The Biology, Experience, Scholarship, and Training (BEST) Scholar Program serves to attract exceptionally talented students to majors in integrative biology and molecular and cellular biology.

Incoming BEST Scholars receive a $5,000 scholarship for tuition and fees during their first year as well as four years of mentorship from the directors of the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology and School of Integrative Biology and an academic advisor and career coach.

The BEST Scholar Program has offered unparalleled opportunities throughout my college experience at UIUC. Through invaluable mentorship from Dr. Bagchi and Dr. Cáceres, as well as a roundtable-style discussion with like-minded biology students, this program has truly allowed me to experience the biology curriculum to its fullest extent as well as explore potential career paths for after graduation.”
—Will Reiser, BEST Scholar 2019-2020


Our highest achieving admitted students, who are Illinois Residents and chose biology as their first choice major are invited to apply via an online application. Eligible students will receive an email in late February/early March encouraging them to apply for a BEST scholarship. We are dedicated to increasing the participation of underrepresented populations in biology and encourage students from these groups, who are invited, to apply.