Science Outreach and Communication Grant

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One of the goals of the ASBMB is to increase public appreciation for and understanding of science by promoting science outreach events that encourage interactions between scientists and the community. The memberwide outreach award facilitates the involvement of our members in public-engagement activities that foster the appreciation of science — particularly biochemistry and molecular biology — in informal settings.

We offer up to five grants of up to $1,000 each per year to encourage new or existing science outreach and communication activities. The grants should be used to increase public appreciation of biochemistry and molecular biology or related disciplines. We invite proposals with the potential to lead to sustained activities beyond the duration of the grant, but we encourage all ideas that broaden public understanding of science.

The society welcomes applications for a variety of outreach activities, including proposals for in-person, hybrid or fully virtual programming. These might include talks, webinars, workshops, demonstrations, activities at science cafés/festivals/fairs/clubs, class visits to biochemistry laboratories to carry out experiments, activities/resources for K–12 students, etc. We will be looking for creative ideas from applicants that take into consideration accessibility and reach. Audiences from different backgrounds, particularly those that are underrepresented in science careers, are encouraged.

Here are some examples:

There is one round of applications per year. The application window opens on Aug. 15 and closes at 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Oct. 29.

The proposals will be evaluated by at least four members of the ASBMB Science Outreach and Communication Committee. The review process will begin immediately after the deadline, and applicants will be notified of decisions in December.

The funds are to be used over a period of six months starting Feb. 1.

Application criteria

The ASBMB Science Outreach and Communication Grant program supports projects that:

  • Increase public appreciation for and understanding of how science, with an emphasis on biochemistry and molecular biology, plays an important role in society.
  • Provide opportunities for ASBMB members to participate in science outreach, engage with members of the public with diverse backgrounds, and develop stronger science communication skills.

Applications will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Applicant: The primary applicant must be a member of ASBMB at the time of the application and during the period of the proposed activity. Preference will be given to early-career, undergraduate and graduate members of the society, especially those with no previous experience in science outreach. The primary applicant may collaborate with other members and nonmembers of the society.
  • Content: Although projects need not be limited to the science of biochemistry and molecular biology, the ASBMB strongly encourages activities that promote the understanding of the molecular nature of life. The proposal should clearly describe the activity and its goals. Although not a requirement, proposals with creative and novel approaches to public engagement will be ranked highly. The proposed activities must be aligned with the needs or interests of the target audience.
  • Target audience: The applicant must demonstrate a clear understanding of the target audience. The ASBMB is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and encourages activities benefiting underrepresented and underserved groups. The proposal must clearly define the target audience and provide a brief explanation as to how the activities are relevant to the target audience. Examples: K–12, low socioeconomic status, seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, professionals in other fields, etc.
  • Timeline: The proposal must include a timeline for the activity, including its planning stages.
  • Budget: The proposed project must be cost-effective, and the applicant must clearly describe how funds will be used. The ASBMB strongly encourages projects that have the potential to be sustainable beyond the duration of the grant. We discourage the use of funds for transportation, unless this is absolutely integral or beneficial to the program. Funds may not be used for food.

Additional conditions

  • Funding will be awarded through the institution/organization with which the applicant is affiliated.
  • Safety must be considered for all proposed activities and should follow guidelines set by the the applicant’s locality, state and institution and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • The applicant must submit a report after the completion of the activity. The report must include a description of the activity and the participants — both target audience and presenter(s). The ASBMB strongly encourages the use of surveys and/or reflection-based essays that capture the impact of the activity on both the target audience and the presenter(s). Members of the ASBMB Science Outreach and Communication Committee will work with the applicant to develop an appropriate assessment format.

FAQ

  • As an ASBMB member based outside of the United States, am I eligible to apply?
    Yes, as a member, you are eligible to apply for the grant even if you are based outside of the U.S. However, if you are selected, the funds would need to be allocated directly to your affiliated institution and a W8-BEN tax form would need to be submitted.
  • Are indirect costs allowed on the grant application budget?
    No, the ASBMB does not support indirect costs in grant applications. Maintenance or administrative costs that are not directly related to the execution of the proposed activity are not supported in the budget.
  • Would my standing as PI or senior faculty negate the grant application?
    Your career stage will not negate your eligibility to apply for the grant — we encourage all members of the ASBMB to apply. However, our aim is to empower early-career, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students to apply and spearhead the efforts — having this element in an application would speak more to the strength of the proposal.

If you have any questions, please email us at outreach@asbmb.org.

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