Research Symposium
Contact Information

UW Undergraduate Research Program

E-mail address: urp@uw.edu

Phone Number: (206) 543-4282

171 Mary Gates Hall