In 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 provides tuition/fees for two academic quarters, a monthly stipend for 12 months, and some travel funds. We invite applications from students with academic accomplishments and significant research experience in areas including biochemistry, systems biology, molecular biology and chemistry.

List of Whitcome Fellows

Information for Potential Applicants


  • PhD. students from the MBIDP or BMSB programs, beginning their 3rd, 4th, or 5th year of graduate school in Fall 2018.
  • Students who are not receiving any other significant funding during the 2018-2019 academic year (including UCLA training grant, dissertation year fellowship, NSF, NIH/NRSA Kirschstein, NIH-MSTP fellowship or foreign fellowship (i.e., Nakajima, Boehringer Ingelheim Fond, Royal Thai, or CSC).
  • Student’s dissertation project must be focused on molecular biology (using molecular approaches).
  • Several students can be nominated per lab, but no more than one Whitcome Fellow will be awarded per individual mentor within a given year.
  • The student and their mentor must agree to complete all fellowship requirements.
  • No restriction on citizenship; international students are welcome to apply.

Responsibilities of Whitcome Fellows

  • Attend the MBI Retreat and present data (either a poster or a talk).
  • Have advanced research integrity and ethics training by completing MIMG C234, CHEM C250, or an equivalent course.
  • Fully participate in graduate student seminars.

Responsibilities of Whitcome Mentors

  • Attend the MBI Retreat.
  • Participate in the MIMG C234 ethics course (Spring Quarter)
  • Participate in graduate recruitment events
  • Participate in MBI activities (Faculty research lunch, Thursday research seminars, committees, etc.)


The application period for the 2018-19 Whitcome Fellowship has ended.