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Collaborative Grants Program

The Branco Weiss Collaborative Grants program is a centerpiece of the alumni network. In exchange for proposing a clearly defined project with the potential for synergistic impact, the fellowship may select one or two projects annually for additional funding to enable the team to realize their vision.

Tangible outcomes of the projects must include, at least, those described in the initial grant proposal. Intangible outcomes will include increased knowledge and a broadened perspective for all team members, the provision of professional mentorship and support to current fellows by the alumni fellows, the provision of information on new ideas and cutting-edge techniques by current fellows, and increased social connection and scientific interaction, discourse, and vibrancy among all the fellows.

Fellows are encouraged to contact one another throughout the year to develop potential project ideas, and to discuss possible ideas with each other, with George Slavich (Director of the Branco Weiss Alumni Network), and with the Directorate during the annual meeting. Applications are brief (1-2 pages maximum) with a focus on (a) the overall quality of the idea, (b) the synergistic nature of the idea and project team, and (c) the clarity and feasibility of the project plan. Proposals must be submitted online by January 31, and feedback from the Directorate is provided as soon as possible.

Fellows can describe their involvement in their project in their written reports to the Directorate. In addition, teams that receive support may be asked to briefly present on their progress during the annual meeting, at the discretion of the Directorate.

The following application guidelines apply:

  • A project idea of any kind can be proposed, as long as it follows the general concept of the Fellowship: “Society in Science.”
  • The project can be accomplished in one to two years.
  • The project can be proposed by any current fellow or alumni fellow, and must involve at least one current fellow and at least one alumni fellow. Larger teams are welcome, but are not necessarily needed or advantageous.
  • The project must center on an idea that utilizes the specialized skills of each person involved in order to realize something that has never been done before and that could not reasonably be done unless the unique expertise and skills of each fellow are combined.
  • The project should have a clear synergistic quality: supporting the fellows together as a team is clearly better than supporting each fellow individually.
  • The project should not be performed in lieu of a current fellow’s primary project, but rather should be a smaller, collaborative project that a current fellow elects to pursue to learn a new body of information, enhance or expand his or her scientific perspective, develop new connections with other current or alumni fellows, etc.
  • The concept for the project is clearly defined, and there is a clear plan for what will be accomplished and when, and how the monies will be spent.


Please contact George Slavich if you are a current Branco Weiss Fellow or alumni fellow and have questions regarding the Branco Weiss Collaborative Grants program.

The following Collaborative Grants have been approved since the start of the program:



Project title


2023 Understanding the relationship between mobility and HIV risks in female sex workers in western Madagascar Tetyana Vasylyeva
Cara Brook
Nita Bharti
2021 Viability of quantum technology for exoplanet imaging Xavier Dumusque
Igor Pikovski
2020 ANYmal and animal society Erica van de Waal
Marco Hutter
2019 New bridges across the translational gap Linda Douw
Klaus Eyer
Lara Keuck
2019 Autonomy and reciprocity – Ethical perspectives in human neurosciences and beyond Rain Liivoja
Julia Sacher
2018 Identification of circadian macrophage function in response to robotically controlled artificial and natural bacteria Josiane Broussard
Simone Schürle
2018 Engineering stochastic adhesion between probiotics for prolonged engraftment and function in the treatment of gut dysbiosis Cheemeng Tan
Michael Nash
Suzanne Devkota