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Academic Programs / Biology Undergraduate Program / BIO-WRAP: Biology Work-study Research Assistant Program

BIO-WRAP: Biology Work-study Research Assistant Program

Work-Study Research Assistant Program (, or WRAP, is a program through which students may conduct research in a faculty member’s lab and be paid for the research through Federal Work Study (FWS). BIO-WRAP is the Biology Department’s version of WRAP. The Department of Biology will contribute to the student’s wages through the Ribble Endowment.

Eligibility Criteria

Students must meet the following criteria to be eligible for BIO-WRAP:

  1. Eligible for Federal Work Study (
  2. Biology major
  3. Research mentor in the Biology Department (

Finding a Position

Eligible students must look for positions in labs by going through the UK Jobs website ( Click on "Student Positions"; on the search page select "Federal Work-Study" under Job Category.

If you are interested in working in a particular lab and have discussed this with the faculty, you can request them to post to position to which you can then apply. The easiest way would be to reach out to Biology faculty and ask if you may do BIO-WRAP in their lab. 


If a student has found a position and discussed it with the research mentor, they must submit this contract: Once the student's contract is submitted, and autogenerated email will be sent to the research mentor to approve the students contract. The research mentor will also be sent a link to a Research Mentor Contract that they must complete. 


Once accepted in the lab, students and research mentors must work with the FWS Office to submit time sheets and other paperwork. 

At the end of the semester, students must submit a summary of the research conducted to the Department of Biology.

Partners on Campus:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is BIO-WRAP?

WRAP is a program through which students may conduct research in a faculty member’s lab and be paid for the research. BIO-WRAP is the Biology Department’s version of WRAP. 

Who is eligible?

  • Students who are eligible for Federal Work Study are eligible for WRAP.
  • Only Biology majors doing research in Biology faculty members’ labs are eligible for BIO-WRAP. 

How many students will be supported by the BIO-WRAP program each semester?

BIO-WRAP can support up to 10 students per academic year (Fall and Spring). At this point, only one student per lab will be supported through BIO-WRAP.

How much will students be paid? 

BIO-WRAP will pay students an average of $15/hour. There may be some flexibility in this based on the number of weeks a student plans to work, and the amount of federal work-study money the student is allowed for the remainder of the year. Individual students must discuss this with their research mentor and the FWS Office ( 

How many hours can students work?

This should be discussed with the FWS Office and the research mentor. In general, a student cannot work more than 29 hrs/wk when classes are in session, and more than 40 hrs/wk during Spring Break and Summer. 

What kind of work is eligible for funding from BIO-WRAP?

  • Research
  • Learning research techniques if student plans to do research in the same lab in the following semester

Work that is not research will not be funded through BIO-WRAP. But students could get FWS if the lab posts a job for it through FWS. 

Can Biology majors work with research mentors in other departments?

No. To receive funding through BIO-WRAP, research mentors must be faculty in the Biology Department. But students can work with Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) and FWS Office to see if there are other WRAP funds or FWS funds available to them. 

Can students earn Independent Research course credit for the research done under BIO-WRAP?

Yes. Students must complete the BIO 395 (, BIO 397 (, or BIO 398 ( contract separately. 

Could a student be in BIO-WRAP, register for BIO 395/397/398 for the same research, and win a Ribble Scholarship for the same research?

Yes. These are unrelated programs. BIO-WRAP pays wages. The Ribble Scholarship is an award. The only common factor is that funds for both programs come from the Ribble Endowment. 

Can students begin mid-semester?

Yes, if approved by the research mentor. But not if the student wants to also count the research for BIO 395 course credit. 

How do labs sign up to be part of this program?

  • Interested faculty should reach out to David Taylor (; in FWS Office to put out an ad. Faculty must work with David Taylor on everything. Faculty must do their own paperwork. 
  • The student must do their paperwork. 
  • Interested faculty must contact Kay Shenoy, Biology DUS ( and Ann Morris, Ribble Endowment Chair ( for details of the Ribble portion of the student's wages. 

More questions?

Contact Kay Shenoy, Biology DUS ( and Ann Morris, Ribble Endowment Chair (