Dear Whitman Fellows,

I hope that you, your families, and colleagues are safe and healthy.  I am writing to update you on the Marine Biological Laboratory’s plans for the Whitman Fellowship program during the COVID-19 crisis.  At the moment, the MBL is open and research staff are active, although at reduced levels on campus.  If circumstances force us to close, we will maintain a small number of essential staff to care for animals and essential equipment, but it will not be possible to conduct laboratory research.

While it is impossible to know what will happen in the next few months, it is clear that everyone’s research program will be severely impacted.

  • If you prefer to defer your Whitman Fellowship to 2021, you may do so at this time. We will need a brief statement of interest updating the Selection Committee on your proposal by December 15, 2020.
  • If you plan to come to the MBL during the 2020 season, we may need to delay your arrival depending on circumstances.  Fellows who have registered to arrive in April or May will need to postpone their arrival as all on-campus facilities (housing and dining services) will be shut down during that time.

We will need to work together on arrangements that ensure the health and safety of your group and the rest of the MBL community.  It is likely that not all research facilities and services will be available, and MBL dining and housing may also be affected.  The situation may change quickly at any time before or after your arrival on campus.  We therefor ask for your patience and understanding as we navigate these unprecedented circumstances.

Please communicate your fellowship plans to Dana Mock-Muñoz de Luna ( as soon as possible.  We look forward to hearing from you and wish you all the best during these challenging times.

With kind regards,

Nipam Patel
MBL Director