Friday Harbor Laboratories

Invitation to Faculty and Researchers to Lead a Team of Research Apprentices

Researcher Quotes

  • "Helped me select my life-long area of research; provided an excellent teaching facility and outstanding students; great research facilities that led to interesting results and publications"
  • "An outstanding opportunity to meet past and future collaborators in a relaxed environment … A unique opportunity to conduct research on species that I normally do not have access to … Hands-on experience in terms of how other researchers carry out their experiments, analyse data etc. - The stuff I learned/experienced at FHL has opened many doors for me!"
  • "My whole career is based upon work done at FHL. This includes 28 years if college teaching and about 70 publications on marine invertebrates"
  • "Almost all of my discoveries (before and after my PhD) were made at FHL - Teaching apprenticeships was also an invaluable experience. FHL was an integral part of my scientific career"

Faculty and researchers are invited to submit an application to lead a research team (1 graduate student, 8-12 undergraduates) in any science, engineering, policy or other field that can be supported at the Friday Harbor Laboratories in either Spring (late March to early June) or Autumn quarter (late September to early December). Applicants (faculty and students) may be from any university, worldwide. Diversity and innovation in these proposals are eagerly sought.

These research apprenticeship teams are considered to be the single most valuable transformational experience in the lives of many students, and the concept has lately been awarded the 2002 Brotman Prize as an innovative program with major impact upon education. For earlier reactions, see the PI and Northwest Science and Technology [pdf 279K] articles on our Press Coverage page. These are illustrated news stories in a national newspaper and a science/technology magazine, respectively, describing public and student reaction to this new program, now completing its first decade.

Faculty concur that this experience is a lot of work and is extremely rewarding. We urge you to contact any faculty involved in the previous Research Apprenticeship program for their reactions. Former FHL Director Dennis Willows led a team of apprentices in 2000, and he reports this is a splendid way to accomplish research, to generate new ideas, and to involve students in your research enterprise in a substantive, meaningful way. Refer to previous and current Research Apprenticeship programs for descriptions of projects that could serve as a model for your proposal. To apply, please send a 1 page proposal by April 30 of each year for apprenticeships to be taught the following calendar year. The FHL Advisory Committee will review applications and announce teams by mid-May.

Funding will be provided for your salary (3 months, 100% FTE), salary for one 50% RA, and FHL support staff to your team, vessel time, as well as a budget for supplies and research vessel time. Financial aid will be provided for qualified students.

To apply, please submit both parts of the application, and e-mail them to Megan Dethier, Associate Director for Academics and the Environment (

Application Parts:

Your CV

Name of apprenticeship:

Your name, address, e-mail:

Any special constraints? Lead time, season, quarter, year, outside funding, etc.

Description (approximately 1-3 pages) including a plan or syllabus.

Please indicate for the benefit of people who don't know your field, why this course is important now, and should be offered at UW-FHL, rather than in UW-Seattle (or e.g., Denver).

How does your teaching experience relate to this apprenticeship?

How many students would be registered?

How will the course use FHL facilities in the following categories?

Diverse organisms:

Wet labs:

Research Vessel:



FHL analytical gear:



The FHL Academic Advisory Committee will be looking for indications that the proposed apprenticeship is fundamental and important to the education of students who are likely to become professional leaders in marine science nationally. Also, truly innovative apprenticeships, i.e., those likely to put together people and ideas that yield fresh thinking and understanding across disciplines are eagerly sought out. Because of the demand for FHL facilities, courses (even very important ones) that can be taught equally well or better elsewhere, are likely to receive a lower priority.