Alexander H. and Helen V. Smith Research Award

Alexander H. and Helen V. Smith Research Fund

Application deadline: February 1st before midnight, Pacific Time.

The Alexander H. and Helen V. Smith

2023 Alexander H. & Helen V. Smith Awardee, Justin Loucks

Research Award encourages the study of specimens of macrofungi − fleshy basidiomycetes and ascomycetes −collected by Alexander H. Smith and his associates. These collections and materials relating to them are currently deposited at the University of Michigan Herbarium. The fund will distribute grants-in-aid to cover all or a significant part of the expense of visiting the Herbarium and working with the collections and materials relating to them. 

The Alexander H. and Helen V. Smith Research Fund is administered by the Research Awards Committee

To view all awards offered by the Mycological Society of America, see the MSA Awards Chart.

Award Requirements

Applicants should encompass the guidelines below: 

  1. Professional and trained “amateur” (i.e. para-professional) mycologists are eligible and are encouraged to submit proposals.
  2. The individual should be at a point in their studies where having full access to Alex’s material would advance the applicant’s work. These grants are not intended for preliminary studies of possible lines of investigations.
  3. This award may also support fieldwork on the fleshy fungi of North America, or for other types of studies on the fleshy macrofungi of North America. If support for a field project is awarded to an applicant, duplicate/representative collections resulting from the field work are to be deposited at the University of Michigan Herbarium.
  4. Applicants must be a current member of MSA, or must have applied for membership at the time of the award application.

Documents Required

  1. Application Form
  2. A curriculum vitae that includes at least (maximum 3 pages):
    • Name, contact address, email address, and phone number
    • Education and professional history
    • Previous awards and honors
    • Publications and other significant professional output (if available)
    • 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: 
    • Abstract (200 – 250 words)
    • Introduction: explains what you want to do and why it is interesting or important and how the study of Alex’s specimens and manuscripts would advance the applicant’s work
    • Objectives
    • Methods: demonstrates that the project is feasible and describes how the study will be conducted
    • Significance and preliminary results, if available (be concise in your explanation
    • Budget and budget justification. Include in this section a timeline to complete the proposal (generally one year) and a plan for dissemination of results
    • References
  4. Applicants must contact the Fungal Curator of the University of Michigan (Dr. Tim James, An approval email from the fungal curator should be included with this application.

To Apply

Complete an application, being sure to include all items listed above. 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. Johnson-Smith Application).

Confidential letters of reference should be sent separately to: The letter of reference file name should be as follows: the last name of applicant_”award name”_referee_letter (e.g. Smith_Graduate Fellowship_Jackson_Letter). 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.

Note: Applicants can expect a notification 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 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 gives awardees the opportunity to meet the mycological community, and it gives MSA members an opportunity to meet the awardees.

Award Terms

Indirect cost is not allowed on MSA awards.

  1. All awardees must provide a short biography (100-200 words) and a photo (if possible) within two weeks of notification from the Awards Coordinator, using the Awardee Document Submission Form. These will be requested at the appropriate time. Photos and 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 complete a W-9 form prior to receiving their award funds. Awardees will be contacted by the management company regarding this process. (This only applies if you have a U.S. Social Security Number).
  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. Articles should be written for a general audience and may 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 will be requested by the Awards Coordinator at the appropriate time.
  6. Recipients of these grants-in-aid are asked to provide the University of Michigan Herbarium with copies of any publications that result from this support.
  7. Please acknowledge MSA in any products that result from this support (e.g., poster presentations, oral presentations, and scientific articles).

Diversity Statement

The MSA encourages and welcomes nominations of all individuals regardless of race and ethnicity, country of origin, sex, gender identity, religion, age, education level, socioeconomic status, marital status, parental status, physical ability, neurological differences, political affiliation, and sexual orientation. See the full MSA Diversity Statement 

See a list of past A.H. and H.V. Smith Awardees