Apply for a Building with Biology Forum Stipend! (Applications Due May 31, 2016)

April 5, 2016

by Kayla Berry, Museum of Science

We are pleased to make available a limited number of one-time stipends in the amount of $1,200 to recipients of the Building with Biology 2016 physical kit to host a public forum in connection with your planned event!

Pilot Summer 2015 Building with Biology forum at Museum of Science

What is a public forum

Building with Biology public forums offer the opportunity to engage in thoughtful conversations with scientists about important issues regarding the potential societal and ethical implications of synthetic biology. Forums are targeted at older ages (16+), and they are often most successful as a separate event marketed to adults in a quiet space. The forums take approximately an hour and half, are adaptable, are facilitated by educators and are intended for scientists to participate alongside members of the public. 

Program overview

Please review the 2016 Building with Biology Forum Stipend Overview for details on the Building with Biology forums, eligibility, evaluation and reporting requirements, application process, and more. 

Two forums are available to choose from: Should We Engineer the Mosquito? and Should We Edit the Genome? When, Why, and How Much? An additional resource you may find beneficial is the Forums Manual, which is a great tool for planning and organizing a forum.

The materials and resources for the Building with Biology forums are available online at

How do I apply for a forum stipend?

To apply for a $1,200 forum stipend, you will need to submit an online application through SurveyGizmo - we are no longer accepting applications; the deadline to submit an application was May 31, 2016

Forum stipend applications will undergo a review process by the Building with Biology project team and award funds only to institutions that meet the eligibility requirements. We will be looking to support applications that demonstrate the goals of the Building with Biology project and potential reach, and that comply with stipend terms.

  • The forum stipend application deadline is May 31st, 2016
  • Applicants will be informed of their award status in early June 2016 and should plan to receive their stipend late June/early July
  • Building with Biology forum should take place between June 24th – September 30th, 2016


Online Workshops

Engaging Audiences in Science through Building with Biology Public Forums (for host site staff)
Thursday, April 28, 2016
2:00 - 3:00 PM Eastern Time 
Join us for the online webinar, Engaging Audiences in Science through Building with Biology Public Forums, that will discuss what a forum is and how hosting a forum might benefit your Building with Biology event and institution - it's a great way to engage adult audiences! We'll discuss each of the two forum topics that you can choose from, what's involved in hosting a forum and discuss the forum stipend opportunity.

Webinar recording and resources archived at

Evaluating Building with Biology Forums (for host site staff)
Thursday, June 23, 2016
2:00 - 3:00 PM Eastern Time - Register now
This webinar will prepare participants to collect evaluation data from participants of the Building with Biology forums call Should We Engineer the Mosquito? and Editing the Genome: Now We Can. Should We? All sites receiving a forum stipend must participate in this webinar, but all kit recipients are welcome to attend if interested in conducting their own evaluation. Evaluation team members will share resources they have created to help sites understand what scientists and members of the public learn and value about their participation in the forums. Participants will receive training in the project’s data collection methods and discuss ethical considerations about the evaluation.

Forums Manual
The Forums Manual is a great resource tool for planning and organizing a forum at your own institution. 

The Building with Biology evaluation team will provide stipend recipients with evaluation materials required for hosting a forum. See the Forum Stipend Overview for forum evaluation and reporting requirements.


Important dates

May 2016: Deadline to apply for a forum stipend is May 31, 2016

June 2016: Applicants informed of award status in early June; stipends received in late June/early July

June 23rd, 2016: Evaluating Building with Biology Forums webinar (for host site staff) - required for those who receive a forum stipend. Register now

June 24th – September 30th, 2016: Host a Building with Biology forum (*Forum tip: Recruiting an audience for a forum takes time. We recommend planning at least a month for this process)