August 29, 2014

MBL Research Awards

The Marine Biological Laboratory offers several research awards to financially support visiting investigators in the Whitman Center.   Awards are used to support research in diverse fields of biology such as cellular physiology, molecular biology, regenerative biology, ecology, neurobiology, evolution, developmental biology, and neuro-ethology.  Funds for these awards come from a variety of sources generously donated to the MBL.  For more information click here.

View the 2015 Visiting Research Award Program Poster


MBL Research Award recipients become part of the Whitman Center and enjoy access to state-of-the-art instrumentation, innovative imaging and DNA sequencing technology, availability of model freshwater and marine organisms, modern laboratory facilities.  In addition, they have opportunities to interact with researchers in the internationally recognized summer courses and year-round research programs.

General Guidelines Awardees typically come during the summer months for a minimum of six weeks.  Although MBL encourages collaborative research, funds for lab rental and housing will be awarded to only one principal investigator per proposal.  Recipients must provide their own matching funds to cover other costs such as supplies, animal costs, shared resources uses such as Central Microscopy, travel, and other associated costs, and any costs of affiliated staff and students who may accompany the awardee.  Co-investigators, identified as part of a Research Award proposal, will need to seek independent sources of funding.  Early stage investigators, new to the MBL, women, and minorities are encouraged to apply.  Eligible applicants may have had no more than two years of a prior award (three years maximum).

All proposals are reviewed by the MBL’s Research Awards Committee, which consists of MBL scientists from the resident and visiting research programs as well as additional ad hoc reviewers when necessary.  The Committee’s charge is to evaluate applications first and foremost based on scientific merit, using NIH-style peer review and scoring.  Other criteria include appropriate fit within the MBL, collaborative opportunities, and synergy with current initiatives, as well as opportunities to attract new investigators and new and innovative areas of research to the MBL community.

A proposal for a project embedded in the laboratory of one of the year-round investigators will require a copy of a letter from the hosting investigator and the director of the host Center or Program.  Likewise, a proposal for a project that is embedded within one of the advanced courses will require a letter of confirmation and commitment of space from the hosting Course Director(s).  Projects that take advantage of and which are embedded within other programs are strongly encouraged.

How to Apply The application form can be downloaded as a Word template: MBL Research Award Application Form. Completed applications are due by 11:59 pm EST, December 15, annually, and should be emailed as a single PDF document to   Notification of decisions will be made in early February. If you have any questions about the application, the awards, or the awards process, please see MBL Research Award FAQ sheet, email the Office of Research and Programs at, or call 508-289-7173.