MSA Interchange Ambassador Award

MSA Interchange Ambassador Award

Application Deadline: February 15th before midnight Pacific Time.

MSA Interchange Ambassador awards are given annually to MSA members who are committed to increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in the field of mycology and MSA membership. 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 Plan and Budget Documents required section) or at US institutions of higher education designated as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges, and similar. Applicants are evaluated on the basis of 1) a submitted proposal of work as an MSA Ambassador, and (2) their service to the MSA or to the field of mycology, with an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion.

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.

Award Requirements

  1. Applicants must be an active MSA member at any level, including students.
  2. Self-nomination and nomination of deserving colleagues are both encouraged.
  3. Travel to the chosen meeting or institution is expected to occur within one year of the award. 

Please contact Brian Lovett (he/his/him), Chair, MSA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (brian.lovett@mail.wvu.edu) with questions.

Documents Required

  1. 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)
  2. Plan and budget (maximum 2 pages): A detailed plan of networking event(s) you will develop and attend as an MSA Interchange Ambassador, and how these will increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in MSA and the field of mycology. 
  3. One letter of recommendation or support from a current supervisor, senior colleague, or advisor. The letter of recommendation should be submitted by the deadline to msafungi@reesgroupinc.com by the individual writing the letter, not the applicant.

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. Include all required items listed above in electronic format as a single PDF document. The application file should be organized in the same order as described in “Documents Required” section and not exceed more than 8 MB. The file name should contain: the last name of the applicant-first initial- “award name” Application (e.g. Smith-J-MSA Interchange Ambassador Application).

The confidential letter of recommendation should be sent as a pdf document by the referee separately to: msafungi@reesgroupinc.com. The letter of recommendation file name should contain: the last name of the applicant- first initial- “award name” Referee Letter (e.g. Smith-J-MSA Interchange Ambassador Referee Letter).

The application will be considered if all electronic documents, including the letter of recommendation, have been received by the deadline.

Note: Applicants can expect a notification email from the evaluation committee regarding the outcome of their application approximately 45 days following the application deadline, in time to register for the annual MSA meeting and diversity-engaging conferences.

Award Terms

MSA Interchange Ambassadors are expected to make every effort to attend the MSA annual meeting during the year of their award, or the subsequent year (ideally after their outreach activities are completed, so that they may serve as a mentor for an Invitee). Where appropriate, Ambassadors may wish to concurrently apply for an MSA Travel Award for further support. Awardees will be recognized at the MSA Business Meeting or Awards Ceremony. The following are also conditions of the award for Interchange Ambassadors:

  1. All awardees must provide a short biography (100-200 words) and a high-quality resolution personal image (if possible) within two weeks of notification. Please send your biography and image here. Biographies will be published in the Inoculum newsletter.
  2. The award check must be deposited or cashed within 5 months of receipt.
  3. Each award recipient is required to fill out a W-9 form prior to receiving their award payment. (This only applies if you have a US Social Security Number).You will be contacted by msafungi@reesgroupinc.com with the details.
  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 1-2 page report detailing their activities to the MSA within a year of receiving the award. Part of this report may be published in the Inoculum or on other MSA venues (e.g., MSA website). This will be a great opportunity to promote your research to the MSA community. Reports should be submitted using the MSA Award Reporting Form.

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 here.