Mary Gates Research Scholarship Guide: Unlocking Opportunities for Undergraduates

The pursuit of knowledge and academic advancement is a cornerstone of higher education, and opportunities such as the Mary Gates Research Scholarship play a pivotal role in shaping the future of undergraduate students. Offered at the University of Washington, this scholarship is designed to financially empower students who are embarking on research endeavours. By providing a platform for undergraduates to collaborate with faculty and delve into research guided by scholarly mentors, the program not only enhances their educational experience but also contributes to their personal and professional growth.


Understanding the nuances of the Mary Gates Research Scholarship is crucial for aspirants who are eager to leverage this opportunity. The application process includes a comprehensive evaluation of the candidate’s commitment to their chosen field, academic merit, and potential to contribute to the university’s research community. Successful applicants receive monetary support, enabling them to focus on their research without the burden of financial constraints. As a testament to the scholarship’s impact, it has ushered many past recipients into successful research roles, fostering leadership and facilitating community engagement on and off campus.

Key Takeaways

  • The Mary Gates Research Scholarship advances academic inquiry at the University of Washington.
  • Undergraduate students receive mentorship and financial aid to pursue research.
  • The application process is inclusive, supporting a diverse range of research interests.

Overview of Mary Gates Scholarships

The Mary Gates Endowment offers a unique opportunity for University of Washington undergraduates through its scholarship programs. These scholarships are designed to embolden students in both leadership and research capacities, offering them a platform to enhance their academic and professional skills.

Research Scholarships

Research Scholarships are crafted to provide financial support to undergraduates who are actively involved in research projects under faculty guidance. This research scholarship enables students to delve into their academic interests deeply, fostering an environment for innovation and critical thinking.

  • Award Amount: $5,000 distributed over two quarters
  • Engagement: Research guided by faculty

Leadership Scholarships

On the other hand, Leadership Scholarships encourage students to develop and showcase their leadership abilities. This facet of the funding supports scholars eager to tackle community or campus projects that demonstrate initiative and a commitment to leadership.

  • Award Amount: Up to $5,000
  • Engagement: Development of leadership skills through projects

Each scholarship category aims to contribute significantly to the personal growth and academic prowess of its recipients. The Mary Gates Endowment is a reflection of the University of Washington’s dedication to upholding a community of emerging scholars and leaders. Through these scholarships, students establish a strong foundation for themselves as independent learners and community contributors.

Eligibility Criteria

The Mary Gates Research Scholarship is designed to support University of Washington undergraduate students who are eager to engage in research activities. Specific eligibility requirements must be met for a student to qualify for this financial assistance.

Academic Standing

University of Washington undergraduate students must be matriculated and enrolled full-time to be eligible. Full-time enrollment is defined as a minimum of 12 credits during the academic year. In the summer, only one credit is required. The scholarship encourages applicants from all majors, demonstrating a commitment to reaching students across diverse academic disciplines.

Residency Status

Applicants must be registered for courses at the UW Bothell, Seattle, or Tacoma campus. Residency status includes a wide range of students such as international students, undocumented students, and those with various other residency statuses. This inclusivity ensures that a diverse pool of students has the opportunity to benefit from the scholarship program and contribute to the university’s research community.

Application Process

To successfully navigate the Mary Gates Research Scholarship, applicants should attend information sessions, schedule advising appointments, and understand the proposal submission requirements. These steps are essential to ensure a well-prepared application by the deadline.

Information Sessions

Information sessions are a crucial first step for potential applicants. They offer detailed insights into the scholarship application, including expectations and benefits. It is recommended that students RSVP for an information session early as they provide guidance on how to craft a competitive application. These sessions set the stage for what applicants should prepare for.

Advising Appointments

Following the information session, applicants are encouraged to schedule advising appointments. These one-on-one meetings allow students to ask specific questions about their application and receive personalized feedback on their research proposals. This tailored advice is aimed at strengthening their submission and aligning it with the scholarship’s criteria.

