Section 1


Biophysics Support
Recurring On-Campus Fellowships/Grants
Off-Campus Fellowships/Grants

Biophysics Support

First Semester Support

All incoming Biophysics students will be supported by the Center for the first semester in the program. This allows students flexibility while they are rotating through three faculty labs in pursuit of a research advisor. This support will be in the form of a research assistantship, training grant, special award, or fellowship (see below).

Named Fellowships in Biophysics & Quantitative Biology

Robert Clegg Graduate Award

Robert Clegg was the director of the Center from July 2008 until his passing in October 2012. He was a pioneer in the development of FLIM (fluorescence-lifetime imaging microscopy) and an expert in the fields of optical microscopy and spectroscopy. He was passionately involved in STEM education and K-12 outreach initiatives on the University of Illinois campus and was a benevolent mentor and educator.

Howard Ducoff Graduate Award

In 1957, Howard Ducoff joined the University of Illinois Physiology Department and multi-disciplinary Physicochemical biology program faculty. His research focused on radiation injury and repair and he was a charter member of the Radiation Research Society, North American Hypothermia Society, and the American Society of Cell Biology. Although he officially retired in 1992, he remained active on campus until shortly before his death in 2012.

Robert Emerson Graduate Award

One of the world's foremost experimental researchers in photosynthesis, Robert Emerson was an early pioneer in the field of biophysics. He taught many years at Harvard and taught biophysics at CalTech from 1938-40. He helped to develop a multi-disciplinary graduate program called Physicochemical Biology (PCB), on the University of Illinois campus, which later became Biophysics. He was a professor of Botany at U of I from 1946 and until his untimely death in a plane crash in 1959.

Hans Frauenfelder Graduate Award

Hans Frauenfelder is noted for his discovery of perturbed angular correlation (PAC) in 1951. He joined the University of Illinois Physics faculty in 1952. He was an active member of the Biophysics faculty until 1992, when he moved to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he is still doing research. His interests included the biophysics of protein folding and motions and his PAC spectroscopy is used for condensed matter physics.

Paul Lauterbur Graduate Award

"The father of the field of MRI", Paul Lauterbur came to the University of Illinois in 1985. He joined the Biophysics faculty in 1988 and remained a member until his death in 2007. He worked on the development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at SUNY Stony Brook in the 70's and shared the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for that innovative work.

Eugene Rabinowitch Graduate Award

Eugene Rabinowitch was one of the early pioneers of biophysics at the University of Illinois. Prior to joining the University, he worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II. He helped to develop a multi-disciplinary graduate program called Physicochemical Biology (PCB), which later became Biophysics. He performed groundbreaking research on photosynthesis, and wrote the 3-volume Photosynthesis and Related Processes.

Gregorio Weber Graduate Award

One of the most notable and influential scientists at the University of Illinois from the 1960's to the late 1990's, Gregorio Weber was a National Academy member, and a prime mover in elevating the status of biophysics on this campus. He is acknowledged as the founder of modern fluorescence spectroscopy and is best known for developing and utilizing fluorescence techniques for the study of protein structure and dynamics, and protein-protein interactions.

Colin Wraight Graduate Award

Colin Wraight was the director of Biophysics from October 1991 to April 1997 and remained active until his passing in 2014. Colin was instrumental in the transition of Biophysics from a program to a center in 1996. He also served as the director of the Molecular Biophysics Training Grant for many years. His early work in photosynthesis was cutting-edge and expanded later into bioenergetics and membrane biology. His quick wit and warm demeanor made him a favorite with students and colleagues alike.

Special Awards in Biophysics & Quantitative Biology

Lebus Graduate Scholar Award

Every few years, we are honored to offer a Lebus Graduate Scholar Award to one outstanding Biophysics student. This award was established in 1992 by the late James A. Hagan and is intended to "provide fellowship support for meritorious graduate students of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the fields of life sciences, chemical sciences, and physics."

Recurring On-Campus Fellowships/Grants

Only registered University of Illinois students are eligible for these grants or fellowships.

Conference Travel Grants

Dissertation Completion Fellowship

Dissertation Travel Grants

For more information on these, or other University of Illinois Fellowships, please visit the Fellowship website at:

Off-Campus Fellowships/Grants

Links to a grant/fellowship databases:

GrantForward (If you are looking for funding for Biophysics, Biophysics is listed under the Life Sciences category.)

National Academies Research Associateship Programs

National Academies Fellowship Resources site

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