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Biochemistry Trainee Support Fund

Apply for Biochemistry's Trainee Support Assistance


We want to support the diversity of people succeeding in science, and we recognize that everyone has a different level of financial security. Therefore, an endowed fund has been created to help meet emergency financial needs of Biochemistry students and postdocs. These emergency funds are from personal donations by individuals in the department and friends of the department along with department matching funds. Applying for these funds is based on community trust, and the expectation that only trainees with serious and emergent financial needs will apply. To help ensure that funds will be available for future trainees, we ask that those who benefit from the fund consider donating an equivalent amount at some point after the emergency has resolved. The funds received may be taxable to the recipient, but are not subject to tax withholding.  It is the individual’s responsibility to determine if taxable and ensure proper handling.

Emergencies are defined as unmet individual basic needs of food, safety, healthcare and shelter, and critical needs to continue in school/research that are unmet by salary/stipend and after exhausting other possible resources, including the option of student loans.

Funding limitations

The Emergency Fund may be used to pay for financial hardship from an emergency, accident, or unplanned event. Funds can also be used to offset a recent emergent expense within the last 30 days. Examples include:

  • Emergency housing assistance
  • Medications and other costs related to medical care (self or family)
  • Safety needs (i.e. changing of locks; need for temporary housing)
  • Replacement of essential personal belongings due to fire, theft, or natural disaster
  • Travel costs related to death or illness in the immediate family
  • Costs related to childcare

The Emergency may not be used to pay for the following

  • Academic-related costs, including but not limited to:
  • Study abroad costs
  • Books
  • Conference/research travel 
  • Non-essential utilities (i.e. cable) or household costs not related to damage or theft
  • Parking tickets or other legal/criminal fines
  • Costs for entertainment, recreation, non-emergency travel, or other non-essential expenses


  • Current graduate student (enrolled in at least 3 credit hours) or postdocs (full-time) within the University of Utah Department of Biochemistry 
  • Demonstrate financial hardship from an emergency, accident, or unplanned event
  • Have considered other resources and found that other resources are insufficient or not available in a timely manner. Other resources include, but are not limited to:
  • FAFSA, if eligible (
  • Utah specific emergency funds (
  • We urge applicants to consider these sources for additional needs, beyond what can be provided rapidly by the emergency fund.

How applications are evaluated

  • Rotating committee of faculty and students that evaluates the application (1-2yr term). There will be one faculty member designated as the Chair of the committee. 
  • Determination will be based on these criteria:
  • Current student or postdoc within core or affiliated labs of the University of Utah Biochemistry Department
  • Priority given to students/postdocs whose continuation in UU Biochemistry may be at risk because of unexpected expenses 
  • Have submitted supporting information (receipts, bills, etc.) 
  • Have not previously received UofU or Biochemistry emergency funds 
  • Approximate time to evaluate requests = 3 full business days

Optional repayment

Although not required, if trainees are able to repay/replenish the funds at some point in the future, they can gift the funds through the Biochemistry gift-giving portal, and indicate “Biochemistry Emergency Trainee Fund” in the 'Special Instructions' tab.  This fund can only continue to help future Biochemistry trainees if continually replenished, so we do hope that recipients of this fund will consider paying it forward if they are able to in the future.

Apply for Assistance

Application Form