Proposal Submission

The proposal submission is the culmination of the application process. Applicants must submit their research proposals by the application deadline, which is prominently listed on the scholarship’s website. It is beneficial to attend an application workshop to refine the proposal before the final submission. The importance of the proposal cannot be overstressed—it is a critical component that demonstrates the applicant’s research plans and potential contribution.

Financial Details

The Mary Gates Research Scholarship provides substantial financial support for students engaging in research. These funds significantly contribute to the recipient’s educational expenses.

Award Distribution

The scholarship funds are disbursed to successful applicants in two equal installments. Recipients will see the scholarship funds distributed to their university accounts, receiving the first installment at the beginning of the term and the second halfway through the academic year.

Award Amounts

Each scholarship totals $5,000, which is allocated over two academic quarters. Successful applicants receive $2,500 per quarter, thus aiding in managing their financial needs while they focus on their research. This consistent funding over the two quarters equips scholars with the means to effectively plan their research activities.

Faculty and Mentorship


In the realm of the Mary Gates Research Scholarship, the roles of faculty and their mentorship are pivotal for the undergraduate students’ scholarly growth. Faculty members are instrumental in guiding scholars through their research endeavors, providing expertise, support, and critical academic oversight.

Finding a Mentor

Students seeking to apply for the Mary Gates Research Scholarship must first secure a faculty mentor. The process of finding a mentor begins with identifying faculty whose research interests align with the student’s academic and professional goals. Resources such as the University of Washington faculty directory can serve as a starting point. Students are encouraged to reach out through email or office hours to discuss potential mentorship and outline their research interests.

  1. Review faculty profiles for research alignment
  2. Contact potential mentors to discuss interest and fit
  3. Prepare a clear outline of research goals for initial meetings

Role of Faculty

Once a mentor-mentee relationship is established, the role of faculty transitions to guiding the student through the research process. The mentorship includes assistance in developing research methodology, offering critical feedback, and possibly aiding in authoring a compelling letter of recommendation. Faculty mentors are expected to meet with their mentees regularly to ensure that the research is on course and to help address any emerging challenges. The interaction culminates with the mentee presenting their findings, often at events like the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, where faculty support and attendance reinforce their commitment to mentorship.

  • Oversight: Ensure adherence to research protocols and timelines
  • Feedback: Provide constructive criticism and academic guidance
  • Support: Assist in preparation for research presentations
  • Advocacy: Write a letter of recommendation if applicable, considering deadlines

The faculty mentor’s involvement is a cornerstone of the Mary Gates Research Scholarship, offering students an invaluable opportunity to learn directly from experts in their respective fields.

Research Opportunities

The Mary Gates Research Scholarship offers a platform for undergraduate students to advance their educational journey through meaningful research projects. Standing at the intersection of exploration and innovation, these scholarships foster the development of independent research skills across a broad spectrum of disciplines.

Project Development

The process of project development is a critical step in the pursuit of a Mary Gates Research Scholarship. A well-crafted research project begins with a clear and concise description of the project and its goals. Applicants are encouraged to articulate their vision for their research, demonstrating the strides they aim to make within their chosen field. This outline not only propels the project forward but also serves as a roadmap guiding the research activities.

Research Areas

The scholarship embraces a wide array of research areas, including but not limited to, the sciences, social sciences, humanities, business, and arts. Whether an applicant is exploring the intricacies of molecular biology or dissecting the complexities of economic theory, the endowment provides financial backing and resources. This multidisciplinary approach ensures that each student’s endeavor is more than just an academic exercise—it becomes a contribution to their field and a stepping stone to their future career.

Leadership and Community


The Mary Gates Leadership Scholarships offer a pathway for students at the University of Washington to cultivate leadership skills while actively engaging with their communities. This transformation is achieved by supporting leadership development and fostering meaningful community engagement.

Leadership Development

The scholarship emphasizes nurturing leadership development skills through practical experiences. Undergraduate students receive mentorship and engage in activities that challenge and broaden their understanding of effective leadership. They are encouraged to take on projects or activities that not only develop their leadership ability but also have a lasting impact on their community.

