MSA Interchange Ambassador Award

MSA Interchange Ambassador Award

Application Deadline: March 22nd before midnight, Pacific Time

The MSA Interchange Ambassador Awards (MSA Interchange Ambassador Award and MSA Interchange Invitee Award) are annual grant aimed at MSA members dedicated to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in mycology and within the MSA community. Applicants will propose engagement and outreach activities delivered at national scientific conferences and organizations that support diversity, equity, and inclusion in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines (see list below in the Plan and Budget Documents required section) or at U.S. institutions of higher education designated as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges, and similar.

The MSA Ambassador Interchange Award is administered by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. 

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

Applications will be assessed based on: 

  1. A detailed written summary outlining their proposed work as an MSA Ambassador (see detailed information below)
  2. Their service contributions to the MSA or the field of mycology, specifically focusing on efforts related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

If you are interested in applying and have questions, please contact:

  • Fabiola Pulido-Chavez (she/her/hers), Chair, MSA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (mpuli011@ucr.edu) OR
  • Dr. Javier Tabima Restrepo, Vice-Chair (JTabima@clarku.edu

with questions.

Award Requirements

  1. Applicants must be an active MSA member and may represent any academic level at or subsequent to the undergraduate stage.
  2. Self-nomination and nomination of deserving colleagues are both encouraged.
  3. It is expected that the selected applicants will attend the MSA meeting in the year in which they submit their application.

Documents Required

  1. Application Form
  2. A curriculum vitae (maximum 3 pages) that includes:
    • Name, contact address, email address, and phone number
    • Education and professional history
    • Previous awards and honors
    • Publications and other significant professional output
    • Previous speaking experience and/or outreach activities (if available)
    • Service (if available)
  3. Statement of interest in participating in MSA. Mycological research description and MSA abstract: Please provide a detailed description of your mycological research and the completed abstract that has been submitted or is planned for submission to the MSA meeting.

    MSA Mentor Request: You can request an MSA mentor who will be attending the MSA meeting. The individual can be an MSA Interchange Ambassador, the person who encouraged you to apply, or anyone in the field. Please note that requesting an MSA Mentor is entirely optional and can be submitted if the applicant wishes to do so. Funds requested: Please specify the amount requested. Funds can be requested for housing, travel, sustenance, and registration at the MSA conference.

  4. Letter of recommendation or support: Please provide one letter of recommendation (maximum 1 page) from a previous or current professor, supervisor, senior colleague, or advisor. In lieu of a letter of recommendation, applicants are also welcome to submit a personal statement. The letter should be submitted directly to msafungi@reesgroupinc.com by the person writing the recommendation, not the applicant. If you are submitting a personal statement, please submit it with your application by the deadline (Feb 1).

All documents except for the letter of registration or support should be submitted online by completing the MSA Interchange Ambassador Application

In the process of submitting the award application, applicants must agree to abide by the MSA Code of Conduct, as well as the applicable Codes of Conduct or standards of those events or institutions. All applicants must disclose any known past, current, or pending actions or complaints against the applicant for violations of codes of conduct, or civil and/or criminal actions, specifically complaints arising from allegations of harassment or discrimination. 

Awards will cover travel, registration, housing, subsistence, and outreach activities relevant to the Ambassador’s proposed plan; a budget should be included to justify and specify these amounts. We encourage applicants to be creative with projects they propose, but examples may include speaking at relevant conferences or courses, arranging mycology-oriented networking events or hosting a booth to discuss mycology and MSA.

Suggested Scientific Conferences and Organizations include, but are not limited to: 

For a list of HBCUs, HSIs, and Tribal Colleges see: 

To Apply

Complete the application form ensuring all required items listed above are compiled into a single PDF document. The application file should follow the same order as outlined in the ‘Documents Required’ section and must not exceed 8 MB in size. The file name should include: the applicant’s last name, first initial, the specific award name, and ‘Application’ (e.g., Smith-J-MSA Interchange Invitee Application).

Confidential letters of recommendation should be sent as a PDF separately to: msafungi@reesgroupinc.com. The letter of reference document name should contain the last name of the applicant- first initial- “award name”- Referee Letter (e.g. Smith-J-MSA Interchange Invitee-Referee Letter).

Only complete applications will be considered. The application will be considered complete if all electronic documents, including the letter of recommendation, have been received by the deadline. All documents must be in English to be considered.

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Note: Applicants can expect a notification email from the Awards Committee regarding the outcome of their application within approximately 45 days (~ mid-March) of the application deadline, in time to register for the annual MSA meeting.

Award Terms

MSA Interchange Ambassadors are expected to attend and present at the MSA annual meeting during the year of their award. At the meeting, the Invitee will be paired with an MSA mentor to help the Invitee navigate the meeting and network with society members. Awardees will be recognized at the MSA Business Meeting or Awards Ceremony. The following are also conditions of the award for Invitees:

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

Diversity Statement: MSA encourages and welcomes submissions and nominations by 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