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Scholarships & Awards


Grace Thomas Award

Dr. Grace Thomas, during her long service to the University of Georgia, placed the education and welfare of undergraduates above her many other duties and responsibilities to the benefit of students and also the department as a whole. The Grace Thomas Award was created to acknowledge Dr. Thomas' efforts by recognizing annually the accomplishments of an outstanding undergraduate in what is now the department of Cellular Biology. The recipient of the award is expected to have excelled in several areas associated within the discipline, including classroom, seminar, and research performance.

Marcus Fechheimer and Ruth Furukawa Award for Excellence by Students in Cellular Biology Inaugural Year: 2023-2024




What is the origin of the award?

The Fechheimer and Furukawa Award was established to honor emeritus professor Dr. Marcus Fechheimer and emeritus research scientist Dr. Ruth Furukawa. Marcus and Ruth were well known at UGA for their outstanding research mentoring.


What does the award recognize?

The purpose of the award is to recognize excellence in undergraduate and graduate students in the department with funding to support their scholarly endeavors. The trust that funds the award states that “awards may acknowledge unusual curiosity and accomplishment in scholarship in a single course, or in the major, or an outstanding research presentation or publication.” Please review the scoring rubric on page 3 for more details.


What can the award be used for?

The trust that funds the award that can “support expenses that further students' intellectual growth, including, but not limited to, support for travel to research conferences and for research training not available at UGA.” Other examples include conference registration fees, fees for research methods courses (e.g., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory course fees), or part of the publication charges for papers if the awardee is a co-author. This list is not exhaustive; other scholarly endeavors will be considered. Please see page 2 for restrictions.


How can an students apply for the award?

To apply, Cellular Biology undergraduate or graduate students must:

  1. Answer questions in a short survey to assess their relationship to Cellular Biology, their contributions to the department, and their existing financial support from their lab.
  2. Write a brief summary of their research or other work in Cellular Biology and the scholarly endeavor they hope to apply the award to (maximum 500 words)
  3. Request a 1-page letter from a Cellular Biology faculty mentor (or other faculty mentor) that explains how the student meets criteria of demonstrating “unusual curiosity and accomplishment in scholarship in a single course, or in the major, or an outstanding research presentation or publication.” The letter will be an important factor in selecting the award recipient.

Application materials must be sent as PDF files to committee chair Dr. Julie Stanton at


When are the application deadlines?

For funding needed between: Deadline for all three items listed above:
January 1 and June30 December 1
July 1 and December 31 June 1

At each deadline, the committee will have approximately $700 to award. Based on the quality of the applications, a single award of $700 may be given, or two $350 awards may be given. Both graduate and undergraduate students will be considered together in one pool of applicants.


How will the awardees be decided?

In 2023-2024 the Fechheimer and Furukawa Award committee will score applications using the rubric on page 3, which aligns with the requirements of the trust that funds the award. After the first year the awards are given out, Cellular Biology students and faculty will be invited to give feedback to the committee to improve the award process.



The trust that funds the award requires that “awards may not be used for purchase of equipment, supplies, health insurance, or fees. If used for travel, students must still be enrolled at the University at the time of travel.”


A student who has received a Fechheimer and Furukawa Award must wait a minimum of 24 months before applying for the same award again.        


      Fechheimer and Furukawa Award recipients for research endeavors between January 1 – June 30, 2024:

  • Hsueh-Fu Wu, Zeltner Lab
  • Kathy Bui, Kamiyama Lab
  • Melissa Inal, Kamiyama Lab


More Undergraduate Scholarships & Awards

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Associate Head: 

Dr. Cordula Schulz, 706-542-3515

Main office phone: 706-542-3310

Fax: 706-542-4271

Head of the Department: Dr. Dennis Kyle