GIA Instructions

The following instructions pertain to the application form for the Grass Imaging Award at the MBL in 2014. Download the application form GIA-2014. The instructions on this page can also be downloaded as a PDF




Self-explanatory; please provide the requested information.


Regarding Citizenship: Applicants who are not US citizens or resident aliens are expected to hold a valid visa (e.g. J-1, F1 or H-1B) for the entire duration of the Award. Information regarding J-1 visas is available on the MBL website ( or by contacting The Grass Foundation Coordinator at +1.508.289.7521 or selected, applicants requiring a J-1 visa should immediately initiate the visa application process.


Regarding Letter of Collaboration: If an applicant proposes to work in collaboration with a year-round or summer neuroimaging investigator at the MBL, a letter of collaboration from that investigator must be submitted. These should be submitted electronically on official institutional letterhead preferably together with the application.


In rare case that the CV would not be sufficient to evaluate the accomplishments of the applicant, letters of recommendation may be submitted in addition. 

  • Letters of recommendation may not be submitted by current Trustees of The Grass Foundationor Grass Fellowship Program Directors or Associate Directors.
  • To be considered, letters of recommendation must arrive on or before the application deadline








The CV may be prepared in any form (eg. NIH biosketch) and should include standard information such as education, positions, awards, funding and publications.




The research proposal can be as short as 2 but is not to exceed 4 pages. It might include background and significance, specific aims, experimental plan, expected findings and references. A brief justification of why performing the proposed research at MBL is advantageous and/or provides opportunities/resources unavailable elsewhere can strengthen the application.


  • Regarding the Research Proposal: The Selection Committee consists of Foundation Trustees and consultants. All sections of the application should be written so that they can be understood and evaluated by neuroscientists who may not be specialists in your particular field. The Selection Committee gives preference to research proposals that take full advantage of the high-end microscopy technologies available at the MBL. Question relating to the Suitability of research projects or species should be directed to The Grass Program Coordinator at +1.508.289.7521 or




  • The 2014 award provides support for 4 weeks during the month of July at the MBL. Imaging Awardees are encouraged to attend weekly NeuroImaging seminars and are welcome to attend morning lectures on the theory and practice of advanced microscopy in the Neurobiology Course (first two weeks of July).


  • Regarding Research Location: Imaging Awardees are encouraged to work in the laboratory of an investigator at MBL since only very limited workspace is available otherwise. Sponsoring investigators may be members of the year-round or summer neuroimaging research communities. Imaging experiments will be carried out using MBL central microscopy facilities (, which include transmission and scanning electron microscopes, laser point scanning and spinning disk confocal systems. Super-resolution systems such as STED, structured illumination and photo-activated localization microscopy (PALM) systems likely will be available during the summer in the Loeb Building pending commitment of vendors. Please contact vendors directly to determine whether a particular instrument will be available. 






a. Microscopy Equipment. The Grass Foundation pays for reasonable microscopy fees charged by MBL when using core facilities. List the major imaging systems needed to perform the proposed research and your projected number of hours of usage.


  • Regarding Imaging Systems: Vendors and types of microscope systems loaned vary each year. Imaging Awardees are expected to work closely together with MBL staff and microscopy vendors to determine availability of equipment and to schedule training on and access to particular systems.


  • Regarding Special Options: In addition to microscope-related options, such as motorized stages, please also think about the necessary associated equipment (e.g., manipulators, amplifiers), cameras and computer software programs.



b. General Laboratory Equipment. List the general laboratory equipment needed to prepare your imaging samples. Preference is given to projects that do not require elaborate sample preparation. Note that Grass Imaging Awardees are not provided with equipment through the MBL/Grass equipment loaner program (in contrast to Grass Fellows).


c. Laboratory Animals. The Grass Foundation pays for the cost of purchasing, shipping and housing experimental animals in numbers appropriate to the project.


