Peter O’Day Fellowship in Biological Sciences

The Peter O’Day Fellowship in Biological Sciences supports an undergraduate student partnering with a graduate student to conduct summer research. Each student will receive $5,000 and funds may be used to offset any expenses associated with such research, including living expenses and supplies/materials costs. Awarded to four pairs of students each summer, this support provides immersive, intensive and rewarding opportunities for highly motivated students to perform authentic research in the University of Oregon’s many and diverse research laboratories.

These fellowships are open to all UO students who meet the eligibility criteria.

Funding for this fellowship was provided by an anonymous donor. The award is named after retired UO Department of Biology faculty member Peter O’Day in recognition of his dedication to undergraduate student engagement in research.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must have completed BI 211 or 281 with a B or better (or have completed either 200-level sequence with a B average).
  • Applicant must have a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • Proposals must come from a undergraduate-graduate student pair.
  • Undergraduate students must be enrolled at the UO during the fall term after the summer research experience.
  • Research projects must come from a field with the biological sciences.
  • Undergraduate students may not be paid to conduct research through other internal UO research support programs during the same fellowship period.
  • If for any reason a research fellow’s circumstances change (e.g., due to exit from the University, loss of full-time student status, or the receipt of any grant or award that conflicts with the con­ditions of this fellowship) and the grantee is unable to use the award during the summer for which it was granted, the fellowship must be forfeited. O’Day Fellowship awards cannot be deferred.
  • Undergraduate and graduate students may only receive one O’Day Fellowship award during their undergraduate/graduate education at the University of Oregon.
  • Research with Human Subjects:
    • If applicable, the applicant must obtain approval from the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS), which serves as the UO’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).
    • If your project requires IRB approval you will need to submit  your project for review before completing an application. You do not need full approval at the time you submit your application, however, you must have your project submitted for review.
    •  If you are selected to receive a fellowship, your award will be put on hold until UROP receives notification from you that your project has received IRB approval.
    • If your project already has IRB approval please send your protocol number to at the time you apply.
    • For more information visit

Fellowship Expectations

  • Commit regular effort to conducting research during the fellowship period.
  • Complete a final research paper.
  • Share the results of your research at the UO Undergraduate Symposium.
  • Acknowledge the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI) in all work resulting from research during the fellowship period.
  • Notify the VPRI Fellowship staff immediately of other support or of any conflicts with the eligibility and/or restrictions of this fellowship.
  • Notify the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program of any publications or conference presentations that are associated with your research project.

Timeline (2017-2018 academic year)

Application Available January 8
Application Deadline May 14 @ 11:59 pm
Fellows Notified May 30 (estimated)
Fellowship Period June 25 – August 31
UO Undergraduate Symposium TBA

Fellowship Details

The fellowship provides $5,000 during the summer to the undergraduate and graduate student ($10,000 total). The award will be received in two installments, at the end of week 5 of the fellowship period and at the end of week 10 of the fellowship period.

IMPORTANT: If you are receiving federal financial aid, this award may affect your financial aid eligibility. Students who receive federal aid have a responsibility to report all awards earned to the UO Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships for more information.

How to Apply

Make sure that you meet all of the eligibility criteria outlined above before proceeding.

Step 1

Download the O’Day Fellowship Application Guidelines document

  • Carefully read the guidelines to make sure your proposal addresses all of the criteria.
  • Determine whether your research project requires UO IRB Approval. If it does, you must submit to the UO IRB at the same time you submit your VPRI Fellowship application
  • Applicants are encouraged to have the faculty PI review the proposal that you will submit through the online application


Step 2

Complete the online application


Step 3

Letter of recommendation

  • Applicants are required to have one letter of recommendation from the faculty PI in the lab that the applicant is conducting research in.
  • Request that your letter writers complete the letter of recommendation worksheet.
  • Instruct your faculty letter writers to submit the completed worksheet to
  • Under the federal law titled the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and according to the University of Oregon Student Record Policy, registered students are given the right to inspect their records, including letters of recommendation and teacher recommendations. If the student wants to waive their right of access to this recommendation, they may do so by completing a waiver form.


Step 4

Obtain an unofficial copy of your UO transcripts