MBL Alumni ROCS (Regional Outreach and Communication in STEM) is a new program that provides funding for alumni of the Advanced Research Training courses (ARTCs) to create and deploy an “outreach” project. The project is meant to be conducted after completion of the course once the student returns to their home institution. Alumni ROCS hopes to extend the MBL experience beyond Woods Hole and into the community nationwide by sharing MBL experiences while increasing the science literacy of and connecting with student’s local communities.

The overarching goal of the Alumni ROCS program is to: 1) leverage the enthusiasm of recent  trainees and to bring the MBL experience back to home communities; 2) raise the visibility of the MBL beyond through alumni ambassadors; and 3) enhance the interdisciplinarity of the MBL experience across the ARTCs by encouraging partnerships of alumni from different courses who reside in the same geographic area. 

With these goals in mind applications should emphasize:

  • Originality. Well received applications will accentuate the “learn by doing” model of the MBL and/or communicate outcomes from the ARTCs to promote the MBL experience to new communities of science. Students can absolutely partner with home institution outreach programs, but the project should be new and relate to an MBL subject matter.  
  • Interdisciplinary teams of ARTC alumni that might hail from the same institution or nearby cities  i.e., Embryology and Physiology,  Microbial Diversity and Molecular Mycology and/or Biology of the Parasitism. We will still consider singular application or those who are open to accept teammates and will help to facilitate introductions to other MBL alum.  Projects that communicate interdisciplinary science are also highly valued.
  • Impact of the project: When designing your projects make sure the tasks outlined are doable and consider the impact on the audience and the longevity of the project.  Who are you trying to reach, how will this project impact this community, and is the project sustainable?

For planning purposes, average awards are $2,500 and a budget justification is required

Examples of possible project ideas are listed below or see the 2023-24 awarded projects, the 2022-23 awarded projects or the 2021-22 awarded projects.

  • Create a public display of your science undertaken at the MBL joining science and art to communicate with and engage the public (e.g., in a local coffee shop or building lobby) 
  • Develop hands-on classroom exercises for public middle school students
  • Develop a career panel for public high school students exploring educational paths towards a career in STEM
  • Produce a video or online product that recounts your experience at the MBL


Application dates: June 13- September 13, 2024