Starter Culture Microgrants

The Starter Culture Microgrant Program funds projects that will benefit the genetics community and allows GSA to be more responsive to member needs and changing contexts. This program gives GSA members of any career stage up to $2000 for a project that will:

  • Respond to the community’s needs by providing small starter funding for critical projects.
  • Have broad and far-reaching intellectual, practical, and geographic impacts which are not limited to institutional events in a single location.
  • Benefit students and faculty with projects that are organized by and/or target scientists in need of funding.
Applications are open.

Print or make a copy of the Starter Culture Microgrant Application Checklist here! Use this checklist to enhance the quality of your application, prepare question responses, and make sure you include all requested information for a high quality application.

Review Criteria

The Microgrant Review Committee will consider the following primary criteria when selecting proposals to fund:

  • Potential to benefit the field of genetics and/or the GSA community (recognizing that not all members of the GSA community are geneticists)
  • Need for the initiative
  • Evidence of attention to the practicalities of the initiative, e.g. proposed logistics, expertise and resources required, timelines, distribution methods
  • Evidence of attention to equity and inclusion in the proposal, for example in developing the program, selecting organizers and speakers, event accessibility, or advertising strategies

Award Conditions

  • For successful applications, GSA will provide up to $2,000 to support direct meeting costs, such as facility rental, audiovisual needs, printing, speaker travel, promotion, supplies, and refreshments. GSA funds may not be used for indirect or overhead costs, salaries, speaker honoraria, or alcoholic beverages.
  • Speakers and session chairs should represent the diversity of our discipline, both scientifically and demographically. As such, organizers should consider gender, racial/ethnic background, nationality, institution, and other factors when developing the program.
  • Events must display the GSA logo on the event website and/or at the event.
  • If requested by the Society, the organizers will provide an opportunity for a GSA representative to offer welcoming remarks and the chance to display informational material.
  • Organizers will solicit feedback on the symposium from participants via an online survey provided by GSA.
  • One month after the symposium, organizers will provide:
    • A final report that includes: program for the symposium, lessons learned, and roster of speakers and presenters
    • A complete list of attendees, including name, institutional affiliation, email address, career stage, and field(s) of interest
    • A written summary of the symposium appropriate for publication on the GSA blog
    • An itemized financial accounting of how funds provided by GSA were spent, including documentation and receipts

Eligible Candidates

Proposals for a Starter Culture Microgrant may be submitted by an individual or a group from anywhere in the world. The principal applicant or at least one corresponding applicant must be a current GSA member at the time of application submission. Those scientists and students who are full-time residents of countries with low- and middle-income economies are eligible for a complimentary two-year GSA membership. Please email society@genetics-gsa.org to request or renew an LMIC Membership.

Any proposed initiatives must be in keeping with GSA’s mission and include specific information on how organizers anticipate that the proposed event or project will benefit the genetics community.

Proposed initiatives must benefit a large or small group of any size rather than an individual, and proposals for personal professional development (e.g. travel funds for the applicant to attend a meeting or visit a lab) will not be considered. Supported projects may include both in-person and virtual formats. We encourage creativity and new ideas for how to connect with your genetics community and GSA at large.


Applications will remain open year round. The Microgrant Review Committee will meet once every quarter to determine the awardees, and up to $2,500 will be funded per quarter across successful projects. Awardees will be announced each quarter, and GSA will market supported initiatives year-round.

Questions about the program or application? Email engagement@genetics-gsa.org.

Learn more about career development at GSA

Early Career Leadership and Professional Development Program

Students, postdocs, and other early career scientists (ECS) are the future of the GSA community. To strengthen their voice in the Society, GSA developed the Early Career Scientist leadership and professional development program. This program provides rich opportunities for early career scientists to develop skills, gain experience, network, and produce concrete deliverables that demonstrate their abilities.

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GENETICS Peer Review Training Program

Peer-reviewers are vital to science, yet early career scientists in our field rarely receive formal training in how to be a good reviewer. GSA and GENETICS are addressing this gap with a program that gives early career members real-world peer review experience. Participants will receive online training, feedback, and will become reviewers for manuscripts submitted to GENETICS.

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