Committee for Postdocs and Students (COMPASS) Outreach Grants are intended to provide funds to ASCB members to promote creative, scientific outreach projects that help you engage with the public.

COMPASS offers Grants for Outreach to assist scientists in showcasing the importance of our work in order for public interest in and government funding of science to continue. These grants, of up to $1,000, will help ASCB members engage with local schools, science fairs, and the general public to promote your research, get the public excited about cell biology, and improve the public perception of scientists.

To apply for this outreach grant, you must be an active ASCB member, with priority given to Student and Postdoc members. These grants can be used for materials (paper goods, bags, t-shirts, art supplies, petri dishes, etc), equipment (microscopes, projector, microphone and speaker, etc), books or brochures, transportation, prizes, and more. Some examples of successful recent events include (but are not limited to):

  • Bring students to your lab! Give a classroom of kids a full science experience by showing them where science is done and who does it.
  • Host a “Cell Biology Day” at your university, community center, church or any other venue that will draw public participation.
  • Develop a speaker series for scientists to present their work to their community at a cafe or coffee shop.
  • Host a science fair and use these funds for supplies and a special ASCB prize to a cell biology project

Looking for outreach ideas? Check out this video overview of a
COMPASS Grant-funded outreach program that helped science become art!


Application Requirements:

  1. A description of the proposed event, answering the following questions:
    • What are goals of the event?
    • Who is the event targeting?
    • What will you do during the event?
    • When and where will the event happen? (event must be conducted during the awarded calendar year)
    • How will the event benefit the local community and/or any underrepresented groups?
    • What is the message you would like your attendees to leave with?
    • Do you have any additional sources of funding? If so, how much and what will it cover?
  2. Organizers’ CV. Previous outreach experience (if any) should be highlighted.
  3. A detailed and itemized budget for no more than $1000. The budget must list every item, include links to items to be purchased when applicable, and provide a justification. Please see examples here.
  4. A description of how you will document the event. (We want to show off your efforts so please provide fantastic photos, a heartfelt blog post, examples of student’s work, an edited video, or anything else that we can share through ASCB).
  5. A description of how you plan to acknowledge ASCB’s funding for your event.


About the Award Process:

  1. Multiple COMPASS Outreach subcommittee members will review and score every proposal based on the responses to the application requirements.
  2. The scores are totaled and subcommittee members discuss which proposals to fund, assign amounts, and designate a liaison to support awardees as they carry out their proposed project.
  3. Applicants are typically notified of the decision within 4 weeks of the deadline.
  4. All paperwork and receipts must be received within 30 days of your event, and all funds MUST be reimbursed by December 15 of the calendar year.
  5. Reimbursements will only be sent to the awardee, and all expenses must be reimbursed at one time at the conclusion of the event, unless an exception is specifically requested and approved.


Please submit your application here.

Deadlines for 2019: January 15, May 31, August 16

Past Awardees