Ruth Bleier Scholarship in the Natural Sciences

The Ruth Bleier Scholarship in the Natural Sciences was established to encourage undergraduate women at UW-Madison to pursue careers in the natural sciences or medicine. The one-year award will provide a stipend of $1,000, which will be awarded at the end of the Spring semester to be used during the following academic year.

How to Apply
Visit to the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH) to apply for Department of Gender and Women’s Studies scholarships by logging in to your WiSH dashboard or by using the Sign In button in the top-right corner of your screen. The application for this scholarship will need to include:

  1. A letter of application describing career goals and what makes you an appropriate candidate (make sure to provide contact information for the summer if it is different)
  2. A resume
  3. Complete transcripts from UW-Madison (unofficial transcripts accepted)

1. A UW-Madison undergraduate woman and/or gender minority student, and
2. Declared in the Gender and Women’s Studies major or certificate program, and
3. Declared in a natural science and/or health major or certificate program

Donor Information
Ruth Bleier received her M.D. in 1949 from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, then the only remaining women’s medical school in the country. She practiced general medicine in the poor, inner city of Baltimore for nearly ten years, and then took a postdoctoral training position in neuroanatomy at the John Hopkins School of Medicine. Ruth joined the Department of Neurophysiology at Wisconsin in 1967.

In the early 1970s, she began to see how sexist and other cultural biases affected the biological sciences, and devoted herself to applying feminist analyses and perspectives to the theories and practices of science. Her book in this area, Science and Gender, A Critique of Biology and Its Theories on Women, and her anthology, Feminist Approaches to Science, are considered classics and are required reading in many women’s studies courses.

Also during the 1970s, Ruth’s political priorities began to focus on improving the lot of women in higher education. She helped found the Association of Faculty Women (AFW), a group that brought about an equity salary raise for faculty women. Her famous “shower-in” in the men’s locker room yielded women’s locker rooms at the Camp Randall Sports Center, also known as “The Shell.” She was also instrumental in the establishment of the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, which she chaired from 1982-1986.

Ruth Bleier, a professor of neurophysiology at UW-Madison, was an authority on the hypothalamus in animals and authored three definitive books on the topic. She also helped found the Neuroscience Training Program and was an adored teacher in both her neuroscience and women’s studies courses.

Ruth had two children, was an accomplished musician and an exuberant athlete. She died at her home in January of 1988 after a battle with cancer.

In the tradition of Ruth Bleier’s perspective and work, the scholarship winner will also be able to reserve a place in Gender and Women’s Studies science and health courses. These courses could include:

Gen&WS 103 – Gender, Women, Bodies, and Health
Gen&WS 530 – Biology and Gender
Gen&WS 531 – Women and Health in American History
Gen&WS 532 – The History of the (American) Body
Gen&WS 533 – Special Topics in Gender and Biology
Gen&WS 534 – Gender, Sexuality, and Reproduction: Public Health Perspectives
Gen&WS 535 – Women’s Global Health and Human Rights
Gen&WS 536 – Queering Sexuality Education
Gen&WS 537 – Childbirth in the United States
Gen&WS 539 – Special Topics in Gender and Health

For more information about this scholarship, please visit the program site

Department of Gender and Women's Studies
Supplemental Questions
  1. Are you a Gender and Women's Studies student? (preferred, not required)
  2. Please provide a 1-2 page statement about your work in gender and health to date and your future plans for work in this area.