Phi Sigma

Who we are

Phi Sigma is a national society that was founded in March 1915 at Ohio State University to promote academic achievement and research in the biological sciences. There are currently 32 active chapters with approximately 50,000 members. Phi Sigma is the only nationally recognized honor society for both undergraduates and graduates in Biological Sciences. On the campus of Illinois State University the Phi Sigma Biological Science Honors Society is represented by the Beta Lambda Chapter (a registered student organization) which was founded in 1966. Phi Sigma is devoted to the promotion of scholarship and research in the Biological Sciences. To this end the Beta Lambda Chapter of Phi Sigma works closely with the School of Biological Science and is a sponsor of the weekly school seminar series, and the annual research symposium. The Beta Lambda Chapter of Phi Sigma also holds an annual grant competition to provide research funds to both graduate and undergraduate students. Visit our facebook

President: Liza Gautam

Vice President: Anindita Saha

Treasurer: Hannah Warfel

Business Manager:  Abu Habib Md Abdullah

Social Chair: Mason Sanford

Secretary: Aalimah Akinosho

Membership Chair:  Clinton Warren

Our membership drive occurs in the fall and spring terms. Interested in Joining Phi Sigma?
Fall Applications are open and due September 15th by 5pm.  Phi Sigma Membership Application Fall 2023.docx.pdf.

For more information contact the current vice president Anindita Saha or check out the [national website for Phi Sigma 

Click here to see Benefits for Joining Phi Sigma

Phi Sigma Beta Lambda Chapter promotes the engagement of undergraduate and graduate students in biology research and academic pursuits. To achieve these goals, we sponsor an annual research symposium in the spring, provide $10,000 in funding for student research in the biological sciences, and fund seminars from speakers in the biological sciences.

Mockford-Thompson & Weigel 

The 2023-2024 funding cycle for the Mockford-Thompson Fellowships and Weigel grants will open February 1, 2023. 
Application materials are available on Phi Sigma ReggieNet page and submission is due on Monday, February 28, 2023 at 5:00pm via ReggieNet. We encourage all eligible students apply for these funding opportunities!   For more information, contact the current Phi Sigma President, Sadia Sultana (

External Grants

In addition to supporting students at ISU, we also strive to support K-12 and community-based efforts to engage students in authentic experiences related to the biological sciences. The grant application is intended to support such efforts in McLean County. 

Travel Grants

Travel Grants are currently unavailable. More information will be coming soon. 


Seminar Events 

Weigel Seminar, March 24, 2023

Weigel Seminar speaker is Dr. Seth Bordenstein from Pennsylvania State University. 

Social Events 

Grant Writing Workshop, February 6th, 2023
Research Grant Writing Workshop presented by Dr. Martin Engelke from 10:30am-11:30am, in Julian Hall 226.

Nominations for Phi Sigma Executive Board April 2023, TBD

Phi Sigma Spring Banquet, May 5th, 2023

The Phi Sigma Spring Banquet will be held at the ISU Alumni Center.

TA Welcome Week, August Date TBD

Current and new graduate students had a chance to socialize and enjoy Moe’s catering to kick off the beginning of a new semester.

Fall Picnic, September 16 from 3pm until 7pm

Phi Sigma members can socialize, enjoy food, play games, and get to know one another at our Fall Picnic, host by Dr. Thompson.

Spooky Trivia, October Date TBD

Weigel Seminar Speaker, November 16
Dr. Pamela Brown, Associate Professor from University of Missouri will delivery the 6th annual Weigel Seminar. 
The title of her seminar is, "Diversity of growth patterin in the Alphaproteobacteria."

Winter Potluck, December Date TBD

Members will have a chance to wind down after a long semester and enjoy food and beverages that each member contributes. 

For more information on upcoming social events contact the Phi Sigma Social Chair, Mason Sanford


Phi Sigma Research Symposium

Save the Date:  24th Annual Phi Sigma Research Symposium will be on April 5th, 2024...more details to come.

The 23rd Annual Phi Sigma Research Symposium was held on March 24th, 2023 from 8 am to 5pm at the Bloomington-Normal Marriot Hotel & Conference Center.
Dr. Seth Bordenstein from Pennsylvania State University will be the keynote speaker.  Dr. Bordenstein's seminar is entitled, 'Rules of Symbiotic Life.'

Research Symposium will feature poster sessions, oral presentations, travel grant competition and Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Seth Bordenstein.

See links below for abstracts of past symposiums.