  • Critical Skills: Scholars develop vital leadership qualities such as decision-making, communication, and strategic thinking.
  • Mentor Guidance: Experienced mentors provide guidance, facilitating personal growth and professional development.

Community Engagement

The engagement with the community aspect is designed to encourage scholars to apply their leadership in real-world contexts. Mary Gates scholars work on projects that can create positive change and cultivate a new generation of community leaders.

  • Outreach: Students are urged to identify community needs and address them through their scholarship-supported activities.
  • Collaboration: Scholars often collaborate with community groups, leveraging their leadership skills to foster partnerships and community well-being.

By intertwining leadership development with community engagement, the Mary Gates Leadership Scholarship prepares students to step into roles as empowered leaders who can make a tangible difference in their communities.

Program Support


The Mary Gates Research Scholarship provides comprehensive support to University of Washington undergraduates throughout their research journey. This includes personalized advising and a range of resources designed to foster academic growth.

Advising Services

Advising is a pivotal component of the Mary Gates Research Scholarship. Students can schedule advising appointments to receive guidance tailored to their research interests and academic goals. These one-on-one sessions with experienced advisors aid in refining research proposals, clarifying the scholarship’s objectives, and navigating the application process.

Resources and Workshops

Scholars benefit from various resources and workshops aimed at enhancing their research skills and knowledge. Application workshops are particularly invaluable, providing students with clear strategies to craft compelling scholarship applications. The workshops include sessions on:

  • Developing a research question
  • Establishing a methodology
  • Budget planning for the project

The program’s resources are continually updated to ensure they meet the needs of student researchers, equipping them with the tools necessary for success.

Timeline and Deadlines

The Mary Gates Research Scholarship is structured around the University of Washington’s academic calendar, paving a clear path for applicants to plan and prepare their submissions accordingly.

Annual Schedule

Autumn Quarter: Applications for the Mary Gates Research Scholarship typically open early in the Autumn Quarter. This period is crucial for students to start considering research topics and seeking faculty mentorship.

Winter Quarter: The second cycle of applications often begins in the Winter Quarter, giving students another opportunity to apply if they missed the Autumn Quarter deadline or wish to refine their proposals.

Summer Quarter: Only one credit is required for full-time registration during the Summer Quarter for scholarship eligibility.

Graduating Seniors should note that they must be registered full-time during the award quarter.

Important Dates

  • Application Opening: The scholarship application process kicks off with the start of the Autumn Quarter.
  • Information Sessions: Scheduled throughout the application period, these sessions provide invaluable guidance for applicants.
  • Application Deadline: It usually falls in mid-October for Autumn Quarter and mid-January for Winter Quarter.
  • Letters of Recommendation Deadline: These are typically due shortly after the application deadline.
  • Award Notification: Applicants can expect to be notified of the committee’s decision before the end of each respective quarter.

Applicants are encouraged to visit the Mary Gates Endowment website for the most current dates and deadlines and to ensure compliance with all application requirements.

Experiences and Testimonials


The Mary Gates Research Scholarship has a storied impact on students at the University of Washington, documented through numerous testimonials and recipient reports. These narratives showcase the scholarship’s role in fostering research skills and professional growth.

Previous Recipients

  • Emma Johnson: Majoring in Biochemistry, Emma explored novel cancer treatments, finding that the scholarship allowed her to deepen her research skills and professional network.
  • Liam Smith: A Political Science major, Liam credits the scholarship with enhancing his understanding of policy analysis, asserting its importance in his academic development.

Impact Statements

  • Research Development: Rachel Patel, a scholarship reviewer, noted the profound development in the methodology and critical thinking abilities of scholarship recipients.
  • Understanding the Field: Scholarship recipients often express a significant increase in their understanding of their chosen field, underscored by contributions to their respective academic communities.

Additional Opportunities


The Mary Gates Research Scholarship provides a platform for University of Washington students to expand their educational horizons beyond traditional coursework. Through additional opportunities such as internships and initiatives, as well as continued learning programs, students from freshmen to seniors can leverage their experience for future success.

