October 2, 2014

Research Awards

Research Awards at the MBL
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The Marine Biological Laboratory is pleased to announce the availability of its Research Awards for support of visiting scientists in the Whitman Center for calendar year 2014. The awards, ranging from $2,000 to $25,000, cover laboratory rental and/or housing costs. Recipients must provide their own matching funds to cover other costs such as supplies, animal costs, shared resource usage such as central microscopy, travel and other associated costs, and any costs of affiliated staff such as postdoctoral associates or graduate students who may accompany the awardee.

Overview: Each year, the MBL Research Awards Program supports approximately 20 to 25 principal investigators from institutions across the globe. Awardees typically come to the MBL for a minimum of 6 weeks in the summer to conduct independent and/or collaborative research.  However, Research Awards can also be used to cover the costs of sabbatical-leave research at the MBL at any time including during the traditional academic year.

MBL’s reputation for fostering a highly collaborative and stimulating research environment is well known. Visiting Scientists enjoy access to state-of-the-art instrumentation, innovative imaging and DNA sequencing technology, availability of model freshwater and marine organisms, modern laboratory facilities, and interaction with other researchers in the Whitman Center as well as scientists in our internationally recognized discovery courses and resident research programs.

MBL Research Awards are used to support projects in diverse fields of biology such as cellular physiology, molecular biology, regenerative biology, ecology, neurobiology, evolution, developmental biology, and neuroetheology.

Selection Guidelines:Scientists at all levels of their career may apply, with particular emphasis given to assistant and associate professor level investigators and those new to the MBL. However, there are also several specific awards for semi-independent postdoctoral level scientists as well as senior investigators. Investigators who propose collaborative and multi-disciplinary projects, and those projects that synergize with existing research and training programs, are also favored. We also strongly encourage applications from women and under-represented minorities.

Proposals can be for a single visit or for a multi-year project, and for a single investigator or for a team of collaborators (either coming here together within the framework of the project, or with those already associated with the MBL in other capacities and independently funded). These elements should be clearly identified and described in the proposal. Funding for a multi-year proposal will require an annual application and is not guaranteed, but will be strongly favored if sufficient progress has been made. A proposal for a project that is embedded in the laboratory of one of the MBL’s year-round investigators will require a letter of confirmation from the hosting investigator and from 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’s Director(s). Projects that take advantage of and which are embedded within other programs are strongly encouraged.

Steps to Apply: The applications are due by December 15 but proposals for embedding within a course should be discussed early in the fall with the relevant Course Directors for the purposes of their own planning and scheduling. A short description of the available awards is provided for your reference.  Please submit the standard application; specific selection of named awards is made administratively after the awardees are chosen.  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 reviews when necessary from other experts in the field.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. Awarding of applications is based on overall ranking and availability of funding, as well as matching to specific award categories. Typically one-third of the reviewed applications have been funded in recent years. Notification of decisions will be made in early March.