Departmental Awards

Provost Doctoral Entrance Award for Women 

This entrance award, valued at $5000, is open to prospective female full-time doctoral students (Canadian citizen, permanent resident or student on study permit). Awardees must have first class academic standing, as well as an outstanding record of research accomplishments and/or references citing significant future potential in research. Students will be nominated by their proposed supervisor and/or the Associate Chair, Graduate Studies.

Additional details are available on the Graduate Studies website.

E. B. Dumbroff Award in Plant Sciences

This award was established by colleagues and former graduate students of Professor Erwin B. Dumbroff in recognition of his contribution to plant science research and his training of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. As a plant physiologist, he researched how plants cope with environmental stress, among other related interests. As a teacher, he developed one of the first courses in the biochemistry of natural products to be offered anywhere. The award will be given to a graduate student for research excellence in any aspect of plant science and will consist of a monetary amount and other forms of recognition, if appropriate. It will be awarded annually or less frequently (if there are no suitable candidates) as deemed appropriate by the Department of Biology Scholarship Committee. A nomination letter from the student's supervisor(s) should outline the outstanding nature of the research including descriptions of their research contributions. This letter is due by the second Friday in March to the Biology Graduate Office.


  • 2016 Lauren MacDonald
  • 2009 Lynn Richardson
  • 2008 Biljana Todorovic
  • 2006 Mark Held
  • 2004 Troina B. Shea
  • 2003 Wenbo Ma
  • 2002 Cheryl Patten
  • 2002 Ewa Madey
  • 2001 Donna Penrose
  • 2000 Chenhong Zhang

Graduate Seminar award


  • 2016 Brenda Lee, Nelson Zabel
  • 2015 Adam Kraft, Evelyn Worthington, Laura Sauder, Marcie Chaudet
  • 2014 Saad Khan, Manlong Xu (Vision Science), Jessica Mendoza
  • 2013 Maya D' Alessio, Laura Beecraft, Sara Coyotzi Alcaraz, Kathy Lam, Stacey Chong (Vision Science)
  • 2012 Marcel Pinheiro, Kallie Shires
  • 2011 Joel Harrison, Jerry White
  • 2010 Tara Moore, Nilo Sinnatamby
  • 2009 Antonia Facciulo, Aaron Khalid, Rita Maria Lopez Laphitz, Stephanie McMillan
  • 2008 Andrew Doxey, Heather Loomer, Amanda Poste
  • 2007 Teddy Ozersky, Louise Belanger, Pablo Conejeros
  • 2006 Sara Ross, Sairah Malkin
  • 2005 Alice Banh, Niloshini Sinnatamby
  • 2004 Sarah Primeau, Peter Stathopulos
  • 2003 Vivian Dayeh, Greg Perry
  • 2002 Wenbo Ma, Wendy Van Loon
  • 2001 Laura Diener, Julie Gauley
  • 2000 Jeffrey Naylor, Cheryl Patten
  • 1999 John Brubacher, Jonathan Van Hamme
  • 1998 Leo Luong, Richard Doucett
  • 1997 Yvonne Stevens, Craig Mandato
  • 1996 Stephen Peake, Kristin Schirmer
  • 1995 Patrick Goegan, Karin Guiguer
  • 1994 Paul Lomic, John Marshall
  • 1993 Nicholas Ohan, John Klironomos
  • 1992 Julie Stauffer, Judith West, Sharon Regan, Paul Sibley
  • 1991 Alka Seoni, Marcela Diaz-Diaz, Todd Williams, Mark Dekeyser, Lyle Whyte, Joanne Parrott, Scott McKinley
  • 1990 Mark McMaster, Patrick Krone
  • 1989 Peter Premdas, Robert Winning
  • 1988 Sanjay Thakur, Zinabu Gebre-Mariam
  • 1987 Gordon Whitney, Margaret Gruber
  • 1986 Nancy J. Adams, David P. Klein

Dr. Noel Hynes Memorial Graduate Scholarship

A scholarship valued at $2,000 will be awarded annually to a full-time graduate student enrolled in the department of Biology in the Faculty of Science, working in the area of ecology.  Preference will be given to students who do not hold another major award.  This fund is made possible by the family and friends of Dr. Noel Hynes, first permanent Chair of the Department of Biology.


  • 2017 Jessica Leung, Jackson Tsuji
  • 2015 Brianne Kelly, Adam Kraft
  • 2013 Philip Harrison
  • 2012 Heather Dixon
  • 2011 Puntipar Sonthiphand
  • 2010 Alyssa Murdoch

Ram and Lekha Tumkur award

This $1,000 scholarship has been established by Dr. and Mrs. Nagraj Tumkur in memory of their children Rammonhan and Chitralekha, who lost their lives in Air India flight 182 that crashed in June 1985 with no survivors. It is awarded annually for postgraduate study leading to a MSc degree in any field of biology and is based on both scholarship and financial need. Applications are due in October each year. 


