Center for Humanities & History of Modern Biology

Ellen Brenner Memorial Fellowship

The late Ellen Brenner

The Ellen Brenner Memorial fellowship program was established in 2010 in memory of Ellen Brenner, who was a librarian and an integral member of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) community for nearly a decade.

Two fellowships of $1,000 each will be awarded each year. The program is open to librarians, archivists, and professionals from related or unrelated disciplines who wish to explore new career options in science librarianship, science information, archives, or history of science.

Made possible by the generosity of Ellen's husband, Dr. Steven Brenner, and other donations made to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in honor of her memory, the Ellen Brenner Memorial Fellowship offers a stipend to work on a mentored project at CSHL. Experienced librarians and archivists at the CSHL Library and Archives and the Genentech Center for the History of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology will serve as the recipient's mentors.

Donors: To support this fellowship, click on Donate Now and specify the Ellen Brenner Memorial Fellowship in the comment area.

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About the Award:

Ellen Brenner was a reference librarian at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library and Archives. She upheld the highest standards of excellence in her work, while bringing warmth and sincerity to everyone with whom she worked. She had extensive knowledge of medical and science literature, having worked as a reference librarian at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Health Sciences Library, the Milton Helpern Library of Legal Medicine, and at the Cornell University Medical College Library. Her professional contributions led to significant growth of the Library's programs and services. The Fellowships are a testament to Ellen's understanding of the important interactions between libraries and scientists in the advancement of knowledge.

Application is open to professionals who:

  • are interested in science
  • are interested in beginning or continuing a career as a science librarian or informationist
  • wish to explore careers in science archives
  • are members of the scientific community interested in careers as an archivist or science historian.



The Ellen Brenner Memorial Fellowship awards up to $1,000 (USD).

Ellen Brenner Library Fellows will gain experience working in a science library with scientific resources, as well as become involved with various projects at the CSHL Library. Fellows will work at CSHL on projects that expand the Library's reference services and strengthen its bond with the CSHL scientific community. Fellows may also work on special projects relating to the development of science libraries in the 21st century. To learn more about the Library collections and holdings, please visit our Library Resources information page.

Ellen Brenner Archives Fellows will gain experience working with collections related to the history of CSHL and the history of molecular biology and biotechnology; and special collections of prominent scientists in the early years of these fields. Fellows will work on projects that are currently under way in the CSHL Archives and the Genentech Center for the History of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. Topic areas include digitization, oral history, archives processing, and cataloging/creating metadata. To learn more about the Archives collections and holdings and The Genentech Center for the History of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, please visit our Archives information page.


Application Instructions

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Applications may be submitted electronically via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please attach all documents in .pdf, .doc, or .docx formats, with a cover letter in the body of the email and please format the subject line of your application email as "Ellen Brenner Memorial Fellowship Application, [Year], [Your Name]"

Applications may also be submitted on paper directly to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library and Archives by mail to:

Ellen Brenner Memorial Fellowship Program
Library and Archives
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library and Archives
1 Bungtown Rd.
Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724

A complete application package must include the following:

  1. The two-page application form, available at the bottom of this page.
  2. A statement of purpose
  3. Brief budget statement showing the expenses for which support is requested.
  4. A curriculum vitae. Please include undergraduate and graduate education, dates of study, areas of study, publications, and previous or current fellowships, grants, and awards.

The statement of purpose should be 500 - 1000 words in 12 pt. font, double-spaced. It should include a description of your career goals and an explanation of the importance of the fellowship both in relation to your own career goals and the broader discipline.

The selection of the Ellen Brenner Memorial Fellow is based on CSHL's determination of:

  1. Motivation to pursue professional development activities in the areas of science, library and information science, and archives management.
  2. Evidence of the applicant's ability to succeed as a science librarian or archivist (as outlined reviews of previous work, publication record, etc.)


The CSHL Archives Committee will decide on applications by the end of April each year, and notify applicants immediately thereafter.


Award Conditions

In submitting an application for the Ellen Brenner Memorial Fellowship, the applicant does not incur any obligation to accept the award if selected.

  1. The Ellen Brenner Memorial Fellow will be required to work on the premises of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library and Archives, at least part time and for no fewer than two months.
  2. The Fellow is expected to present a brief written or oral report on his or her project(s).
  3. A copy of the final report is to be given to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library and Archives to be placed in its files.


The stipend of $1000 can be used for any purpose, including local travel and living expenses while in residence or working at CSHL.




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