Internships and Initiatives

Internship programs enable students at every level—from freshman to senior—to apply their academic learning in real-world settings. These experiences often come with mentorship opportunities that offer guidance and critical industry insights.

  • Freshman & Sophomore: Early exposure to research and professional environments through summer internships.
  • Junior & Senior: Engagement with advanced projects, often leading to start-up initiatives or influential research roles.

Continued Learning

For independent learners, the journey doesn’t stop with the end of the scholarship. Through workshops, seminars, and additional coursework, students can continue to grow academically.

  • Ongoing Mentorship: Post-scholarship support to help bridge the gap between academia and personal career goals.
  • Summer Programs: Structured for those seeking to maximize their break period with intensive learning or research.

By participating in these additional opportunities, students refine their skills, expand their networks, and enhance their readiness for post-graduate challenges.

Contact and Support

For personalized guidance and support in the Mary Gates Research Scholarship application process, the Mary Gates Endowment offers various touchpoints and help from experienced staff. They ensure each candidate receives the necessary assistance to form compelling proposals that align with their educational and learning goals.


Connect with Us

To initiate contact and ask general questions about the Mary Gates Research Scholarship, interested parties can visit Mary Gates Hall for in-person inquiries. For immediate communication, they are encouraged to call the dedicated line at 206-616-3925. The Mary Gates Endowment for Students is committed to helping undergraduates achieve their educational aspirations.

Staff Assistance

Applicants seeking advice on their scholarship proposals can reach out to the staff to discuss their commitment to research and how it integrates with their learning goals. The staff provides substantial feedback and suggestions for strengthening the scholarship applications. Their expertise can help candidates articulate their goals and objectives effectively.

Campus-specific Information


The Mary Gates Research Scholarship provides valuable research opportunities across the University of Washington’s multiple campuses. Each campus offers a distinct environment for research, aligning with the unique community and academic focus they serve.

UW Bothell

At UW Bothell, students can apply for the Mary Gates Research Scholarship to support their involvement in faculty-guided research. This covers a range of disciplines and emphasizes a hands-on approach in line with the campus’s commitment to community engagement and interdisciplinary studies.

UW Tacoma

UW Tacoma encourages its undergraduates to pursue the Mary Gates Research Scholarship, focusing on urban-serving research that resonates with the campus’s ethos. Research projects here often reflect the institution’s mission to address and engage with pressing regional issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Mary Gates Research Scholarship is a prestigious opportunity for University of Washington undergraduates seeking to engage in research activities across various disciplines. Here are answers to some common queries applicants might have.

What are the eligibility criteria for the Mary Gates Research Scholarship?

To be eligible for the Mary Gates Research Scholarship, students must be enrolled at the University of Washington. They should maintain undergraduate status throughout the duration of the scholarship and engage in research under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

What kind of projects are typically funded by the Mary Gates Research Scholarship?

The scholarship supports a wide range of projects, including those in the social sciences, arts, and humanities. Emphasis is placed on the student’s active role in research and the potential impact of their work.

How does one apply for the Mary Gates Research Scholarship, and what are the deadlines?

Applicants must submit a research plan and a letter of recommendation, typically by the deadlines in Autumn Quarter and once in Winter Quarter. It is important to plan ahead, as the application process includes several steps that require careful attention.

What are the requirements for maintaining the Mary Gates Research Scholarship once awarded?

Recipients are required to continue their research, present findings at the Undergraduate Research Symposium, and submit a final report. Additionally, they must complete the award in two quarters with the support of their faculty mentor.

Can previous recipients of the Mary Gates Research Scholarship apply again?

Yes, former applicants, including those who were unsuccessful, are encouraged to reapply. They should demonstrate how their current research proposal has evolved from their previous application.

What are some tips for crafting a successful application for the Mary Gates Research Scholarship?

A successful application should present a clear research question, showcase the applicant’s involvement and contribution to the research, and include strong support from a faculty mentor. Applicants should also highlight how the scholarship will contribute to their academic and career goals.

Helpful Resources

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