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Guidelines for the Wood-Whelan Research Fellowships

Established about 1983 by funds provided by an appeal among the world's biochemists for the purpose of granting short-term fellowships to young biochemists to carry out research and training in a laboratory other than their own. This was named after Harland Wood, former General Secretary and President of IUB, and William Whelan, former General Secretary of IUB and former President of IUBMB. Additions to the funds were made by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ($10,000 in 1997, $20,000 in 1998) and by a donation from William Whelan ($18,000 in 2001).


The Wood-Whelan Research Fellowships are designed to support young biochemists and molecular biologists, from countries that are full or associate members of IUBMB who need to travel to other laboratories in the IUBMB region for the purpose of carrying out experiments that require special techniques or for other forms of scientific collaboration or advanced training.

Conditions of Fellowships

The fellowships will be awarded for travel lasting 1 - 4 months. A fellowship is intended to cover travel and incidental costs, as well as living expenses, to a total of $ 3,000.  Travel costs will provide for the cheapest airfare available; incidental expenses directly related to the travel, local bus fares to and from airport; and a hotel charge for one night at airport if well substantiated. The costs do not cover insurance or research expenses at the laboratory to be visited. Travel should commence within four months of the award being made.

Applicants for fellowships are required to make a full declaration to IUBMB of all other support received in connection with the proposed visit. A fellowship cannot be used to supplement scientific visits otherwise fully covered.  Fellowships will not be awarded to attend courses, symposia, meetings or congresses. Applicants must be residents of countries that are members of IUBMB and should generally be graduate students or young researchers less than 35 years old.  Retroactive applications will not be considered.


The following four documents (A-D) should be provided. The original application (Documents A and B, see below), written in English, should be sent by the applicant, if possible by e-mail (prepared as PDF files that can be read by the ACROBAT reader), to the Chairman of the Committee. In addition, Documents C and D (see below) should be sent directly, by the head of the receiving institute (C) and by the head of the applicant's institute (D) respectively, to the Chairman of the Committee.

  1. Details of the research proposal of about two A4-sized pages indicating clearly:

    1. the nature of the project and the type of experiments to be carried out;

    2. why it is necessary to travel to a particular laboratory to conduct the experiments rather than to perform them in the applicant's own laboratory or simply to ship the materials;

    3. why the project will require the particular time period requested;

    4. documentation about the cost of the proposed travel and any incidental expenses.  An estimate of the travel costs should be provided by a travel agent and be based on the costs of the cheapest flight available. The type of flight (e.g. apex, Super-Apex, student fare) should be stated.

  2. A short curriculum vitae of the applicant with a list of publications.

  3. A letter of acceptance from the head of the receiving institute countersigned by the leader of the group in which the applicant will work, stating that the institute will receive the applicant.

  4. A letter of recommendation from the head of the department of the applicant's institution indicating the reasons why the fellowship would be beneficial.  This letter should also list all other fellowships previously received by the applicant, especially for travel abroad to attend meetings or to study at another institution.

Applications in English can be submitted at any time but they should reach the the Chairman of the Committee at least two months before the intended visit to the host laboratory.

All documents (A to D) should be sent as e-mail attachments (word or pdf), so that they can easily be forwarded by the Chairman to the other Committee members for evaluation.


No later than three months after the visit, a brief report should be sent to Dr. J. H. Weil (Chairman of the Committee on Wood-Whelan Research Fellowships) detailing the length of stay, results achieved or expected, and any publication that may result.  Acknowledgement of receipt of the Fellowship should be made in any publication(s) that arise(s) as a result of the visit.

Addresses of Members of the Wood-Whelan Research Fellowships Committee

Dr. Jacques-Henry Weil, Chairman,  Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut de Biologie Moleculaire des Plantes (IBMP), 12 rue du General Zimmer, 67084 Strasbourg Cedex, FRANCE
Phone: +33 3-88-417-238; Fax: +33 3-88-614-442
e-mail: [email protected]

Dr. M. Iqbal Parker, Division of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Observatory 7925, Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA
Tel: +27-21-406 6259; Fax: +27-21-4o6 6060
e-mail: [email protected]

Dr. Avadhesha Surolia, Molecular Biophysics Unit, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, INDIA
Phone: (office): +91-80-2932460, 2932714, 2932389; Fax: +91-80-3600535, 3600683, 3600085
e-mail: [email protected]

6 February 2019