2015 Merck Undergraduate Science Research Scholarship

Posted on 10/20/2014 11:52:48 AM

The United Negro College Fund and the Merck Company Foundation announce the availability of the UNCF Merck Undergraduate Science Research Scholarship Awards.

These awards are a component of the UNCF Merck Science Initiative, the goal of which is to support the training and development of world-class African American biomedical research scientists.

At least 15 UNCF Merck Undergraduate Science Research Scholarship Awards will be made per year. The competition is open to all students who meet the eligibility criteria. Award recipients will be selected based on the applicants’ abilities and accomplishments.


The UNCF Merck Undergraduate Science Research Scholarship Awards are intended to encourage the interest of African American undergraduate students in furthering their science education and pursuing biomedical science careers by providing tuition support and opportunities for research experience in a state-of-the-art industrial laboratory.

Award Description

Awards up to $25,000

At least 15 Undergraduate Science Research Scholarship Awards will be made in 2015. Each award is up to a maximum of $25,000 that consists of a scholarship award of up to $10,000 for a department grant. For administrative purposes, the scholarship portion of the awards will be sent directly to the institutions of the award recipients. As the scholarship award is intended to support the award recipient’s tuition, room and board, and billable fees, no part of the award may be used for indirect costs. Awards are not transferable and may not be used at institutions abroad. Awards will be distributed starting September 1, 2015.

Scholarship Award and Summer Internship

Each award recipient will receive a scholarship award of up to $25,000 to support tuition, room and board, and billable fees for the academic year 2014–15. Award recipients will be known as UNCF/Merck Undergraduate Fellows. An award recipient may not receive more funds than are adequate to cover his/her tuition, fees, and room and board costs for one academic year.

In addition to the scholarship award, each award recipient will be mentored by a scientist in the industry and may receive a 10- to 12-week Merck Summer Internship assignment or internship at another facility. The internship will be conducted under the guidance of the Merck mentor or mentor from another facility. Round-trip public transportation tickets to and from the internship will be provided. Shipping costs are the responsibility of the Fellow. The internship assignment will take place during the summer of 2014. In order to qualify for the scholarship, the UNCF/Merck Undergraduate Fellow must have a satisfactory performance appraisal for the summer internship assignment, and a demonstrated commitment to pursue terminal degrees in the biomedical research sciences.

In summary, each 2014 award will consist of the following:

  • Internship opportunities will be available and applied for separately
  • Scholarship of up to $25,000 for the academic year 2015–16

Department Grant

The award recipient’s department may apply for a Department Grant of up to $10,000. The actual amount of the Department Grant will total the amount of funds remaining from the scholarship portion of the award after all tuition, room and board, and billable fees have been paid, up to $10,000. The Department Grant is intended to support the research of the department and may be used to purchase research supplies and equipment or support scholarships for other students in the department. The Department Grant may not be used to support salaries, travel, or indirect costs.

Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for the UNCF/Merck Undergraduate Science Research Scholarship Awards, an applicant must be:

  • African American (Black)
  • Enrolled full time in a four-year college or university in the United States
  • A junior who will be a degree candidate in the 2015–16 academic year
  • A life or physical sciences, or engineering major. Physical sciences majors must have completed two semesters of organic chemistry by the end of the 2014–15 academic year. First professional degree (PharmD, DVM, DDS, etc.) majors are not eligible.
  • A student with a minimum GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale
  • A citizen or permanent resident of the United States.


A UNCF/Merck Selection Committee consisting of educators, scientists, and engineers will review applications and select award recipients. Applicants will be selected on the basis of their GPA, their demonstrated interest in furthering their scientific education and pursuing a career in scientific research or engineering, and their interest in and ability to perform laboratory work.

Application Procedure

Online applications must be submitted by November 6, 2014

All required information (marked with an *) must be entered, or submission will not be allowed.

Save each page as you fill in the requested information before going to the next page. Failure to do so may result in your being required to reenter information.

How to Invite References 

Recommendations from three individuals are required for a complete application. All three Recommendation Forms must be submitted before November 6, 2014.

In order to give recommenders the maximum amount of time to submit their recommendations, you should enter all information for your recommenders as early as possible. To invite references, please save current application and return to your landing page. Under the landing page, scroll to the very bottom of your page to "Your Scholarship Applications." Click on the Program’s details link. The details page will display the UNCF/Merck Undergraduate Application Status—scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "Invite References." This generates an e-mail to each recommender notifying them of your application and request for their recommendation. They should log on to the website and register as a reference using the invitation code and information contained in the e-mail, then cut and paste a letter of recommendation for you into the text box.

File Attachments

The following item must be cut and pasted into the text box from your computer

  • Career Interest and Goals Statement (up to two pages)
  • Resume/C.V.

The following items must be uploaded as documents by November 6, 2014. Without these items, an application is considered incomplete.

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency (copy of birth certificate, U.S. passport, Resident Alien Card). Drivers license or Social Security cards are not proof of citizenship.
  • Recent undergraduate transcript.

Please complete the online application and submit it by 3:00 p.m. EST on November 6, 2014. All required documents must be entered online, as nothing will be accepted by mail.

For technical assistance or questions/concerns, please contact:

Carita Marrow, Relationship Manager:
carita.marrow@uncf.org (202) 810-0331