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Mistletoe Foundation 


204 E 2nd Ave

Ste 108

San Mateo, CA 94401

General Inquiries



© 2019 by Mistletoe Foundation

The Mistletoe Research Fellowship

Our flagship program, launching in 2018, is the Mistletoe Research Fellowship.

This professional development program awards  research grants to postdoctoral fellows and advanced PhD candidates as well as providing opportunities to collaborate with startups with a high potential for social and humanitarian impact.


The Mistletoe Research Fellowship was created with three goals in mind:

1) Funding scientific research and providing professional development opportunities for early-career academics.

2) Helping frontier startups to succeed in advancing

nascent technologies with humanitarian impact.

3) Creating a bridge between the academic and entrepreneurship communities that will lead to new career opportunities, increased partnerships and collaboration, and research innovation.

Mistletoe Research Fellowship recipients develop skills and competencies that will help them prepare for careers

in academia or in industry by participating in two professional development program components:

the Unfettered Research Grant and the Mistletoe Startup Collaboration.

Each Mistletoe Fellow is awarded a USD $10k Unfettered Research Grant that is to be applied to their own individual research activities. This unrestricted grant can be used over the course of a single academic year for almost any university-approved research-related activity, including conference travel support, purchases of equipment, and software and database licenses.

Each Mistletoe Fellow also participates in a Mistletoe Startup Collaboration that provides structured professional development training.  After being matched with a startup during a 3-day summer matching workshop, Fellows participate in an extracurricular team project in which they are guided through the proposal of solutions to specific science or technology problems that may help a frontier startup further the development of an existing product with social impact. Projects are extracurricular and require just a few hours a week (a total of 100 hours over the year) outside the Fellow's existing research commitments. Mistletoe Fellows work in small cross-disciplinary and inter-institutional teams of four (4) researchers and an experienced mentor from one of our partner organizations. Following the match workshop, collaborations are conducted remotely via the Foundation's secure online learning platform.