Emory Simmons Research Award

The Emory Simmons Research Award is open to members of the Mycological Society of America for the study of classification of dematiaceous anamorphs of ascomycetes. This award honors Dr. Emory Summons (see biography below).

Application deadline: February 15th before midnight Pacific Time. Award will be given annually beginning in 2015 until no later than 2024.

Award Amount: approximately $10,000.


(1) The applicant must be a current member of MSA or must have applied for membership at the time of the award application.

(2) This award is open to all MSA members. An individual may receive the award only once, but applicants who are not chosen may reapply.

Documents required:

(1) Application Form.

(2) A curriculum vitae that includes at least (maximum 3 pages):

            a) Name, contact address, email address, and phone number.

            b) Education and professional history.

            c) Previous awards and honors.

d) Publications and other significant professional output.

            e) Service if available.

(3) A detailed plan of study. The text of this plan of study must be no longer than 5 pages; including tables, figures, and references. Applications that include proposals exceeding the 5-page limit will not be considered. The text of this proposal should be single-spaced and printed in a regular sized font (10 cpi or 12 point) with one inch margins on all sides, section headings and double spacing between paragraphs may be used to make your proposal easier to read. The proposal must include:

            a) Abstract (200-250 words)

b) Introduction: explains what you want to do and why it is interesting or important.

            c) Objectives

d) Methods: demonstrates that the project is feasible and describes how the study will be conducted.

            e) Significance and preliminary results, if available (be concise in your explanation)

f) Budget and budget justification. Include in this section a timeline to complete the proposal (generally one year) and a plan for dissemination of results.

            g) References

To apply: Send one copy of your complete application, including items 1-3 listed above, in electronic format as a single PDF file to: msa@allenpress.com. The application file should be organized in the same order as described in “Documents Required” and should not exceed more than 8 MB. The file name should contain: the last name of the applicant -“award name” Application (e.g. Smith-Simmons Application). The application will be considered to have arrived once all electronic files have been received by the deadline. All documents must be in English to be considered with the exception of the collecting permit.

Note: Applicants can expect a notification email from the Awards Committee regarding the outcome of their application within approximately 45 days of the application deadline, in time to register for the annual MSA meeting. We expect all award winners to make every effort to attend the MSA annual meeting, and encourage all applicants to concurrently apply for an MSA Travel Award in support of that. Presence at the MSA meeting to accept the award give awardees the opportunity to meet the mycological community, and it gives MSA members an opportunity to meet up the awardees.

Award terms:

(1) All awardees must provide a short biography (100-200 words) and a picture (if possible) within two weeks of notification. Please send your bio and picture to the MSA Awards Coordinator. The biographies will be published in Inoculum.

(2) The award check must be deposited or cashed within 5 months.

(3) Each award recipient is required to fill out a W-9 form (this form will be provided with the check). This only applies if you have a US Social Security Number. The W-9 form needs to be filled out right after the award ceremony or sent to the MSA treasurer within two weeks of receiving your award.

(4) Keep copies of your W-9 and all receipts and expenses that are part of this award. These documents are important and may be necessary for tax purposes.

(5) Each awardee will contribute a short article about their research to MSA within a year of receiving the award. The articles should be written for a general audience and will be published in Inoculum or other MSA venues (e.g. MSA website). This will be a great opportunity to promote your research to the MSA community. Articles and pictures should be sent to the Awards Coordinator by email as a word document.

(6) A detailed final report from the recipient is due to the Award Coordinator, within two years of receiving the award.

(7) Please acknowledge MSA in any products that result from this support (e.g., poster presentations, oral presentations, and scientific articles).

Find list of past awardees at: http://msafungi.org/AWARDS/PASTMSAAWARDEES.aspx

To download the Application Form click HERE.

This award honors Dr. Emory Simmons

 A bequest by Emory Simmons specified that the Mycological Society of America establish a research award in his name for “research on classification of dematiaceous anamorphs of Ascomycetes.” According to the will, award recipients are to be selected by the Research Awards Committee. Up to one award will be given annually for no more than ten (10) years. The award was first offered in 2015 and will be depleted by 2024. An award will not be given when appropriate applicants have not applied. The portion of funds retained in any non-award year, as well as earned interest, are to be transferred to the Uncommitted Endowment Fund of the Society.

Emory Guy Simmons attended schools in Crawfordsville, Indiana, and graduated from Wabash College in Crawfordsville (1941). He served in the U.S. Army (1942-1945) in the North Africa and Italy campaigns during World War II in photographic units. After the war, Emory attended DePauw University, Greencastle, where he received a Master of Arts degree (1946). Over the next four years Emory worked on a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. Although his advisor, L. E. Wehmeyer, was not very encouraging of his using cultural methods to study ascomycetes, Emory persisted in order to determine the variation in fungi grown on different media and establish teleomorph-anamorph connections, based on observations from single ascospore cultures. After completing his degree at Michigan (1950) Emory was an instructor at Dartmouth College (1950-1953) but spent much of his official career as Head of the Mycology Group and Research Microbiologist and Director of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Culture Collection of Fungi (1953-1974). One culture from the collection, QM 6a, was misnamed for many years, until Emory made comparisons to conclude that the well-known mold was undescribed; he named it Trichoderma reesei. Trichoderma reesei has many biotechnological applications including use in the manufacture of “stone washed” jeans.

Emory was a lover of music, art, literature, travel, especially to Thailand, and mycological friends. He drank Johnnie Walker Red blended whisky, often as he played the piano before dinner, but he always ended the day with a bowl of ice cream. His six-pound book on Alternaria was completed when he was 89. Emory continued to study fungi in his basement laboratory until he died at 93 years old. (Read more about Emory in Mycologia and on line: Blackwell, M., A. Y. Rossman, M. Palm, P. W. Crous. 2014. Emory Guy Simmons 1920–2013. Mycologia 106:610-614;). http://www.mycologia.org/content/106/3/610.full