Whitman Center Research Awards FAQ

1. Can I submit an application with one or more co-investigators? Yes, the MBL encourages collaborative projects, but awards are distributed to one Principal Investigator only; co-investigators must seek their own sources of funding.

2. How many years can I receive a Whitman Fellowship (formerly Whitman Center Research Award) from the MBL? Three years maximum.

3. Who is eligible for a Whitman Center Fellowship? Applications are judged on scientific merit and fit to the MBL strategic vision, synergy with current initiatives, and innovative areas of research that advantage the collaborative nature and uniqueness of the MBL.  Preference is given to early-stage investigators, those new to the MBL, women, and minorities.

4. Should the application follow NIH guidelines such as margins, format, etc.? No, please follow the guidelines that appear on the application form, using Times New Roman 11-point font with 1-in margins on top, bottom, right, and left.

5. Must the research be physically conducted at the MBL? Yes, you are asked to be in residence for at least four weeks. As a Whitman Center Fellow, you automatically become a Whitman Center Scientist.

6. What is your policy regarding visas for foreign researchers? Applicants who are not US citizens or resident aliens should contact MBL’s foreign national office (visas@mbl.edu) for guidance and not rely on visa advice from their current institution. Any US taxes levied upon the award amount by the IRS will be the responsibility of the foreign researcher and not the MBL. Any fees incurred in the visa application process will be the responsibility of the foreign researcher.

7. What expenses can be covered by the Fellowship? Because Whitman Center Fellowship funds come from gifts made by donors, they only can be used to cover the cost of laboratory space and housing.  Local marine species are available to researchers at no additional charge (see MRC Catalogue) and a limited number of basic laboratory equipment is available to rent at no charge.

8. What expenses cannot be covered by the Fellowship? They cannot be used to cover travel expenses (air, bus, car rental, or mileage), housing and meals for students and postdocs, stipends and salaries for yourself or others, alcohol, equipment, supplies, animal costs, meal plans or living expenses for family members, moving expenses for bringing equipment to/from MBL, or any outside services.

9. What housing costs are covered by the Fellowship? If eligible, each Fellow will be provided with one cottage for up to 10 weeks. If the MBL Housing Policy considers you ineligible for a cottage, then an equivalent amount will be applied to an on-campus dormitory.  Eligibility for a cottage is based on the number of people you will bring with you.  Priority is given to families of more than 2 people; then, if available, to those who bring co-investigators/assistants who will be working in your lab and who use the maximum number of beds (from 4 to 6 depending on the size of the cottage).  Undergraduates are not allowed to stay in cottages.  You will not be charged for additional occupants in your cottage, however, you will be charged for additional nights if you choose to stay longer than 10 weeks.

10.  How do we reserve housing?  Once you have received your Fellowship notification, you will be asked to register on-line and indicate what you need in terms of laboratory space, equipment, live specimens, and housing needs.

11. Do I need to submit a current and pending support statement? No.

12.  How are Fellows selected? All proposals are reviewed by the Whitman Center Fellowship Committee, which consists of MBL scientists from the Resident and Whitman Center research programs, as well as other experts in the field when additional ad hoc reviews are necessary.  The Committee’s charge is to evaluate applications first and foremost based on scientific merit, using NIH-style peer review and scoring.  Awarding of applications is based on overall ranking and availability of funding, as well as matching to specific award categories.

13. What are the reporting requirements? After your laboratory experience, a brief written report of your research is due on October 1st. In addition, you must commit to acknowledging this award and citing the MBL in any publications, grant proposals, seminar or meeting presentations, or other written products of this research. You are expected to give a short 15- to 20-minute presentation about your research to other awardees and interested scientists if you are here during the summer. These are held weekly at lunchtime and are scheduled by the Division of Research based on your availability.

14. Is the Fellowship given to the home institution of the PI and then that home institution is responsible for administering the money like a traditional grant? No, the MBL is considered the home institution so the money stays at the MBL.

15.  Do I also need to register for space by the December deadline in case I don’t receive a Fellowship?  No, you do not need to register for space by the December deadline if you are applying for a Fellowship.  All applicants, whether they receive an award or not, will be sent a link to register after the Fellowships have been announced even though the deadline will have passed.

16. If I receive a Fellowship, how do I get information on setting up lab? The Division of Research publishes a Whitman Center Guide that provides relevant information for all scientists coming to the MBL.

17. Are there daycare services available? Yes, please visit MBL Children’s Programs.

18. Where can I find more information about Woods Hole? Please visit these websites:
a. http://www.woodshole.com/
b. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woods_Hole,_Massachusetts
c. http://www.mbl.edu/housing/guest-information/

19. Where can I get additional information? Contact the Division of Research at 508-289-7173 or research@mbl.edu.