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Levinson Emerging Scholars Award

Click here to meet the 2023-24 Levinson Scholars!

The Levinson Emerging Scholars (LES) Program is designed to support promising students who work on creative and sophisticated research projects in biosciences and related fields under the guidance of UW faculty. Art and Rita Levinson generously support this program in an effort to recognize and support undergraduates who achieve a high level of motivation and independence in research.

Levinson Emerging Scholars will receive critical, flexible support to do independent research projects guided by faculty; this support may include funding for research supplies, transportation, or other reasonable project expenses and scholarship support. Once selected, Levinson Emerging Scholars are also eligible to apply for funding to present their work at a national professional research conference. Students applying for a LES award need to submit a project budget, approved by their faculty mentor. The Office of Undergraduate Research reviews all requested items and reserves the right to negotiate each award based on the proposed project and applicant needs.

Program Goals

The program is designed for undergraduates who have already participated in undergraduate research for at least three quarters and who are working beyond an introductory level in a project that requires creativity and advanced knowledge. Goals of the program include:

  • Fostering research independence
  • Promoting career clarification and development
  • Helping students build confidence and belonging in a research environment/discipline
  • Broadening participation in life sciences by offering competitive compensation
  • Helping students explore how to incorporate equity, inclusion, and justice in their research practice as they develop their identity as a researcher

These goals were crafted in response to gains associated with participation in undergraduate research, as documented in the following report:

National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). 2017. Undergraduate Research Experiences for STEM Students: Successes, Challenges, and Opportunities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.


The Levinson Emerging Scholars Program is funded through a generous gift from Art (UW ’72) and Rita Levinson. Art Levinson is the current CEO of Calico, chairman of Apple Inc., and former chairman and CEO of Genentech, one of the world’s leading biotech companies focusing on medical technologies. Research played a pivotal role in Art Levinson’s education and professional development and the Levinsons wanted to encourage talented undergraduates to pursue advanced bioscience and related research. Much as Art Levinson used the flexibility of independent studies to assume responsibility for designing his UW education, for students selected to be Levinson Emerging Scholars, involvement in research is the driving force of their education as they pursue independent projects of their own design supported by their mentors and other members of their lab or group.

Conducting research with faculty was an invaluable experience that defined the course of my future. Rita and I are pleased to extend similar opportunities for discovery to exceptional UW undergraduates.

Art Levinson

Levinson Emerging Scholars 10th Anniversary

In 2017, we celebrated ten years of the expansive and inspiring nature of undergraduate innovation in bioscience research. See what these remarkable scholars and researchers have accomplished!

Click here to meet the 2023-24 Levinson Scholars!