MBL Postbaccalaureate Program
Empowering New Graduates to Access Graduate Education in Biology
Gemma by Megan Costello
Credit: Megan Costello

Who We Are

Empowering New Graduates to Access Graduate Education in Biology, or ENGAGE Bio, is a post baccalaureate program that will support training of recent STEM graduates in the biological sciences. ENGAGE-Bio aims to increase access to graduate education through an immersive, year-long independent research experience at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL). Scholars will also engage in leadership training and career development through a curriculum designed by MBL faculty. This postbaccalaureate program, which is the first of its kind at the MBL, is one that seeks to support scholars through a cross-institutional faculty exchange of ideas with faculty in regions where many scholars are recruited, supporting the individual as a whole, increasing the likelihood for retention of our scholars into graduate programs and ultimately into the STEM workforce. A major outcome of the ENGAGE Bio program is to capitalize on the rich research training environment offered at the MBL while also establishing strong relationships with institutions sending scholars to the MBL, especially those from minority serving institutions (MSIs, see figure below).

Graphic depicting MSI (minority serving institutions) engagement with MBL program and going on to graduate education and into a diverse STEM workforce.

Program Details

At the heart of the ENGAGE-Bio program is a mentored research experience. Participants can work on research projects related to ecosystems science, regenerative biology, microbiology, neuroscience, and optical physics/imaging. The MBL uniquely offers opportunities to conduct research in these areas while living in a marine and coastal environment, taking advantage of emerging and existing marine and aquatic organisms for biological research, in a highly collaborative and entrepreneurial environment. MBL faculty have an excellent track record of training post-baccalaureates in research and mentoring them to enter Ph.D. programs in the STEM sciences. The program also offers a rich curriculum of leadership development and professional development which assist the scholar in building a professional network that will offer support as they navigate different stages of their scientific careers. Training in scientific communication, grant writing, analytical processing of data, and presentation of research findings will also be provided.

Stipend Information

Scholars will be offered a stipend (~$40,000) and healthcare benefits. Travel support to cover the cost of airfare and bus transportation to the MBL at the beginning of the program is also offered.


ƬƬ (MBL) invites applicants who are recent graduates of undergraduate programs and who are interested in pursuing careers in the life sciences. Completion of bachelor’s degree by August 2024 is required.

In 2024 we will focus enrollment of scholars who currently attend undergraduate institutions withinthese five geographic areas – Atlanta, Boston, Puerto Rico, San Antonio, and San Diego – with the expectation for expansion of our recruitment areas in the future.

Assisting in the diversification of the STEM workforce is a core value of the MBL, we encourage all who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree (masters or PhD) in the biological sciences to apply.

Application Process

Important Program Dates:
Application Opens:January 16, 2024
Application Due:April 1, 2024
Decisions Sent:April 19, 2024
Program Begins:Sept. 4, 2024

Applications will include the following:

  • Completed online application – including your response to the following essay prompts:
    1. Statement of goals
    2. Summary of research experience
    3. Statement of your expectations for the program
    4. What areas of research are you interested in, and/or are there any specific faculty that you would like to work with? Please see ourResearch Center web pages here.
  • Transcripts from colleges and universities attended. Unofficial transcripts are sufficient for the application period.
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Contact information for two individuals who are able to offer a recommendation, upon request.
MBL Postbaccalaureate Program logo


The program provides training in state of the art research facilities under the guidance of the MBL's resident scientist community.


Discover the excitement of leadership training and career development opportunities to successfully advance to graduate programs in STEM sciences.


Post-bacc scholars will be trained as 'ambassadors,' assisting in peer engagement and mentoring. The program also features opportunities for faculty in mentor training and research collaborations.

Sloan Foundation logo

This program is funded in part through generous support from The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Contact Us

Marine Biological Laboratory
Division of Education
7 MBL Street
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1015
Phone: (508) 548-3705
Fax: (508) 289-7931
Email Education