  • Regarding Animals: Preference is given to research proposals appropriate to the facilities and organisms available at the MBL. These are typically marine and freshwater species (e.g., fish, amphibians), invertebrates (e.g., insects, gastropods), and small mammals such as mice or rats. The MBL does not have separate facilities for behavioral work nor are they Biosafety Lab 2 (BSL-2) certified (some BSL-2 tissue culture work can be accommodated). Animal use must comply with accepted practices for biomedical research. Species available through MBL's Marine Resources Center are listed at


  • Regarding Animal Use Protocols: Work with vertebrate animals, including any tissue collection from vertebrate animals, requires a protocol approved by the MBL Institutional Animal Care and Use committee (MBL-IACUC). Each selected Imaging Awardee must obtain the appropriate animal use protocol. Such protocols are institution-specific so even if there is an approved protocol for similar experiments at the home institution, approval must be obtained in a timely manner from the MBL-IACUC. If the Imaging Awardee collaborates with a laboratory at the MBL that does have an MBL-IACUC approved protocol for the work, a simple amendment to include the name of the Awardee is still required. Failure to obtain appropriate MBL-IACUC approval before arrival at the MBL will result in the revocation of the Award.


  • Regarding Availability of Animals: Indicate your intended source(s) of animals. This information is especially important for animals not available through the MBL and for uncommon species or animals that must be of particular ages, sizes, etc.


d. Laboratory Supplies. Up to $500 is available to each Imaging Awardee to order consumables required to conduct the project. Please indicate if you expect research supplies to exceed $500. In that case, a detailed budget with justification must be included.


  • Regarding Supplies: “Supplies” include chemicals, small items of equipment, and all expendables. Please note that acceptance as an Imaging Awardee does not guarantee that a supply budget of more than $500 will be approved; requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


  • Regarding Accounting: All expenditures are subject to review and approval. Each Imaging Awardee should keep a running account of expenses as they are incurred and is financially liable for any overruns.




The Grass Foundation pays the cost of one round-trip to Woods Hole for the Imaging Awardee.


  • Regarding Travel: The Grass Foundation’s policy is to pay for direct travel between the home institution and Woods Hole on the basis of (1) the mileage for private vehicle travel according to the current IRS rate or (2) airfare at the most economical rate to Boston or Providence (including fees for checking up to two bags per person), plus bus travel to Woods Hole, whichever is less. Bus fares can be found at Estimate round-trip travel costs as closely as possible when computing the Total Estimated Round-Trip Travel Expenses and include the lesser of the airfare vs. private vehicle calculations. If your application is selected for funding, you will be asked to submit a Final Travel Estimate. The fee to obtain a J-1 visa, if needed, should be included in the estimate of travel expenses.




a. Housing. The MBL, not The Grass Foundation, makes housing assignments for those accepted as Imaging Awardees. The Grass Foundation pays the MBL directly for the cost of housing Imaging Awardees on campus. If an awardee chooses to stay in MBL housing other than a Swope single room, The Grass Foundation will contribute an amount equivalent to the declined MBL housing and the awardee is responsible for any increase in cost. If the Awardee makes off-campus arrangements, s/he will receive the equivalent of the single room Swope cost and is fully responsible for any additional costs and arrangements. Awardees should be aware that being paid directly by the Foundation for declined MBL housing may have tax consequences or not be consistent with their visa status. No guarantee, implicit or explicit can be made for a particular housing option desired by the Awardee.


b. Meals. The Grass Foundation provides Imaging Awardees with a full meal plan at the MBL dining hall.




The MBL requires that all Imaging Awardees have health insurance. Additionally, international Imaging Awardees may have health insurance mandate as part of their visa requirements.


  • Regarding Insurance:The Grass Foundation does not pay the costs of health or accident insurance. Imaging Awardees, both national and international, must ensure that they are suitably covered during the tenure of the Award. A signature is required on Form GIA-2014 as a waiver of claims against The Grass Foundation for any illness, accident or injury during the Award tenure or during travel to and from MBL.
    Note that most international insurance contracts will require the insured to pay for expenses upfront to be reimbursed by the insurance company later.




Self-explanatory; please provide the requested information.






Applications should be submitted electronically, as a single pdf file, to the e-mail address given below. If electronic submission is a hardship, a hard copy of the application will be accepted. Letters of collaboration/recommendation, on institutional letterhead, may be submitted electronically or by standard mail but must be received by the deadline given above.


Electronic submission:


Mailing address:

The Grass Imaging Award

7 MBL Street

Woods Hole, MA 02543



Applicants will be notified of The Grass Foundation’s decision on or before April 1, 2014.




