This page reviews the financial aid options for students taking courses or conducting research at FHL. FHL administers various financial aid resources from grants and the generous donations of FHL alumni and friends.

The requirements and application processes are:

In addition, many resources for financial aid are available and listed below. Each of these resources have their own requirements and application process. Please see the specific sites linked below for more information. As you discover additional resources that are not listed here, please let us know by emailing Dr. Megan Dethier so we can add them.

For all students taking an FHL course: FHL Scholarships

Available to any student taking an FHL course, except for UW undergraduates eligible for a Mary Gates Endowment scholarship in spring or autumn.

Minimum eligibility guidelines

FHL scholarship and fellowship funding derives from generous donations from alumni and friends of the Laboratories. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of both financial need and academic merit. Because we try to support as many students as possible, we can’t provide full financial aid for anyone. The expectation is that you will contribute to the expenses of taking an FHL course; most applicants use a variety of sources, e.g. personal, departmental, and other.

Application Process

Due at time of application for an FHL course. Requests will be considered after admission decisions have been completed. Instructions are provided on the FHL Application form.

For UW undergraduates taking an FHL research course in spring or autumn: Mary Gates Endowment

Eligible UW undergraduates taking a 15-credit FHL Research Apprenticeship or 6-credit Research Experience (as part of the Zoo-Bot Quarter or Marine Biology Quarter) may apply for a scholarship from the Mary Gates Endowment (MGE). MGE scholarships for the 15-credit Apprenticeship are $3000 and for the 6-credit Experience $1250 each.

Minimum eligibility guidelines

  • At least a 3.0 GPA
  • Sufficient course background in introductory science courses
  • At least a junior standing for a 15-credit FHL Research Apprenticeship or a minimum sophomore standing for a 6-credit FHL research experience
  • Exceptions can be made for students with excellent recommendations.

Application Due Dates

Complete applications (including letters of recommendation) are due as follows:

  • Spring quarter: February 1 (when course applications are due).
  • Autumn quarter, priority review & early notification: May 15 (notification in June)
  • Autumn quarter, late review & notification: August 15 (notification in September).

Application Process through FHL

Requests for MGE Scholarships will be considered after FHL admission decisions have been completed.

  • Personal Statement in pdf. List in the email subject line your last name and FHL academic quarter, e.g. “Smith, AUT 2019.”
  • Letter of Recommendation from a UW-faculty member (preferred) or a college-level instructor. Letters should be emailed directly from the instructor, and the email subject line should include your last name and FHL academic quarter, e.g. email from Dr. Jones with subject line, e.g. “Smith, AUT 2019.”
  • Send all documents to

For undergraduates interested in conducting research: FHL Summer Internships

FHL Blinks – NSF REU – BEACON Summer Internship Program seeks to link undergraduate students with scientist-mentors as collaborators in marine science research projects. Students selected to participate will be provided with financial support to meet costs of room, board, round trip travel. Additionally, there may be a stipend.

Minimum eligibility guidelines

The NSF REU Site grant supports U.S. citizens or permanent residents during their undergraduate careers. The Blinks Endowment supports students who bring diversity to the FHL student body in any phase of their undergraduate or graduate career.

Application process

and more information click here.

For graduate students interested in conducting research: FHL Fellowships

FHL Fellowship support is available for qualified applicants to conduct independent marine science research at UW-Friday Harbor Laboratories. Funding for graduate student support derives from generous donations by alumni, scientists and friends of Friday Harbor Laboratories.

Minimum eligibility guidelines

Applications are welcome at any time. However, we strongly encourage applicants to apply before February 1 of each year and awards are generally made in March. Students do not need to select from the fellowships. Instead, a committee will convene and assign the fellowship award(s) for each student.

Application Process

and more information click here

Other scholarships to explore for taking courses

Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship: This scholarship, in memory of Libbie H. Hyman, one of America’s foremost invertebrate zoologists, “provides assistance to students to take courses or to pursue research on invertebrates at a marine, freshwater, or terrestrial field station.” The application deadline is typically in mid-February. Examples of FHL courses that would qualify include Marine Invertebrate Zoology and Comparative Invertebrate Embryology. Click here to learn more.
Phycological Society of America Fellowships: for taking courses on algae at a field station.
UW Biology – FHL Award: $1500 for UW Biology undergraduates taking courses or doing research at Friday Harbor Labs in spring or summer. Apply in Winter between January 4- March 5 for award to be used within one year. Application information and a list of other possible scholarships are listed on the following UW Biology page.

Other Research Grants and Fellowships

American Academy of Underwater Science: various funds for research using SCUBA.
AMS Student Research Fellowships: The American Microscopical Society Student Research Fellowship funds are designated for summer support of research projects involving microscopy. Two fellowships of $1000 each are available. The funds may be used for summer support of any research project involving microscopy. Any undergraduate or graduate student member of AMS is eligible to apply, with the exception of past fellowship recipients. Applications from undergraduates and those from graduates are assessed independently. Awards are made up to a maximum of $1000. Deadline for 2016: April 17, noon.
International Phycological Society: Paul Silva grants for research on algae.
The International Women’s Fishing Association has scholarships for marine science graduate students. March 1 deadline.
Lerner-Gray Grants: seed money for research in marine zoology (only). Application deadline March 15.
The Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research: (for doctoral students, for exploratory field studies for the collection of specimens and data).
Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship: This scholarship, in memory of Libbie H. Hyman, one of America’s foremost invertebrate zoologists, “provides assistance to students to take courses or to pursue research on invertebrates at a marine, freshwater, or terrestrial field station.” The application deadline is typically in mid-February. Click here to learn more.
Nancy Foster Scholarship Program: for graduate research in marine science, especially for women and minorities.
National Shellfisheries Association: various grants for research on shellfish (molluscan or crustacean).
NOAA Graduate Research Fellowship (available locally through Padilla Bay, but at other NERRs as well). These have a stipulation that ‘some’ of the work be done in an NERR (eg as one of many field sites) – beyond that, they are ok with the student spending the funds on anything related to the study. Year-long fellowships, applications due Nov. 1 each year.
Pacific Northwest Shell Club: for malacological research.
PADI Foundation: for research using SCUBA.
Phycological Society of America Fellowships (for research on algae).
SICB Fellowships for Research or Travel (several options exist).
SICB Grant-in-Aid of Research: for students pursuing research in Integrative & Comparative Biology. Applications typically due Oct 25.
Sigma Xi offers small research grants, generally for travel. These may require sponsorship of a member; contact FHL if you need help with this part.

Other possible sources for Financial Aid

  • UW students: your first stop should be the UW Office of Financial Aid to explore the options listed there.
  • Library Research Award for UW undergraduates: Multiple $1000 grants available each year, application deadline in May.
  • Many academic departments at most universities will contribute travel and sometimes partial tuition.
  • Sometimes undergraduate institutions offer alumni fellowships to current graduate students.
  • UC Berkeley has a good list of biology-related funding; not all these are relevant, of course.


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