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The application period is now closed. The information below applies to the 2020 grants program.


The Communications journals (Biology, Chemistry, Earth & Environment, Materials, and Physics) are pleased to introduce the 2020 training grants for early career researchers. In previous years, the Communications journals organized travel grants; due to the ongoing pandemic, we are changing our focus. The programme aims to help promising researchers attend a training course or workshop of their choice, that they would otherwise have not been able to attend due to a lack of funds.

Grants of up to €500 are available to promising early career scientists, whose research is focused upon one of the subject areas covered by the Communications journals, to support the registration costs of attending the training, workshop or conference. If you wish to apply please first read the guidelines below.

The training grants are part of the Communications journals' ongoing commitment to supporting the achievements and skills development of early career researchers.

Eligibility criteria

The grants are open to researchers who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Postdoctoral scientist with up to 5 years research experience or currently completing a PhD.*
  • Conducting research within the areas of biology; chemistry; Earth, environmental or planetary sciences; materials science; or physics.
  • Has been accepted for, applied to, or plans to attend a specific conference, training course or workshop that will take place before the end of 2021. The course/workshop must provide a certificate of attendance/completion to be eligible for funding.
  • Can demonstrate that they have no other funds to cover attendance.
  • Can provide the contact information for a suitable sponsor, such as the current or last PI/head of department.

* If you do not meet these criteria but feel that you should be considered due to a contributing factor (such as a leave of absence) please tell us why when you submit your application.


Developing scientific skills through subject- and technique-specific training courses and workshops is an important factor in career and scientific development. The grants will be awarded to researchers who the judging panels agree have outstanding potential and would benefit from the opportunity to enhance their skill set and interact with instructors and other early career researchers through attendance of training courses and workshops. Assessment will be made based on the following criteria:

  • Has the applicant demonstrated that without the grant they would not have the necessary funding available to attend the course/workshop?
  • Is the applicant undertaking research that the assessment panel feels has outstanding potential and will directly benefit from the skills gained on the course/workshop?
  • How does the applicant stand to benefit from attending this particular training course or workshop?
  • Is the applicant looking to gain interdisciplinary skills?
  • Has the applicant been working within a scientifically emerging country or in difficult circumstances?

Judging panel and timeline

The winners will be selected by a judging panel consisting of both professional editors and practising scientists. An editorial steering group will select a longlist of applicants who best meet the criteria above and who should be considered within the final assessment. These candidates will then be assessed by the full judging panel who will select the winning applicants.

Key dates

  • The deadline for applications is October 26th 2020 has been extended to Nov 2.
  • The winners will be announced in early December 2020.
  • Applicants should plan to attend a conference, training course or workshop before the end of 2021.


To submit an application please visit our apply page.