JCS-FocalPlane Training Grants

General guidelines:

  • Maximum funding is set at £1,000 and can be used for course fees, accommodation, travel expenses, subsistence and visa fees.
  • JCS does not fund applications made retrospectively, so please submit your application in good time.
  • JCS and FocalPlane reserve the right to reject applications to attend conferences or workshops that they considers to be possibly ‘predatory’ in design. We strongly encourage applicants to judge the legitimacy and credentials of conferences to help decide whether or not to attend. The Think.Check.Attend  initiative might be useful in this regard.
  • The course must take place within six months of funding being awarded.
  • Applicants should not have received other funding from The Company of Biologists in the past 12 months.
  • Funding of multiple applications from the same lab or department will be limited, and it is likely that only one will be awarded each round.

Guidelines for completing the application:

  • The application and all supporting documents must be completed in English.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the criteria required for a grant.
  • Expenses include registration fees, travel, subsistence, accommodation and visa fees. Travel insurance costs are not to be included in the expenses.
  • Please upload the letter of support from your supervisor confirming that no independent funding is available with your application (note: the letter of support must be in English, on headed paper and signed).

Terms and conditions for successful applicants:

  • Any unspent funds must be returned within one month of the end of the course.
  • If for any reason you do not attend the course, please email grants@biologists.com. Please also arrange for the funds to be returned, in full.
  • Successful applicants are required to keep all of the receipts related to your visit to upload on the via the online application portal on your return.
  • Successful applicants will be required to provide a 500-word course report and at least two bright, clear photographs to be published on FocalPlane.
  • We may use material from your report on our website, in social media, and in other promotional materials. If you have any concerns about the use of your material, please let us know in advance.

Deadline dates, applicant handbook and FAQs

JCS and FocalPlane will consider applications for any microscopy course, including bioimage analysis.

Deadline dates for applications:


  • 7 June (decision by week commencing 8 July 2024)
  • 7 September (decision by week commencing 8 October 2024)
  • 22 November (decision by week commencing 16 December)

Our applicant handbooks provide useful information on the process.  Please click on JCS-FocalPlane Training Grant applicant handbook to download.

If I am awarded a JCS-FocalPlane Training Grant, will I get the funding before I go?

Yes, we pay the funds directly into your personal bank account once the award has been granted and you have been accepted on the course.

I assume any amount of money that I can’t explain with receipts will have to be returned?

Yes, we do require evidence for every expense incurred and paid.

Do supporting letters have to be signed?

Yes, all supporting letters must be on headed paper with a signature. They can then be scanned and submitted through the application portal.

What information needs to be included in the Letter of Status from my Supervisor?

The Letter of Status must include who you are, describe the work you are doing and confirm that there is no independent funding available for you to attend the course.

Is it acceptable to complete the application with estimated costs for expenses as I don’t know the exact costs at this stage?

Yes, that is acceptable, as you will be required to provide evidence of expenditure and return unspent funds.

Can my Supervisor send you their letter directly?

No, we would prefer the application letter and all supporting documents to be submitted via the application portal either as one document or as separate attachments.

Can I apply for a JCS-FocalPlane Training Grant retrospectively?

No, we do not award funds for travel that has already occurred.


About Scientific Meeting Grants

The Company of Biologists uses the surplus it generates for the benefit of biology and the biological community by providing funding to organisers of meetings, workshops, conferences and summer schools in the fields covered by our journals.



You can find stories from grant recipients on our stories page.

Exploring Skin Cancer Molecular Mechanisms: a Travel Grant experience at the Gordon Research Conference

10 August 2023

Darshan Mehta attending the Gordon Research Conference, posing for a photograph next to his research poster

Darshan Mehta is a PhD student studying the mechanisms behind skin cancer at the Tata Memorial Centre Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India. He took the opportunity to use a Conference Travel Grant from Disease Models & Mechanisms to travel to the 2023 Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Stem Cells and Cancer – a meeting intended to explore cutting-edge research in the field of cell biology and cancer.

Visit our journal websites

Development Journal of Cell Science The Journal of Experimental Biology Disease Models & Mechanisms Biology Open

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