The Pelotonia Undergraduate Fellowship Program provides one-year research fellowships to the best and brightest Ohio State University undergraduate students who want to help cure cancer. Cancer is a complex disease, and curing it will take a multidisciplinary effort. So no matter what their field of study, from traditional scientific fields to fields like engineering, history and business, all Ohio State undergraduate students may apply.

Getting the brightest undergraduate students at Ohio State to start thinking about cancer is a primary emphasis of the undergraduate program. Undergraduate students try out different fields and make choices that will affect their careers. Many of these students can contribute greatly to the field of cancer research if they have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in this critical field. 

So far, 154 Pelotonia Undergraduate Fellows have been funded. These students have very diverse majors, from Molecular Genetics and Biology to Anthropology and World Literatures, and they work on varied projects that include investigating how different therapeutic agents improve natural killer cells’ ability to kill tumor cells, and measuring how social support may help improve the quality of lives of cancer survivors and their families.

Competition for Pelotonia Undergraduate Fellowships is fierce. Each year, approximately 80 undergraduate applications are submitted. Each application is critically reviewed by members of the Pelotonia Fellowship Committee. Because of the prestigious nature of these awards, many students have reported that receiving a fellowship has distinguished them from their peers when applying to and being accepted into medical school or PhD programs.

Most students have financial responsibilities and are not able to volunteer as research assistants in cancer research labs. For that reason, undergraduate fellows are paid a $12,000 annual stipend to work on their independent research projects. This generous stipend allows them to fulfill their financial responsibilities while gaining valuable experience in moving the field of cancer research forward and developing their own projects. During the summer, they are expected to put fulltime effort into their projects, and during the academic year, part-time effort. 

Up to four fellowships are dedicated to support diversity enhancement. We are looking for diversity not only in applicants, but also in projects. We are very motivated to fund diverse projects and strongly encourage students from all areas of study who are interested in cancer research to apply.


To be eligible, an applicant must:

  • Be an outstanding Ohio State undergraduate student
  • Propose a cancer-related project
  • Be willing to participate in Pelotonia

Applications for the next Undergraduate Pelotonia Fellowships will be due Spring 2016 and are scored on the following criteria:

  • Applicant strengths and research potential
  • Mentor/advisor qualifications and training record
  • Relevance of the project to cancer research

Read the full guidelines 

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