Fellowship Overview

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2023 Grass Fellows preparing for the Woods Hole July 4 parade
2023 Grass Fellows preparing for the Woods Hole July 4 parade


2024 Grass Fellowships flyer
2024 Grass Fellowships flyer

The application form for the 2024 Fellowship may be found here. The competition will close on December 1, 2023. If you plan to apply, you may wish to begin requesting recommendation letters as soon as possible. As described in the application form, you will be asked to submit a letter from “current research advisor (if applicable) plus an additional letter from an investigator familiar with the applicant.” Check the Foundation’s Twitter account for updates.


Grass Fellowships at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA, support investigator-designed, independent research projects by scientists early in their careers. Successful applicants often take advantage of the model organisms available through the MBL’s Marine Resource Center (MRC). Supported approaches include neurophysiology, biophysics, integrative neurobiology, neuroethology, neuroanatomy, neuropharmacology, systems neuroscience, cellular and developmental neurobiology, and computational approaches to neural systems. The Foundation has a longstanding interest in epilepsy-related research. Comparative and integrative neuroscience have been of particular interest in recent years. Anthropogenic environmental impacts – including climate change, chemical and sensory pollution, and ocean acidification – may impact brain at the cell and circuit level in ways that are not well understood.  In partnership with the Grass Foundation, The Kavli Foundation supports Grass Fellows who explore this area through their research related to neurobiology and changing ecosystems. (Learn more about the partnership and the first two years of Kavli-Grass Fellows.) The overarching goal is to identify early-career scientists who envision the future of neuroscience, and support, catalyze, and advance their visions with a unique set of resources.


Grass Fellowships provide research support including a stipend, 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 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.

The Foundation will work with Fellows to arrange for childcare.


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). Priority is given to applicants with a demonstrated commitment to pursuing a research career. Please see FAQ page on website or contact the Program Coordinator for more information. International Fellows (i.e., not US citizens or resident aliens) must hold a valid visa (e.g. J-1, H-1B, F1 or F1-OPT) for the entire duration of the fellowship. Please contact us early in case you need to adjust your visa status! The Grass Foundation values diversity in all of its programs.


The duration of the program is 14 weeks starting Memorial Day Monday; for exact dates click here.


The Trustees of The Grass Foundation judge an applicant’s ability to organize and present pertinent information, the scientific merit of the proposed research, and evidence of an applicant’s ability to work independently. Typically, approximately 10-12 Grass Fellowships are awarded annually, and the number of Fellowships awarded varies from year to year. Most Fellows share space in the Grass Lab; some arrange to work in the space of another MBL investigator.


Applications for the summer program must be received by December 1. Applicants must ensure that the completed application and letters of recommendation are submitted by the deadline. Decisions will be announced by the last week in January.


Find more details in the FAQ and many other places on this website or contact the Grass Fellowship Program Coordinator at gfp@grassfoundation.org.