Department Awards

The IB department offers commencement awards to celebrate the achievements of IB undergraduates, in addition to a research fellowship to support ongoing student-led research projects.

Commencement Awards

Each year, the IB department recognizes the achievements of outstanding IB undergraduates. Students are generally nominated for an award by an IB faculty member and/or their research sponsor. Click here to download the nomination form for 2021, due April 29, 2021. The following awards include a certificate presented to the student at the annual IB Commencement Ceremony and a small monetary prize. Previous winners of the awards can be found here.


The Departmental Citation represents the highest achievement each year by a graduating senior in the IB Department. Nominees must be graduating in that academic year (fall, spring, summer). This award is given to a single student who epitomizes accomplishments in research and scholarship in the IB department, and who has achieved at least a GPA of 3.5. The standards applied to Departmental Citations nominees are maintained by the campus Committee on Prizes:

  1. Only one nominee shall be selected by each Department in order that the prestige of the Departmental Citation may be maintained.
  2. Most recipients will no doubt be majors in the department, but the recipient need not be a major if they have done a substantial amount of work in the department and the department wishes to honor him or her in this way. Additionally, recipients of the Departmental Citation need not be in senior standing.
  3. Primarily, the Citation should indicate excellence in the Departmental field of study. Evidence of distinction in work done outside the Department may be taken into account, but it should not have decisive weight.
  4. Other activity relating to the work of the Department, such as writing, experimentation, or creative work in the field should receive due consideration.
  5. The foregoing list is not meant to be comprehensive. A Department may take into account any qualities or attainments which it finds relevant.
  6. In no case should a Departmental Citation be awarded unless a grade-point average of 3.5 in the Department has been maintained.

Relationship of the Citation to Other Awards: Although there are other awards which, in their particular spheres, have features in common with the Departmental Citation, there are few cases of extensive overlapping. Indeed, there is no reason why one person cannot win both this award and another one, if warranted.


This award honors the strong traditions of the Berkeley campus in natural history.  The student who wins this award (more than one can be given) should have a strong interest and achievement of learning, including research, in some aspect of natural history and organismal biology in the broad sense.  They need not have done research specifically in any of our natural history museums, but must be experienced in organismal biology, including field work, as opposed to purely theoretical modeling or lab experience, although these are welcome components of broader work.


Franklin M. Henry was a Professor of Physical Education and Human Biodynamics at UC Berkeley for 40 years.  He made important contributions to the fields of human cognition, motor control, and exercise endurance.  His legacy at the University offers recognition to a talented undergraduate in human performance & health research. 

The student who wins this award (more than one can be given) should have a strong interest and achievement of learning, including research, in some aspect of physiology, cognition, or biodynamics. 


Marian Diamond is a leading researcher in brain anatomy and cognition, and a professor at Berkeley in the departments of Anatomy and Integrative Biology for almost 50 years.  Her greatest research achievements have been in the effects of environment on brain development, and in the effects of aging on the brain.  But she is universally known for her devotion to teaching and to her students.  She was named both Professor of the Year nationally and California Alumna of the Year.  This award honors Dr. Diamond as a role model and a leader in both research and teaching. 

The student who wins this award (more than one can be given) should have a strong academic record, but most importantly should demonstrate achievements in community leadership and/or teaching.


The student who wins this award (more than one can be given) should have a strong academic record and exceptional research performance in the areas of herpetology and zoology. Participation in the natural history museums, through research or coursework, is not a requirement for this award, but the student should show strong interest and achievement in herpetology (primarily) and/or zoology (secondarily).

Research Fellowship


The Chang-Graham Award is granted to one or more Integrative Biology undergraduates conducting field-based ecological research. Samantha Chang-Graham, the student for whom this award is named, conducted her IB honors thesis, "Spatial Epiphytization of Cladophora glomerata as a Timescale of Diatom Colonization," under the direction of Professor Mary Power. The Chang-Graham Award is temporarily on hold; the information below is from the 2019 cycle. Two awards of up to $3,400 are available. Questions should be emailed to  Online Application. Faculty sponsorship form.

Eligibility and Rules

  • Applicant must be an IB major in good standing (2.0 UC, major, and upper-division major GPAs), either enrolled in the current term or be a continuing student enrolling in the following term.
  • An IB faculty member must sponsor the proposed research project. If the principal investigator is not an IB faculty member, one must co-sign as a research sponsor.
  • Biological field research is required, but not restricted to a particular habitat.
  • Students may only receive this fellowship once per calendar year, unless no other applications are received.
  • This fellowship provides funds to help cover research-related costs including, but not limited to, research supply costs, travel to/from field sites, sampling permit application fees, and sequencing costs. The funds are not to be used for personal travel or materials and are not intended as a stipend.
  • All awardees are required to submit a final report and short video outlining their research project and experience. These are due on the last day of RRR week for awarded term (or the last day of Summer Session E).

How to Apply

In addition to this online application form, please prepare and submit as one PDF:

  • 1-2 page research proposal
  • Proposed budget including itemized supply costs, required travel and permits, core facility and shared service usage, etc.
  • CV
  • Signed faculty sponsorship form (PDF available here)

The overview of proposed research should include:

  • Your name
  • Title and objectives for the project
  • Related work and background information including if any of it resulted from your previous work
  • Methods and techniques to be used including if any are to be developed as part of this project
  • Location(s) of the project
  • Names of any collaborators (e.g., other researchers, labs, or institutions)
  • If the project is to be undertaken by a team, describe your individual role and how it relates to the project as a whole

Proposals should not exceed two pages, excluding references and budget (12 point font minimum).