Who is eligible to apply for the Mistletoe Research Fellowship?
Currently, eligibility is limited to full-time postdoctoral fellows at participating programs and universities in the United States. At some participating institutions, eligibility is also open to full-time advanced PhD candidates (all but dissertation) with permission.
At this time, Mistletoe Research Fellowships are open to most STEM fields and some fields of social science. These broadly include:
Engineering, Life Sciences, Health Science, Computer Science, Environmental Studies / Ecology / Earth Sciences, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Statistics / Data Science / Informatics, and Psychological and Brain Sciences / Biopsychology.
If your discipline is in a sub-field, please select the closest applicable broad category when applying for a fellowship.
Your field’s core training must heavily emphasize one or more of the following competencies: quantitative analysis and data manipulation, laboratory science or engineering. Note that the fields of social science we can currently accept into the program either have data analysis as a primary focus (Statistics, Data Science, Informatics) or data analysis combined with a laboratory science component (Psychological and Brain Sciences, Biopsychology). While we recognize and appreciate that many social sciences require training in quantitative methods, it is not the primary disciplinary focus it would be for a PhD in Statistics.
If you are unsure as to whether your field is classified under a broad area, please reach out to our program for clarification. If your field is not included, please note that we hope to expand the program in the next few years to include additional social science and STEM fields. As the MRF program scales and we can expand the scope of projects under the Startup Collaboration, we will be able to open the program to social sciences with a less quantitative focus. We are committed above all to making sure that the quality of training and professional development provided to Fellows in our program remains high as we expand.
Note: Mistletoe Research Fellowships can be awarded more than once. Prior recipients of Mistletoe Research Fellowships will be allowed to reapply in following years, provided that they still meet the eligibility requirements and completed the program in good standing.
APPLYING FOR A MISTLETOE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP
What is your definition of "postdoc" for the purposes of fellowship eligibility?
We agree with the National Science Foundation that a "postdoc" is a temporary position awarded in academia, industry, a nonprofit organization, or government primarily for gaining additional education and training in research. We also recognize that there are variations in title. One might be called a postdoctoral fellow, postdoctoral scholar, research fellow, visiting fellow, or a research scholar amongst other titles.
In line with the definition above, the Mistletoe Foundation uses a three prong test to decide if someone is an eligible "postdoc" for the purposes of the Mistletoe Research Fellowship program:
1) You have earned your PhD in one of our eligible fields and you are employed full time at one of our partner universities (meaning that you receive a salary or stipend) through the 2018-2019 academic year.
2) You have a temporary non-tenure-line appointment that is focused primarily on research rather than teaching. Although we recognize that many postdocs do teach, we do not regard adjunct faculty or visiting assistants/lecturers as postdocs. One important indication of eligibility is that you do receive research funding (either from your university or from an external grant). The Mistletoe Research Fellowship is designed to be a supplement that augments and enhances your research funding. It does not work well when it is your sole source of research funding.
3) You are supervised by a mentor or by a PI - indicating that the position is a part of your continuing education and training in research.
My PhD is in Psychology and you listed Psychological and Brain Sciences. Am I eligible?
At this time, the MRF program is designed to work best for individuals whose training heavily emphasizes one or more of the following competencies: quantitative analysis and data manipulation, laboratory science or engineering.
This is likely to be true for experimental psychology and more unlikely for applied psychology. We recognize that many social sciences require extensive training in quantitative methods but it is not the primary focus it would be for a PhD in Statistics. If you feel confident your training is a strong match, you should certainly apply for the fellowship. Note that the fields of social science we explicitly accept either have data analysis as their primary focus (Statistics, Informatics) or data analysis combined with a laboratory science component (Pyschological and Brain Science).
As the MRF program scales and we can allow for larger teams or expand the scope of the startup collaboration, we will be able to open the program to social sciences with a less quantitative focus.
You will be your own best judge as to whether your training and background meet these criteria enough to apply, but we hope these clarifications are helpful.
What are the selection criteria and application requirements for the Mistletoe Research Fellowship?
Here are some of the criteria we consider in assessing applications:
Evidence of high-level scholarship and academic performance
Experience in interdisciplinary work and collaboration.
An interest in working with entrepreneurs (experience not required) or an interest in community engagement and/or humanitarian projects.
Institutional or field service, such as committee participation.
Character traits, which include collaboration, curiosity, and self-direction.
Fellowships are awarded by an admissions committee comprised of the foundation senior program team and selected board and advisory committee members. Pre-screening may be conducted by the applicant’s university depending on the institution's own policies.
Applicants are asked to submit our online application, two electronic letters of recommendation, and unofficial transcripts. PhD candidates will be asked to provide proof of ABD “all but dissertation” status and advisor permission.
Some candidates may be invited to interview remotely.