Whitcome Fellowships

Whitcome Photo-1In 2005 UCLA received an $8,000,000 bequest from the estate of Philip Whitcome. Dr Whitcome received his Ph.D. in 1974 from the Molecular Biology Interdepartmental Ph.D. Program and went on to a stellar career in the biotechnology industry. His gift allowed the establishment of the Whitcome Fellowship Program designed to attract highly talented students to a unique graduate training environment that emphasizes rapid progress toward groundbreaking scientific discoveries.

The Whitcome Fellowship Program invites applications from students with academic accomplishments and significant research experience in areas including biochemistry, systems biology, molecular biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics.

Call for applications will be announced shortly.  

List of Whitcome Fellows


  • PhD. students beginning their 3rd, 4th, or 5th year of graduate school in Fall 2018 (i.e. entered grad school Sept 2016, 2015, or 2014, respectively).
  • Mentor must currently be a member of the core faculty in the Molecular Biology Interdepartmental Ph.D. program (click link for current list).
  • A student is not eligible he/she will be receiving a UCLA training grant, dissertation year fellowship or major fellowship such as NSF, NIH/NRSA Kirschstein, NIH-MSTP, or substantial foreign fellowships (i.e., Nakajima, Boehringer Ingelheim Fond, Royal Thai, or CSC) during the 2018-2019 academic year.
  • Student’s Dissertation Project must be focused on molecular biology (using molecular approaches to the life sciences).
  • Awarded students and their mentors must participate in all of the activities of the Whitcome training program as described below.
  • Several students can be nominated per lab, but no more than one Whitcome Fellow will be awarded per individual mentor within a given year.
  • No restriction on citizenship; international students are welcome to apply.

Application Submission

  • Deadline for submission will be announced shortly
  • Application materials must be submitted electronically as PDFs to  WhitcomeMBI@lifesci.ucla.edu

Selection Criteria

  • Accomplishments and research progress.
  • Molecular focus of the project.
  • Strong letter of recommendation from research mentor, as well as one other UCLA faculty member with the best knowledge of the student’s research.
  • Publications
  • Mentor’s participation in MBI activities

Program Benefits (September 1, 2018 – August 30, 2019)

  • Annual stipend of up to $23,844 ($1,987 month), dependent on other support the student may be receiving
  • Registration fees for two quarters.
  • Conference travel support to present research (talk or poster). Funds can be used for airfare, ground transportation, lodging and conference registration and are limited based upon availability. Current Whitcome Fellows, please make sure to fill out the Whitcome Travel Form for consideration for these funds.

Program Requirements


  • Attend and present a talk or poster at the annual MBI Retreat during the fellowship. (Fellows attend free of charge).
  • Have advanced research integrity and ethics training by completing MIMG C234, CHEM C250, or an equivalent course.
  • Fully participate in a bi-monthly seminar program.


  • Attend the entirety of the MBI Retreat in the year during which your student is supported (Spring Quarter).
  • Participate in the MIMG C234 ethics course (Spring Quarter).
  • Participate in MBIDP events surrounding Graduate Recruitment.
  • Participate in MBI activities (Tuesday/Thursday seminars, committees, etc.).

Application Materials (Please download)

Whitcome_StudentApplicationForm ’18-’19

Whitcome_MentorApplicationForm ’18-’19

Application Materials Checklist

  1. Student Application form
  2. Mentor Application form
  3. Letter of Recommendation from Research Mentor, emailed directly from the author to WhitcomeMBI@lifesci.ucla.edu
  4. Letter of Recommendation from one additional UCLA faculty member, emailed directly from the author to WhitcomeMBI@lifesci.ucla.edu
  5. Copy of complete Graduate Transcripts

Information for Current Whitcome Fellows

Travel request forms are available here.