Sydney Brenner Research Scholarship

Application Instructions


Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory will base its selection of the Sydney Brenner Research Scholar on several factors. The Laboratory will assess the applicant’s research proposal on the merits of its quality, sophistication, depth, and relevance to CSHL’s archival holdings. We look for a unique proposal that will focus on a specific topic or perspective within the history of science, molecular biology, biotechnology and genetics.

Selection Process

All proposals and applications are due by December 31 of each year. The CSHL Archives Committee will review the applications and choose a Scholar.

The committee will choose the Sydney Brenner Scholar based on, among other things, the relevance of an applicant’s research proposal to the Archives' collections. The Brenner Scholar’s research findings are expected to be presented in a talk, meeting, website, or other type of presentation and to culminate in a scholarly book, article, or other project after completion of the research. The Scholarship is open to all scholars and writers, both university-affiliated and independent. In recent years we have also offered the award to graduate students.


The Sydney Brenner Research Scholar will be required to visit the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives for his or her research, which we expect to be conducted within a period of one year. The stipend can be used for any purpose relating to the Scholar’s research project, including travel, transportation, daily expenses, and accommodations for one year. The stipend is to cover expenses incurred for travel and subsistence while doing research using the resources of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library and Archives. Additional costs that may apply include recording oral history interviews, transcribing oral history interviews, microfilming archival materials, or completing other research tasks. Complimentary research to be conducted at archives outside our institution may also be included.


Certain conditions apply upon acceptance of the Scholarship:

  1. Scholars are required to travel to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and conduct their research using the Library and Archives collections. Space for research and onsite accomodations are available; Scholars must book accomodations ahead of time.
  2. Scholars are expected to present the results of their research in a talk, at a meeting, on a website, or through some other educational endeavour to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory community.
  3. A copy of the final research project (in the form of a scholarly book, article, or other medium) is to be donated to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library and Archives as part of its collection.

Who Can Apply

Application is open to scholars, historians, writers, documentarians, as well as last-year graduate students.


Materials Required for Application

A complete application package must include the following:

  1. The two-page application form
  2. A research proposal:
    • Statement of your intended research (not more than 1000 words and no longer than two pages - 12 pt. font, double-spaced) describing your project. This should include a full description of the research you plan to undertake at CSHL, an explanation of the importance of the project in relation to your own research goals and the broader discipline, and justification for conducting your research at CSHL. A brief description of any additional archival collections (outside CSHL) you're planning to conduct complimentary research at and the amount of time you intend to spend at each institution (if applicable). The CSHL Archives Committee seeks a proposal that is sophisticated, detailed, and original.
    • Selected bibliography of titles or collections in the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library and Archives that are relevant to your research proposal.
    • Brief budget statement showing the expenses for which support is requested.
  3. A curriculum vitae reflecting your education, previous or current fellowships, grants, and awards, and a brief description of your research interests. Please include undergraduate and graduate education, dates of study, areas of study, and previous publications.
  4. Two letters of reference from individuals, evaluating your proposal. These referees should be familiar with your work. The reference letters should be sent in sealed envelopes signed by the referee across the flap.

Send all parts of your application together to:

Brenner Scholarship Research Program
Genentech Center for the History of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
1 Bungtown Rd.
Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724

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