Department of Biological Sciences

A program of the WIU Department of Biological Sciences that provides students with unique research and academic experiences to help them become tomorrow's leaders.


There are three core areas of RISE:

kidsInquiry-based learning
  • Develop a hands-on research project with one of our faculty mentors.
  • Experience field work, internships, and outdoor classrooms at our field station.
  • Participate in our seminar program and local and visiting speakers.
Academic support and learning community
  • Apply for scholarships.
  • Take advantage of academic advising sessions.
  • Get support for your classes at the Biology Assistance Center (BAC).
  • Learn more about our programs.
  • Participate in RISE social activities.
Learning and professional development
  • Present your research at local or national meetings.
  • Learn how to be a leader in your community.
  • Become a member of our biology student associations and clubs.
  • Participate in our workshops and special courses.

What are the benefits of RISE?

  • Provides a new dimension to your college experience at WIU!
  • Recognition by the Department and the College at the Biology Research Symposium (must be part of RISE for at least one year) 
  • Special scholarships and grant opportunities.
  • Preparation for graduate and professional school.
  • Networking opportunities for jobs.


To be a RISE student, you need to: 

  • love and enjoy science!
  • have a 2.8 minimum GPA.
  • work with a faculty member on a research project.
  • present your research at the Biology Research Symposium, WIU Thomas E. Helm Undergraduate Research Day or regional, national, and international meetings.
  • attend department seminars.
  • attend RISE meetings once a month.

RISE Student Handbook