Marion B. Sewer Distinguished Scholarship for Undergraduates

Marion SewerThe Marion B. Sewer Distinguished Scholarship for Undergraduates is named in honor of Prof. Marion Sewer, professor of pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego, and former deputy chair of the ASBMB Minority Affairs Committee. Sewer was a role model for students at all stages and was deeply committed to service within the scientific community. You can learn more about Sewer's work with the society and contribute to the scholarship fund here.

The Marion B. Sewer Distinguished Scholarship for Undergraduates offers financial support to students who demonstrate an interest in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology and enhance the diversity of science. Students whose social, educational or economic background adds to the diversity of the biomedical workforce or who show commitment to enhancing academic success of underrepresented students are eligible.  

The scholarship provides up to $2000 toward tuition costs for one academic year. Up to five scholarships will be awarded in each round of applications. Applications by individuals from underrepresented groups are encouraged, although all qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, gender, color, ethnicity, or national origin.

A promotional flier is available here.
A complete description of the award is available here.

Applicants for the Marion B. Sewer Distinguished Scholarship for Undergraduates must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident at the time of application. Foreign nationals who are in the U.S. on a visa are not eligible.
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a full-time student at an accredited 2- or 4-year institution located in the U.S. or U.S. territories. 
  • Have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours (or equivalent).
  • Have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0-point scale.
  • Be an ASBMB member at the time of application. Undergraduates can join the ASBMB either directly or by joining an ASBMB Student Chapter at a participating institution.

Recipients of the Marion B. Sewer Distinguished Scholarship for Undergraduates are eligible to apply for a further scholarship in subsequent semesters/academic years.

2016 Application Deadline
Monday, May 16, 2016.

To Apply:

The deadline to apply for the 2016 scholarship has passed. We will contact all the applicants once the application reviews are complete. Please contact with any questions. 

Each applicant should prepare the following documents in PDF format:

  • Academic transcript.
  • Statement of research experience and career goals (maximum two pages).
  • Statement on significant educational, social, cultural, or economic barriers faced by the applicant in pursuit of their education. Please include a detailed description of the barrier(s) as well as any unique insights, perspectives or skills gained while tackling such challenge(s) (maximum two pages).
  • Statement demonstrating the applicant’s commitment to diversity in the past and their plan to increase diversity on campus and in the scientific community as a whole. For example, the applicant is encouraged to describe personal experiences, contributions and accomplishments that demonstrate their commitment to improving educational opportunities and/or quality of life for diverse groups (maximum two pages).

Appendix: Examples of Contributions to Diversity

The following are examples of ways a student could enhance diversity:
  • Student has successfully overcome significant educational, social, cultural or economic disadvantage or adversity in a way that would enable him or her to contribute to their campus community.
  • Student has unique circumstances, experiences, skills or talents that would benefit others and would enhance the diversity of their program or campus.
  • Student has a strong interest in undertaking research that would address issues of diversity as it relates to ethnic communities, social equity and justice or economic opportunity.
  • Student has shown a deep commitment to working with others, through such activities as mentoring or tutoring, to promote educational access to higher education for underserved groups.

Examples of experiences that indicate a student had to overcome disadvantage or adversity include:

  • Education in a school or college with limited facilities and educational opportunities.
  • Low family income or working full time in high school or as an undergraduate to support family and/or to pay for college.
  • Being the first member of immediate family to complete college.
  • Overcoming other social, cultural or economic barriers to pursue an education. The specific race, ethnicity, gender, or national origin of a nominee is not considered in selection, although barriers arising from 
these personal circumstances are considered.

You can read about the 2015 scholarship recipients in ASBMB Today 


  Any questions about the Marion B. Sewer Distinguished Scholarship for Undergraduates should be sent to