The Grass Foundation: Fellowship Program

Grass Foundation

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Deadline: Dec 5, 2021

Grant amount: Approximately US $30,000

Fields of work: Neuroscience

Applicant type: Graduate Student, Faculty, Postdoctoral Researcher

Funding uses: Conference, Research, Fellowship, General Operating Expense

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

Degree requirements: Applicants must be within a few years of receiving their PhD

990 Snapshot




Grass Fellowships at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA, support investigator-designed, independent research projects by scientists early in their career.

Supported approaches include:

  • Neurophysiology
  • Biophysics
  • Integrative Neurobiology
  • Neuroethology
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Systems Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Developmental Neurobiology
  • Computational Approaches to Neural Systems
  • The Foundation also has a longstanding interest in epilepsy-related research.


Grass Fellowships provide research support including laboratory space, animals, equipment and supplies for one summer at the MBL. Additionally, the investigator, his/her spouse or legal domestic partner, and dependent children are provided housing, a daily meal allowance and round-trip travel to the MBL.

Fellows function as an intellectual and social group within the MBL scientific community while sharing space in the Grass Laboratory. In a weekly private seminar series, eminent investigators at the MBL discuss their work with the Fellows. In addition, a yearly Forbes Lecturer will spend a portion of the summer in the Grass Lab interacting with Fellows.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Early investigators (late stage predoctoral trainees and beyond) are eligible to apply. This includes applicants with prior experience at MBL or with the Grass Foundation (MBL course alumni are encouraged to apply).

    • The fellowship targets promising new investigators that are at the “critical period”, when the possibility of becoming their own PI during the summer will help to develop the self-confidence and drive to pursue an independent research career.
    • This “critical period” usually takes place during the late postdoctoral years but the program is also appropriate for advanced graduate students and new Assistant Professors.
  • International Fellows (i.e., not US citizens or resident aliens) must hold a valid visa (J-1, H-1B, F1 or F1-OPT) for the entire duration of the fellowship.


  • Priority is given to applicants with a demonstrated commitment to pursuing a research career.
  • The Selection Committee gives preference to ALL research proposals appropriate to the facilities and organisms that can be accommodated at MBL.
    • This list includes marine and freshwater species (e.g., fish, amphibians), invertebrates (e.g., insects, gastropods), and small vertebrates such as, but not limited to, mice or rats.
    • The MBL has only a limited capacity to accommodate non-indigenous species. Remember that not all aquatic organisms are indigenous to New England waters! If in doubt, check with us or the MBL.
  • The tenure of the Program is 14 weeks and strong preference is given to applicants present for the entire period.


  • MBL does not have facilities to house large mammalian species.
  • Isolated rooms for sensitive behavioral tests are extremely unlikely due to space limitations.
  • Predoctoral researchers are eligible to apply however; applicants should not combine a Grass Fellowship with writing a Ph.D. thesis.
  • Since the Grass Fellowship provides a rich intellectual environment and support for independent research, it does not offer a stipend during the fellowship learning experience.
  • MBL is not currently a Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) facility so pseudorabies virus work is NOT permitted; lentivirus work is permitted in cell culture only, NOT in whole animals.


This page was last reviewed June 23, 2021 and last updated June 23, 2021