The 14-week Grass Fellowship Program provides early-career investigators with an unparalleled opportunity to develop and conduct independent neuroscience research projects within the vibrant scientific community of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole. Fellows function as both an intellectual and social group during their stay and routinely interact with prominent scientists to build a support network of peers and researchers in their field. Former fellows have called the program: “the most enriching experience of my early scientific life,” “the greatest training experience imaginable,” and "one of the most important experiences of my career.”
As a Trustee of the Grass Foundation during its early years in Woods Hole, I got to be an admiring spectator of what Albert and Robbie Grass did for the graduate students and post-docs they supported. The Foundation has had a transforming influence on the development of neurobiology -- supporting work on simple systems with identifiable cells and their circuits, and supporting comparative studies on sensory physiology and neural development. Many graduates of Grass programs are now playing leading roles in neurobiology and behavior, and I hope they are urging their students to take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity to develop their craft in a uniquely collegial and pleasant environment.
Donald Kennedy, Stanford (former Trustee)
Setting up my research project at MBL was the best possible preparation for setting up my own lab when I got my job here at Denison University. It was a chance to set up fully independent research, but with an incredible wealth of support and expertise around me.
Heather Rhodes, Denison University (GF: 2006)
It had a huge impact and completely changed my career. I cannot image where I'd be today without the experience as a Grass Fellow. It took me another 12 years to make it back to the MBL, but I have been coming ever summer since. Dan Johnston, UT Austin (GF: 1976)
My Grass Fellowship in 1993 was a significant turning point of my career. That summer my eyes were opened to so many ideas. MBL is a crossroads for neuroscientists and biologists. I met seemingly all the world's leaders, formed collaborations and friendships, got several papers out of it...and still spent half my evenings on the beach or at the local pub! And I can still distract softball opponents colorfully in a variety of languages.
Sam Wang, Princeton (GF: 1993)
1984 was another era in which the NIH budget was being cut, and my NRSA provided only 2 years of support. I had lined up a job at UT Houston, which started in the fall, but my fellowship ran out in the spring. The fellowship not only kept me employed, but it provided many opportunities that proved to be helpful later in my career. The topic of my research that summer, electrical synaptic transmission, was one that I returned to in my studies of primate retina. Thanks again for the support!
Dave Marshak, UT Houston (GF: 1984)
It was the first time I did independent science, working with a fun and extremely talented group of other fellows. One of the best and most memorable summers I've had.
Robert Froemke, NYU (GF: 2004).
It was a transitional point in my life. The project that I came to work on fell through. But I rebounded and ended up working on a great project with the late CK Govind. I'm very honored that I had a chance to know him and work with him. Plus, we got a decent J.Neurosci paper out of it.
Paul Katz, Georgia State University(GF: 1998).
To say that the Grass Foundation has been important in my career would be a gross understatement. As a Grass Fellow in 1970, later as Grass Summer Program Director, Grass Lecturer, and finally a Trustee, the Foundation has been synonymous with neuroscience.
Dale Purves, Duke (GF: 1970)
The summer I spent as a Grass Fellow was one of the most important experiences of my career. Not only did I grow scientifically, but I met colleagues that I've continued to have contact with for 20 years!
Nelson Spruston, Janelia Farm(GF: 1991)
The Grass Fellowship was a perfect opportunity to test out methods and ideas prior to starting my own research lab, generate preliminary data, and get valuable feedback, supportive yet critical, from the other fellows and faculty mentors.
Paul Gray, Washington University (GF: 2001)
The Grass Fellowship is a great experience if you want to set up your own lab or even your own company in the future. Quoc Nguyen, Neuraccel.com (GF: 1997)
I whole-heartedly appreciated the summer of science surrounded by fellow geeks!! And now that the summer is over I am realizing the many opportunities afforded through this fellowship!! In fact I suspect that part of the reason I got my current (dream) job is because I had this fellowship! So - HUGE appreciation. Emma Coddington, Willamette University (GF: 2009)