What is the Mistletoe Fellowship? 

The Mistletoe Research Fellowship was officially created in 2018. This professional development program awards research grants to postdoctoral fellows and advanced Ph.D. candidates as well as providing opportunities to collaborate with startups with a high potential for social and humanitarian impact.

The Mistletoe Research Fellowship was created with three goals in mind:

  • Helping frontier startups to succeed in advancing nascent technologies.
  • Funding scientific research and providing a professional development and training opportunity for early-career academics.
  • Creating a bridge between the academic and entrepreneurship communities that may lead to further collaboration, partnerships, innovation, and employment.

The Mistletoe Research Fellowship fosters the development of new competencies in postdoctoral scholars and Ph.D. candidates by offering unrestricted research funding and professional development training which includes entrepreneurial collaboration. All Mistletoe Fellows participate in two programs designed to build skills that will help Fellows to succeed and work more effectively with outside collaborators, whether they seek industry careers or remain in academia:

1) The Unfettered Research Grant

  • Provides fellowship recipients with $10,000 of unrestricted research funding that can be applied to their individual research activities.
  • This unrestricted grant can be used over the course of a single academic year for almost any university-approved research-related activity, including conference travel support, purchases of equipment, and software and database licenses.

2) The Startup Collaboration

  • An extracurricular professional training program in which Fellows form interdisciplinary teams and learn to apply their scholarship and expertise to help frontier startups to further the development of products with high social impact potential.
  • During this three-day summer Match Workshop, fellows are introduced to startups, mentors, investors, and community partners. Once the academic year begins, the Startup Collaboration takes place using our Online Learning Community.

Who Is Eligible? 

The Mistletoe Foundation will award up to 36 competitive fellowship opportunities to postdoctoral scholars and advanced Ph.D. candidates from a small cohort of R1 partner universities. Postdoc participants must remain full-time postdoctoral fellows throughout the 2019-2020 academic calendar year. Ph.D. candidates should be "all but dissertation" and maintain full-time status with stipend support for the duration of the 2019-2020 academic calendar year. At this time, Mistletoe Research Fellowships are open to most STEM fields and some fields of Social Science. If you are unsure as to whether your field is classified under a broad area, please reach out to our program for clarification after checking the on our website. If your field is not included, please note that we hope to expand the program in the next few years.

These fields broadly include:

Engineering, Life Sciences, Health Science, Computer Science, Environmental Studies / Ecology / Earth Sciences, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Statistics / Data Science / Informatics, and Experimental Psychology

Applicants will be evaluated by the selection committee for their research potential, aptitude for interdisciplinary work and collaboration, and interest in entrepreneurship or in social and humanitarian projects.

Note: Mistletoe Research Fellowships can be awarded more than once. Prior recipients of Mistletoe Research Fellowships will be allowed to re-apply in following years, provided that they still meet the eligibility requirements and completed the program in good standing.

How Do I Apply? 

Interested applicants should first read the Mistletoe Application Instructions. Once you have reviewed this document, you can apply online via the Mistletoe Foundation website.

Applications for 2019-20 are due April 29, 2019 by 11:59pm Pacific Time.

Further Information

For more information about the Mistletoe Fellowship, including the application process, visit the Mistletoe Foundation website or contact the Graduate School Fellowship Office.