Research Applications

Guidelines on Completing Research Applications

Please read the Rate Schedule and the RMBL Research Code in addition to completing the appropriate application. Email the Executive Director or Science Director before submitting an application for New Research. Starting in 2021, all researchers and their team members will individually register in the new RMBL Community portal. People will be able to login to their account at any time, once they have registered. The link to register will be posted here in January, 2021.  Once people have registered, they will be able to complete the following applications and upload documents to their account.

  • If you are a New Principal Investigator (PI), fill out a New/Renewal Application by Februray 1. This includes submitting a Project Description and CV. Instructions for Project Descriptions are HERE.
  • If you are a Principal Investigator (PI) and your research approval has expired, fill out a New/Renewal Application by Februray 1. This includes submitting a Project Description and CV. Instructions for Project Descriptions are HERE.
  • Collectors who are not otherwise doing research should fill out a Collection Application by February 1. This includes submitting a Project Description of your collecting plans and CV.
  • If you have an approved research plan that is current, you will submit Annual Research Questions (previously known as a Continuing Application). We will ask you to register and fill out Annual Research questions by March 1. However, with the new RMBL community portal, you will be able to edit your summer dates and housing request at any time up until April 1.
  • Members of a PI’s research team will need to complete either the Research Assistant or Visiting Scientist Application.  EACH INDIVIDUAL AT RMBL WILL FILL OUT THEIR OWN APPLICATION.  The only exception is for family members who are all living together and will have a single bill for their stay.

Contact the Science Director, if you don’t fit into one of these categories or have questions.  Late applications can be accepted in most cases, though there is a late fee.  Simple supplementary research projects can be added to an approved research plan by Feb.1 with no fee.  After Feb.1, there is a fee to review supplementary research projects.

All of the applications to conduct research at RMBL are located ONLINE.  Fellowship applications and Animal Care forms may be submitted to the Science Director (

Everyone who attends RMBL must fill out a waiver every year; these can be completed online when you register.

This January, 2021, we are moving to a new Registration and application system. Details on how to login and submit your application via the new RMBL Community Portal will be posted here in January, 2021. The deadlines for 2021 applications are posted below.

Researcher ApplicationFebruary 1 for New/Renewals and Collector Applications. Continuing researchers register by April 1.
MS-Word copies of:
New/Renewal application
Continuing application
Collector application
For reference only; these 2019 versions are very similar to the types of questions we ask in 2021.
Animal Care FormFebruary 12021 form is posted.
Graduate Fellowship Form February 152021 form is posted
Research Fellowship for Scientists Form February 152021 form is posted.
Returning_Student_Form February 152021 form is posted.
Research AssistantApril 1 MS-Word version (for reference only - this older version is very similar to the online questions we ask when people register)
Visiting ScientistApril 1MS-Word version (for reference only - this older version is very similar to the online questions we ask when people register)
Alumni/Guest Registration nonesubmit at least 48 hours prior to arrival

RMBL Publications and Data
We ask that you provide citations to your recent RMBL publications and, whenever possible, datasets and metadata for research conducted at RMBL.  Please contact the Science Director for more information.

Project Start Dates
Applications for New or Renewal of Research submitted before October 15th begin the year in which they were submitted while applications submitted after October 15th will begin the following year.

Project End Dates
Projects end April 15th in the year after they expire. In other words, if a research plan is submitted on Jan. 15, 2010 for five years, that project would become inactive as of April 15th, 2015.

RMBL Research Committee
The mission of the RMBL Research Committee is to review all proposed research and other projects with the goal of ensuring the long-term success of the RMBL as a world-class institution for research and education in field biology.

In collaboration with the RMBL Science Director, the Research Committee considers the best use of finite RMBL resources as it strives to facilitate and promote the work of all scientists.  It considers scientific, educational, and other benefits of proposed activities, balances these against any possible negative impacts, and contemplates whether RMBL is the most appropriate place for the activities.

The Research Committee is especially interested in fostering the work of early career scientists, including undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, and beginning principal investigators.

The Science Director, Jennie Reithel, and any member of the Committee will be happy to discuss project ideas and designs and possible overlap with other RMBL projects with anyone interested in working at the Lab.  The Research Committee is chaired by Ken Whitney; its members are RMBL PIs Lauren Carley, Jessica Forrest, Rebecca Irwin, Kate Maher, Nate Sanders, Rosemary Smith, James Thomson, and Matthew Winnick, as well as Jen Darnell, a scientist on the RMBL Board and Scott Fishman, a member of the local community.


Genetic Experiments
Genetic experiments that involve moving genetic material among organisms of different species, in a way that would not naturally occur, will be scrutinized carefully and may be denied in some cases.  The risk that genes could escape and cause ecological disruption is weighed against the perceived scientific value of the proposed research.  Scientists proposing this type of genetic experiment must submit a pre-proposal to the Science Director by October 1 or 7 months prior to initiation of the research, whichever comes first.