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The School of Biological Sciences contains a broad diversity of faculty and student research interests, covering the full spectrum of modern biology from biochemistry through environmental biology. Even in this age of specialization, many of the most important and exciting discoveries occur at the boundaries between traditional fields of research. Formal and informal collaborations of many kinds are a major feature of life in the School, and they frequently cut across interest group lines.

We invite you to consider making a gift to any one of the following areas of need. The Biology General Fund allows the School the most flexibility to support its programs, scholarships and fellowships.


This fund provides the most flexibility for the School in meeting our budgetary needs to support our faculty, student and teaching efforts. Donors who identify with and wish to sustain overall to the enduring tenor of one of the most celebrated academic units on campus will find this opportunity ideal for them. 

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The late K. Gordon Lark established the biology department in 1972 as its first chair. He has had a profound influence in what is now the School of Biological Sciences. With 50+ tenure-line faculty in place, the School spans disciplines from biochemistry to genetics to environmental biology. The tremendous impact of Lark’s affiliation with the University of Utah can be felt statewide and beyond. The endowment in his name funds a visiting lectureship in his name, undergraduate research opportunities and eventually a Presidential Endowed Chair to continue to recruit star faculty.

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Coley-Kursar Endowment celebrates the legacy of ecological research and graduate student training by Phyllis Coley and the late Thomas Kursar, tropical ecologists and conservationists whose outreach with communities in central and south America is legendary. Funds support graduate students conducting field studies.

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For over half a century, the late John Legler and now Mark Nielsen have revolutionized the field of teaching human anatomy at the University of Utah. Through their tireless efforts, tens of thousands of students have gained a detailed understanding of the structure, organization, and function of the human body. Our aim is to grow the Legler Endowment into an endowed professorship. Whether you are a former TA, or one of the many pre-professional students who are now doctors, nurses, pharmacologists or other health-related professional, we invite you to participate in this unprecedented opportunity to honor the memory of Dr. Legler, and to support the continuing legacy of Professor Nielsen.

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Recipients of these funds are graduate students who dedicate countless hours in the lab, the classroom, and the field. They are research colleagues to our esteemed faculty, and invaluable mentors to our undergraduate students. Your contribution can provide vital support to these students in the form of graduate scholarships and fellowships. Funds also help in recruiting excellence as well as providing students access to the Accelerated Master’s Program. 

Indicate “Biology Graduate Fund” under special instructions in the form above.

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The George R. Riser Endowment was established for the Department of Biology in 1998. Endowment funds undergraduate and graduate student field-work and research. George Riser graduated in 1947 with a Science degree, and is recipient of the SBS 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award.

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The Science Research Initiative (SRI) is a college-wide effort to prime undergraduate students for success through which The School of Biological Sciences actively seeks to increase undergraduate research and lab opportunities. Through undergraduate research scholarships and “mini-grants” we can ensure that young students are provided with ample opportunities to join robust learning communities and cohorts, receive valuable advisement and mentorship from faculty and peers, receive financial assistance and support while pursuing their Biology goals, and enjoy a deeply engaged learning experience. Early access to these resources is proven to increase student and career success.

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