NESCent is committed to increasing diversity in evolutionary biology, and as part of these efforts we offer targeted sabbatical opportunities to evolutionary biologists from Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs).  These sabbaticals give MSI faculty a chance to reflect, write and perform research.  At the same time, visiting sabbatical scholars are asked to use their invaluable insights to help us propose ways to increase the number of undergraduates choosing graduate study in evolutionary biology.


MSI faculty targeted sabbatical projects typically focus on one or both of the following:


  • Increasing minority participation in evolutionary science: Examples include projects which encourage under-represented students to pursue research opportunities, summer internships and graduate studies in evolutionary science, as well as development of resources to facilitate connections between the evolution research community and under-represented students.


  • Developing evolution education resources and activities: This might include development of new evolution courses, overhauling or updating existing courses, or converting face-to-face courses to online courses.  Other possibilities include development of laboratory activities, learning modules/activities and any other resources that can be used to improve evolution education at all levels.


Examples of recently supported targeted sabbaticals can be found on NESCent’s funded project page .

In general, NESCent does not support collection of new data or field research, but encourages the mining of public and private databases.  In the case of targeted sabbaticals, proposals involving some bench-work in Triangle-area labs will be considered.  (Please contact one of NESCent’s Directors if you are interested in this possibility.)

NESCent is committed to making curriculum, learning modules, data, databases, software and other products that are developed as part of NESCent activities available to the broader scientific and education communities. Applicants should review the Data And Software Policy for NESCent.


Before you Apply

All applicants are encouraged contact Jory Weintraub, Assistant Director of Education and Outreach, for feedback on project ideas.  Please review our Conflict of Interest , Reporting Requirements , and Data And Software policies before applying.  For technical support, contact


Duration and Financial Support

We strongly prefer sabbaticals of six months to one year.  However, if you are unable to commit to this time period, we encourage you to consider a short term visit or propose alternative arrangements.

For specific, targeted activities, the Center will pay stipends up to the equivalent of a full salary for targeted sabbaticals (monthly stipend equal to 1/12 of 9-month salary at home institution).  A housing allowance up to $1000/month can also be provided.

Application Deadlines

Proposals are considered twice a year, with deadlines on July 10th and December 1st.   Proposals will be evaluated in terms of both the scientific/educational value of the project and the qualifications of the applicant. 

Proposals for Targeted Sabbaticals


Proposals for targeted sabbaticals are short, not to exceed 5 single-spaced (12-pt type) pages, plus a 2-page CV.  Proposals should be organized as follows:

  1. Title (80 characters max)
  2. Name and contact information (email, phone, mailing address)
  3. Project Summary (250 words max)
  4. Public Summary (250 words max) – written for the public and visible on the NESCent web site.
  5. Introduction and Goals – A statement of the outstanding challenge being addressed and a concise review of the concept and the literature to place the project in context.
  6. Proposed Activities – A summary of the specific activities to be performed during the course of the sabbatical.
  7. Rationale for NESCent support – How will this project increase minority involvement in evolutionary science and/or lead to the production of new evolution education resources and activities?  Why can this activity be most effectively conducted at NESCent?
  8. Collaborations with other NESCent Activities – We strongly encourage synergy between sabbatical scholars, short-term visitors, working groups, catalysis groups, and postdoctoral fellows.  If you plan for such collaboration please provide specifics.
  9. Proposed Timetable - Include start date, month, and year.
  10. Anticipated IT Needs - Briefly describe any needs for IT support that are important to the success of the proposed project. Please indicate whether development of a database or software will be required.
  11. Anticipated Results - Include a clear statement of anticipated resources and products, and anticipated public release of resources and products.
  12. Short CV of the applicant (2 pages)

Proposal Submission

Proposals will be accepted in digital format only as a pdf file. Graphics should be embedded directly into the proposal document. Note that proposals should be submitted as a single pdf file including all of the components listed above. Proposals are submitted electronically. Please login first if you have already created a profile.