As colleges and universities around the world take dramatic actions to protect the health of their communities in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, so too has the MBL had to make difficult but necessary decisions regarding our renowned Advanced Research Training courses.
As was reported last month, courses with April, May, and June start dates have been cancelled. Recently we extended this cancellation to all courses starting in July and one that begins in early August. These include Microbial Diversity, Molecular Mycology, Strategies and Techniques for Analyzing Microbial Population Structures (STAMPS), and Zebrafish Development and Genetics. This decision was made considering many factors, the health and safety of our community first among them.
The MBL has also delayed the start of our undergraduate internship programs (Metcalf, NSF/REU and others) until June 29. This will be reevaluated as additional guidance from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the CDC, and our local community emerges. Decisions on the remaining Advanced Research Training courses will be considered on a case by case basis in the coming weeks.
I realize that these cancellations are difficult not only for our faculty, students, and staff who have been significantly affected in a variety of ways, but also for the MBL community as a whole. Indeed, there are no parallels in MBL history for the actions this pandemic has demanded.
All accepted students have been offered spots in 2021 courses and we are hopeful that most will join us in Woods Hole next year. In the meantime, my office is working with course directors and faculty to develop a virtual presence for courses so that 2021 will not be the first time these students get to know the MBL. We will continue to update you on future plans and offerings as they develop.
Linda E. Hyman
Burroughs Wellcome Director of Education