  • 2015 Cheryl Soulliere
  • 2014 Alexandra Crichton, Robert Stephens
  • 2013 Katherine Kennedy, Brent Seuradge
  • 2012 Maya D'Alessio
  • 2011 Natasha Szabolcs
  • 2010 Nguyen Vo
  • 2009 Li Chen 
  • 2008 Stephanie Lyons
  • 2007 Shan Shan Wu
  • 2006 Lynn Richardson
  • 2005 Ishari Waduwara
  • 2004 Shathi Eshaque
  • 2003 Suchita Nath
  • 2002 Marsela Braun
  • 2001 Wendy Van Loon
  • 2000 Julie Gauley
  • 1999 Katarina D. M. Pintar
  • 1998 Scott N. Higgins
  • 1997 Michael S. Allen
  • 1996 Yvonne Y. Stevens
  • 1995 Kimberly T. Wilson
  • 1994 Yiguang Zhong
  • 1993 M. Jane R. Almond
  • 1992 Rong Xiao
  • 1991 Xiao Dong Huang
  • 1990 Xiu Mei Wu
  • 1989 David L. Boone
  • 1988 David Turnbull
  • 1987 Sanjay Thakur
  • 1986 Philip D. Taylor
  • 1985 Chin J. Goh

Waterloo Pioneers of Microbiology Award

The Waterloo Pioneers of Microbiology Award was established to honour the pioneering faculty members (Drs. Kempton, Inniss, Mayfield) who established microbiology as a strength at the University of Waterloo and, on a yearly basis, will recognize research strength in the young “Pioneers of Microbiology” among our incoming departmental graduate students. The intent of this award is to look beyond transcripts and, by nomination, honour those students with outstanding research potential and scientific creativity. The award fills a unique niche because some of these talented young scientists may be overlooked during the conventional scholarship and award selection processes.
Nominations for the Waterloo Pioneers of Microbiology Award recipient are accepted by the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies until the last working day of November each year; the award recipients are announced in January.


  • 2015 Mike Mansfield
  • 2014 Hina Bandukwala

Dean of Science Award – Biology

The Dean of Science award is given in recognition of outstanding performance in the Master of Science program. One certificate will normally be awarded annually to a master's student from the Department of Biology in recognition of creative research as presented in the student's thesis.


  • 2016 Heather Polan
  • 2015 Lilian Tran
  • 2014 Daiana Duca
  • 2013 Shannon E. Van der Velden
  • 2012 Jerry White
  • 2011 Carolyn Brown
  • 2010 Stephanie McMillan 
  • 2009 Lynn Richardson
  • 2008 Marcel Pinheiro
  • 2007 Jennifer L. Kormos
  • 2006 Lisa J. Nordin
  • 2005 Gregory M. Silsbe
  • 2004 David C. Depew
  • 2003 Alice Banh (Vision Science and Biology)
  • 2003 Janis Lynn Zimmer
  • 2002 Jeffrey William Semple
  • 2001 Steven Bruce Wiseman
  • 1998 Yvonne Yanor Steven
  • 1998 Sansun Yeh
  • 1997 Kenneth E. Wilson
  • 1996 Patrick Leslie Nathan Goegan
  • 1995 Daniel R. Campbell
  • 1994 Blanche Elizabeth McKenzie
  • 1993 Yvonne Asta Devantier
  • 1992 Marrela Díaz Díaz
  • 1991 Trevor Glenn Friesen
  • 1990 George Blake Steels
  • 1989 Yvona Sykora

W. B. Pearson Medal

This medal was created to honour Professor W.B. Pearson in recognition of his contribution to the University of Waterloo and to Canada as a research scientist and teacher. One medal is awarded annually to a PhD student from the Department of Biology in recognition of creative research as presented in the student's thesis.


  • 2016 Lauren MacDonald
  • 2015 Nguyen Tran Khoi Vo
  • 2014 Lital Sever
  • 2013 Shiu Cheung (Terry) Lung
  • 2012 Jennifer Ings
  • 2011 Zhenyu Cheng
  • 2010 Andrew C. Doxey 
  • 2009 Peter Njuru
  • 2008 Sairah Malkin
  • 2007 Stephanie DeWitt-Orr
  • 2006 Scott Neil Higgins
  • 2005 Aluru Neelakanteswar
  • 2004 Adrienne Jennifer Bartlett
  • 2003 Vladimir Bantseev (Vision Science and Biology)
  • 2003 Wenbo Ma
  • 2002 Ewa Madey
  • 2002 Linda M. Campbell
  • 2001 Jian-Shen Zhao
  • 2000 Brendan James McConkey
  • 1999 Sharon Tsau-Yuen Wong (Vision Science and Biology)
  • 1999 Jennifer Gabriele Winter
  • 1998 Kristin Schirmer
  • 1997 Paul Gregory Welsh
  • 1996 Janine H. Clemons
  • 1995 John Klironomos
  • 1994 Judith Ann West (Vision Science and Biology)
  • 1994 Paul Kevin Sibley
  • 1993 Robert Scott McKinley
  • 1992 Wichien Yongmanitchai
  • 1991 Patricia H. Krone
  • 1990 Seifu Seyoum
  • 1989 Sibdas Ghosh
  • 1988 Richard David Mosser
  • 1987 Richard A. Cunjak
  • 1986 Robert Landis Hare
  • 1985 Suha Jabaji-Hare
  • 1984 Mark Anthony Walker
  • 1983 Paul Brian Hamilton

University of Waterloo scholarships

  • Must have a minimum average of 80% in graduate coursework.
  • Must not have any INC in courses.
  • Must not be past program time limits
  • Must be registered as a “Full-time” student in good standing
  • Not available to students who hold NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada), Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS) or other major scholarships.
  • There is no application process; all students who meet the eligibilty requirements are considered in Fall and Winter terms.

Research Travel Assistantship awards

The Dean of Graduate Studies has a small amount of money to subsidize the travel costs of graduate students presenting papers at scientific meetings. Students may apply once per fiscal year. Forms are available on the Graduate Studies website and should be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator before the trip. This is only a subsidy, so the student should consult his/her supervisor first to ascertain whether he/she is willing to pay some of the travel expense. Proof that the student’s abstract has been accepted is required as well as all original travel receipts.