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Fellowships for Health and Science Journalists at Marine Biological Laboratory, 28 May-7 June 2019, USA

Publish Date: Jan 18, 2019

Deadline: Feb 15, 2019

Event Dates: from May 28, 2019 12:00 to Jun 07, 2019 12:00

Fellowships for Health and Science Journalists

The Logan Science Journalism Program at the MBL, founded in 1986, offers professional science journalists, writers, editors, and broadcast journalists a chance to forget about story deadlines and immerse themselves in the process of basic biomedical and environmental research. Room, board, course fees, and travel are covered for accepted fellows.

Program Dates: May 28-June 7, 2019

Biomedical Hands-On Research Course

Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

This program plunges journalists into the fascinating world of biological research in one of the most dynamic settings for scientific discovery in the world. Learn about the science at the heart of your stories by doing it alongside scientists at the MBL.

Course Description

Biomedical Hands-on Research Course

The foundation for our understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of human disease is basic research using non-human cells and model systems. Indeed, the highly conserved nature of cellular organization across species allows investigators to study simple model systems that inform how human cells function. In many cases, human pathologies may be modeled in these simpler organisms, allowing for a more mechanistic understanding of human disease or the validation of drug targets.

Many of the fundamental discoveries regarding the basic structure and function of cells were made in marine organisms, often at the Marine Biological Laboratory. With today’s rapid advances in genomic and imaging technologies, these organisms are again finding utility in biomedical research. In this course, we will use both genetic model systems and marine invertebrates to highlight not only the beauty and dynamics of living cells, but also the kinds of questions and approaches currently used in basic biomedical research.

Over the course of ten days, fellows will gain exposure to the fundamental techniques and concepts of cell and molecular biology that provide the basic elements underlying many approaches to modern-day biomedical research. The main emphasis is on hands-on activities; for example, fellows will use state-of-the-art instrumentation to image living cells and will prepare samples for multicolor fluorescence microscopy. In this respect, the Logan Science Journalism Program at the MBL gives fellows the unique opportunity to experience first-hand how basic biomedical researchers approach questions, at an institution renown for its contributions to our understanding of life at the cellular and molecular levels.

At the end of the course, fellows will interpret and present some of their laboratory data to their colleagues at a mini-symposium.

In addition to spending time at the lab bench, fellows will discuss topics with scientists ranging from the techniques applied in the laboratory to the culture and politics of science. Laboratory and discussion topics will include:

Introduction to model organisms

  • Genetic model organisms
  • Experimental model organisms, including marine models
  • Model organism approaches to studying human disease

Introduction to cell and developmental biology

  • Cell organization, division and motility
  • Membrane organelles
  • Events of early development
  • Light microcopy and imaging
  • Protein biochemistry

Topics in molecular biology

  • Review of the central dogma
  • Genetic manipulation of gene expression

Genomics and proteomics

  • Next generation DNA sequencing
  • Bioinformatic analyses

Culture and politics of science

  • How do scientists fund their research?
  • How do government agencies decide on funding priorities?
  • Publishing and scientific misconduct


  • Enclose a copy of your curriculum vitae.
  • Please arrange for two individuals to provide a letter of reference in support of your application.Where possible, one letter should be from a current or recent supervisor of your professional work.
  • Please respond to these questions:
    1. Statement (not to exceed 600 words) describing your journalistic experience and professional goals, and explaining how this fellowship will benefit your career.
    2. A brief description (not to exceed 200 words) of any scientific laboratory or research experience you have had.
    3. Four samples of your science writing or editing work, in English. Written samples must be in PDF format. To submit broadcast or other multimedia samples, please email Diana Kenney for an upload link. At least two samples must have been published or produced in the last two years. Do not send unpublished work or elaborate samples such as books or magazines. Broadcast samples should be 30 minutes or less. Editors or broadcast directors should include a brief description of their role in producing the story.
    4. (Optional) Up to four fellows will be selected for an extended fellowship at the University of Chicago in fall 2019. If you wish to apply for a Chicago Fellowship please state, in 300 words or less, a question about science or technology that you feel the University of Chicago and its affiliated national laboratories are well positioned to answer.

Deadline: Completed application forms and required supporting documentation must be received by February 15, 2019.   You will be notified of the Admissions Committee's decision by Mid-March. 

Financial support for Logan Science Journalism Program Fellows includes: Travel to and from Woods Hole or Chicago, housing, meals, and all costs associated with the Hands-On Research Courses and other program activities. Fellows from other countries are responsible for paying fellowships taxes for foreign nationals.

If you are a foreign national, please note that any support you receive from the MBL may be taxable. F1 and J1 students are generally taxed at 14%, other types of visas could be 30%. If you receive a MBL sponsored J1 short-term scholar visa, we will cover the J1 application fee upon request.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

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