This section of Form GIA-2014 requires the applicant’s signature, certifying that she/he has read and accepts all conditions and policies listed in the Grass Imaging Award Guidelines, Application Instructions and Form GIA-2014.

  • American Epilepsy Society +

    Robert S. Morison Fellowship

    This fellowship was created in honor of the contributions of Dr. Morison, one of the founding Trustees of The Grass Foundation. The Fellowship is administred by the American Epilepsy Society and is currently on hold. Please check AES Morrison for further information.

    Grass - AES Young Investigator Travel Award

    To recognize and honor outstanding young investigators conducting research in basic or clinical neuroscience related to epilepsy, the Grass Foundation and the American Epilepsy Society have combined resources to present Grass Foundation-AES Young Investigator Travel Awards ($1,000, together with waiver of AES meeting registration fees) to up to 8 deserving candidates to help support travel costs to present their research at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society. This program is administered by the AES. Please see AES Travel for more information.

  • American Neurological Association +

    The Grass Foundation - ANA Award in Neuroscience

    This award was established in 2007 to honor outstanding young investigators doing research in basic or clinical neuroscience. The award is administered by the American Neurological Association.

  • Grass Imaging Awards +

    This award has been put on hold and most likely will not be offered in 2015. The award was judged a success, but the Foundation is currently evaluating its philanthropic portfolio.

    PURPOSE:The MBL is an international center for application of advanced imaging technology to studies of brain function. The goal of the Grass Imaging Awards is to make this remarkable resource and rich intellectual environment available to the broader scientific community. The Program intends to bring faculty-level individuals to the MBL for four weeks during the month of July. Participants are encouraged to collaborate with members of the MBL NeuroImaging group. Alternatively, they can independently utilize the available core microscopy resources of the MBL, such as confocal, two-photon, structured illumination microscopy, PALM, and STED microscopes.

    BENEFITS: Imaging awardees are given the opportunity to utilize the available microscopy resources while gathering data and interacting with other imaging specialists at weekly NeuroImaging seminars and informal meetings. Awardees can also attend Neurobiology Course lectures on the theory and practice of advanced microscopy, if desired. Support will include research supplies, travel, housing and meals at the Marine Biological Laboratory for the individual.

    ELIGIBILITY: Faculty-level applicants working in any area of neuroscience are eligible. Priority is given to applicants with needs consonant with the resources of the MBL, particularly those planning to collaborate in the lab of an MBL NeuroImaging investigator. Prior research experience at the MBL is neither required nor disqualifying. International awardees (i.e., not US citizens or resident aliens) must hold an appropriate visa for the duration of the program. The Grass Foundation values diversity in all of its programs.

    DURATION: The duration of the program is 4 weeks during July 2014. Fellows are expected to be in residence at the MBL during the entire duration of the award.

    APPLICATION: Application forms and instructions are available here.

    DEADLINE: Applications (for July 2014) must be received by 20 February 2014. Applicants must ensure that the completed application is submitted by the deadline. Decisions will be announced by April 2014.

    SELECTION: The Trustees of The Grass Foundation will judge the scientific merit of the proposed research and its suitability for this program. The Foundation expects to grant up to 3 awards.

    A one page flyer of this announcement can be downloaded here in PDF format.

  • Society for Neuroscience +

    Albert and Ellen Grass Lecture

    This lecture, presented by a high-profile speaker selected by SfN, is given each year on Monday evening of the SfN Annual Meeting. The Albert and Ellen Grass Lecture is one of the featured scientific events of the conference.

    Donald B. Lindsley Prize in Behavioral Neuroscience

    This prize was established in 1979 in honor of Donald B. Lindsley Ph.D. for "meritorious research in the area of behavioral neuroscience." Dr. Lindsley was one of the early Trustees of The Grass Foundation. A selection committee of SfN members reviews Ph.D. theses that were approved in the prior year and nominated for the prize. The SfN Committee awards the prize.

    The Latin America Neuroscience Training Program

    The Grass Foundation is excited about co-sponsoring this new program in partnership with SfN, IBRO and its Latin American Regional Committee(LARC) and US/Canada Regional Committee (USCRC). This new program emerged from the very successful Ricardo Miledi Program for Neuroscience Training and seeks to enhance the training and career development of Latin American and Caribbean neuroscientists.

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