The Department of Molecular & Cell Biology (MCB) and QB3-Berkeley are pleased to announce financial and administrative support to catalyze new, one-day symposia organized by graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows. The program is designed to promote interactions and communication across disciplinary boundaries. Successful proposals will be submitted by co-organizers at UC Berkeley or Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), with at least one organizer from QB3-Berkeley or MCB. All organizers must be a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley or LBNL.

  • Apply by March 6, 2020 for spring & summer 2020 events
  • Awards will be announced by March 20, 2020

Cutting edge bioscience research is carried out in a variety of departments across the Berkeley campus. The scale and diversity of the bioscience enterprise offer great advantages, but factors such as the size and geography of the campus, and divisional and departmental boundaries can be detrimental to synergistic, cross-disciplinary interactions. This program is intended to stimulate cross-disciplinary interactions at the grassroots level by providing funds for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who wish to organize a campus research conference that crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries.

General advice on organizing a local meeting can be found here.

Guidelines for applying can be found below. It is anticipated that 2-3 applications will be selected for funding. Support will be given on the order of $1,500-$3,000. Organizers are encouraged to seek sources of additional funding. QB3-Berkeley and MCB will help with room reservations and publicity.

Applications will be scored by the reviewers based on the following criteria:

  • How well the topic of the meeting aligns with the mission of this program
  • Novelty of the program
  • Inclusiveness for students and postdocs from diverse disciplinary, gender and ethnic backgrounds to present

Note: Repeat funding for a conference may be possible, but applications for funding will require a report on the effectiveness of the first meeting in promoting the program’s mission.

An application must include the following information:

  1. CVs (two-page maximum; format of your choice) of the students and/or postdoc co-organizers. There must be a minimum of two and maximum of four co-organizers. At least one organizer must have a QB3-Berkeley or MCB affiliation. 
  2. The name of at least one faculty member who will act as a mentor for the proposed symposium.
  3. A description of the meeting, which will include 1) the topic and goals of the meeting, 2) the intended audience, and 3) how the meeting will promote cross-disciplinary interactions (please limit your reply to 700 words or less).
  4. An outline of the sessions (e.g., including number of student/postdoc talks, faculty talks, poster sessions, etc.). The meeting outline (up to 500 words) does not need to be in final form, but should provide enough information to understand the proposed event. Please address how you plan to ensure diversity among your selected speakers, paying particular attention to the representation of women and minorities.
  5. A proposed budget. Funds can cover refreshments except for alcohol (e.g., coffee, snacks, lunch, etc.), facility rental (but not maintenance), printing costs associated with the meeting, etc.
  6. How you plan to acknowledge MCB and QB3-Berkeley funding for your meeting.

Submit completed applications to:

If sponsored, the meeting organizers are expected to do the following:

  1. Acknowledge MCB and QB3-Berkeley in their advertisement/flyer.
  2. Write a brief, 120-word article within 30 days of the conclusion of the meeting for the MCB and QB3-Berkeley websites with highlights of the meeting and provide photos (if available).
  3. Provide itemized receipts of eligible expenses up to the amount awarded within 30 days of the conclusion of the meeting.
  4. Fill out a feedback form that MCB and QB3-Berkeley will send.

Past Bioscience Meetings