Znaty and Merck Prizes for Research by Undergraduates in Biological Engineering

We are pleased to announce the annual Znaty and Merck Prizes for Research by Undergraduates in Biological Engineering.

The prize is open to seniors in Course 20 who have engaged in a long-term research effort (typically at least one year).

We will select one Znaty and one Merck Prize winner.  Awardees of each prize will recieve $500 and have their names engraved on a plaque displayed outside the BE Academic Office. 

To Apply:

Submit a short report describing a single research project conducted after you enrolled at MIT.

Applicants will be judged based on:

  1. Significance, originality, and potential for impact of their research accomplishments; and
  2. Clarity and technical accuracy of the written application.


Submissions must be received by 11:59pm on Friday, May 17, 2019.

Submission Rules:

1. Submit a two-page report, single spaced and including at least one figure, describing the most interesting finding from your research.  Use a 12-point font and one-inch margins. The two page limit includes figures.

2. Submit a half-page description of your role in the project, and indicate the lab in which the research was conducted. List others who participated in the research, specifying their contributions.

3. Ask the principal investigator of the lab to submit a letter of recommendation to znaty-merck_research_prize@mit.edu.

4. Submissions are expected to be the primary written work of the applicant, and should not be written or collaboratively revised with others involved in the research.  For example, submitting the abstract from a publication with multiple authors will disqualify the applicant from further consideration.

5. Submission of one application will make you eligible for consideration for both prizes.  However, an individual can only win one prize.

6. Applications will be reviewed by a prize selection committee and winners will be announced about one week after the submission deadline.

Note:  We strongly encourage you to seek help from the BE Communication Lab prior to submitting your application (http://mitcommlab.mit.edu/be)

Frequently asked questions:

Q: How do I submit my application?

A: There are two steps:

  1. Send a single PDF file including everything except the letter of recommendation to znaty-merck_research_prize@mit.edu by 11:59pm on Friday, May 17, 2019.  
  2. Request that the principal investigator of the lab in which you did your research submit a letter of recommendation to the same address by the same deadline. 

Q: Can I apply if I did my research outside of BE?

A: Yes, but the research must fall within the scope of biological engineering as defined by our department. 

Q: I’m a major in course XYZ, but I minor in BME.  Am I eligible? 

A: Unfortunately, no.

Q: I worked in several different labs at MIT.  Can I submit one report describing all of the projects?

A: Under most circumstances, the answer is no.  However, if the research was part of single project among collaborating labs, then you may. 

Q: Can I submit more than one application, each one describing a different research project?

A: No. 

Q: Can I submit a project I did while on leave from MIT?

A: Yes. 

Q: Can I submit a project I did while in high school?

A: No. 

Q: I’ve only been working in a lab for a few months, but I have really great results.  Can I still apply?

A: While the prize is designed for long-term research, we would still welcome your application. 

Q: Can I use the text of a paper/poster/abstract that my lab submitted based on my work?

A: Only if you were the sole author of the paper/poster/abstract.  Submissions consisting of part or all of a publication with multiple authors will be disqualified.


Click here to see past recipients of the Znaty-Merck Prize.