Dynasty Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology


The Dynasty Foundation opened this support program for young biologists specializing in molecular and cellular biology in 2011.
The basis of the program is the annual Russia-wide grant competition.

Competition goals:

  • targeted support of young candidates of science specializing in molecular and cellular biology
  • increasing the scientific level of young biologists and their mobility within Russia
  • preparing actively working young biologists for creating scientific groups of their own
  • involving young biologists in the international system of science organization

Who can participate?

  • Candidates of science and holders of equivalent degrees (PhD, MD) who defended their dissertation (as of the date of defense) not earlier than three years before the date of the competition opening (including the dissertations that were defended 1 September) can participate in the competition.
  • If a female biologist has a child (children) born during three years after the dissertation defense the application deadline is extended for one year for each child born during this period.
  • Participants must be younger than 35 on the date of the competition opening.
  • Participants must submit only one application for the competition. Nevertheless, if a grant is not received, then it is possible to participate in the competition in the following years.

Biologists working in the following fields (according to classificatory codes in the Expert Corpus [in Russian]) can participate in the competition:

  • 301 Biophysics
  • 302 Biochemistry
  • 303 Enzymology
  • 304 Molecular biology
  • 305 Bioinformatics (computational molecular biology)
  • 306 System biology
  • 307 Structural biology
  • 308 Cellular biology and cytology
  • 309 Immunology
  • 312 Biotechnology
  • 314 Molecular medicine
  • 3152 Population genetics
  • 3153 Medical genetics
  • 3154 Molecular genetics
  • 3163 Cellular neurophysiology
  • 3165 Biophysical physiology of plants
  • 3202 Molecular evolution
  • 3211 Molecular microbiology
  • 3221 Molecular virology

Competition winners must perform their grant-paid scientific activity at Russian scientific and/or educational organizations.

Grant-receivers must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Changing the institute/laboratory (i.e., the grant recipient will perform scientific activity covered by the grant at a institute/laboratory other than the one where the dissertation for a candidate of science degree was prepared)
  • Doing research work on a conceptually new topic (i.e., the topic must differ from the topic of the previous work and dissertation)

The applicant must have at least one first-authored paper in an international science journal with an impact factor no less than 2.0. Corresponding authorship and equal-contribution authorship is acceptable.

In the last five years, the host laboratory must have at least three papers with the laboratory head as a corresponding author published in an international science journal with an impact factor no less than 2.0.

Application deadlines 2015

From 1 September to 15 October 2014 (24:00 Moscow time)

How will selection occur?

There will be two levels of expert review:

  • The first expert review will be by experts from among leading Russian and foreign scientists, who are generally members of the Expert Corpus; each application will be considered by three experts.
  • The final expert review will be by the Expert Council.

Expert Council 2015:

  • Dr. Peter Geiduschek, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Section of Molecular Biology, University of California San Diego
  • Dr. Ruslan M. Medzhitov, Professor in the Yale School of Medicine and winner of a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Dr. Joachim Messing, Professor of Molecular Biology and Director, Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University
  • Dr. Ferid Murad, American physician and pharmacologist, co-winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and Professor, George Washington University
  • Dr. Jack W. Szostak, American cytogeneticist, co-winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Professor, Harvard Medical School

What will the experts consider?

  • novelty and relevance of the research
  • well-developed research plan including alternative ways of problem solving in the event of difficulties
  • scientific level of competition participants (previous results, publication rating)
  • scientific level of the host laboratory and availability of necessary infrastructure

Grant-winners will be determined by 1 April 2015.

How to file an application

1. Complete the application in English and send it to phd_biology@dynastyfdn.com with accompanying information(this information is provided in the body of the letter; it is not necessary to send a separate file; example here):

  • a) application (download application form here),
    file name—applicant family name_application.doc
    for example, ivanov_application. doc
  • b) letter from the host laboratory about agreeing to accept the participant for doing the project, indicating availability of the necessary equipment, signed by the laboratory head
    file name—applicant family name_lab_letter.pdf
    for example, ivanov_lab_letter.pdf

Letter name — applicant family name

2. Ask the scientific advisor to send a written recommendation in English to phd_biology@dynastyfdn.com (desirable, but not required)
file name—applicant family name_advisor_recommendation.pdf
for example, ivanov_advisor_recommendation.pdf

3. Ask two scientists specializing in the area of the proposed research to send written recommendations in English to phd_biology@dynastyfdn.com (recommendations from foreign scientists are encouraged)
file name—applicant family name_recommendation.pdf
for example, ivanov_recommendation.pdf

The list of applicants will be published 17 October 2014.
If we do not receive a sufficient number of recommendations for your application, we will contact you by e-mail by 17 October 2014.
If your name is on the list and you did not receive any e-mail from us, then we received all the necessary recommendations.
If you submitted an application but your name is not on the list, contact the competition organizers
by telephone +7 (495) 969 28 83 or e-mail phd_biology@dynastyfdn.com.
Contact person—Maria Kolesnikova

What will the winners receive?

The grant is given for a period of three years with a possibility of a one-year extension.

The grant amount is 650000 rubles a year. The grant recipient's salary must be no more than 300000 rubles of this amount, and the rest of the money should be directed toward purchasing expendables, additional equipment, and utilities (including computers), as well as using necessary services, participating in conferences, and paying for publications.

Not more than 25% of the grant amount unused in the current year is allowed to be used during the next budget year.


Grant recipients must submit reports including substantive and financial parts to the Dynasty Foundation after each grant year.


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Dmitry Zimin
Dynasty Foundation

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