Undergraduate Research Award

This award will be offered for student research covering any topic related to fungal biology (and organisms traditionally studied by mycologists) including: medical mycology, cell biology, physiology, systematics, evolution, genomics and ecology. The undergraduate student awardee will conduct independent or directed research under the guidance of a research mentor. This award is open to all undergraduate students with sophomore, junior, or senior standing.

Application deadline: February 15th before midnight Pacific Time.

Award Amount: $500


  1. Applicants must be an undergraduate student with sophomore, junior, or senior standing who is conducting research on a fungal biology topic.
  2. Applicants must have the support of a faculty mentor.
  3. We encourage applicants to become MSA members at the time of the award application.

Documents required:

  1. Application Form.
  2. A curriculum vitae that includes at least (maximum 2 pages):

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

    b.   Education and professional history (including career plans and a paragraph regarding training for the proposed work)

    c.    Previous awards and honors

    d.   Publications and other significant professional output

    e.   Service if available

  3. A plan of study. The text of this plan of study must be no longer than 2 pages including tables, figures, but not references. Applications that include proposals exceeding the 2-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. A suggested organization of the proposal is:

    a.   Introduction: explains what you want to do 

    b.   Objectives

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

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

    e.   Budget and budget justification. Include a brief list of expenses or statement of how the funds will be used

    f.   References

  4. School transcripts showing courses taken and grades received for all institutions where they received credit toward their current degree to be conferred. A PDF of an official transcript is acceptable.
  5. A letter of recommendation from the research mentor. The reference letter should be sent directly by the individual writing the letter, not the applicant.

To apply: Complete the application form, being sure to include all required items listed above, in electronic format as a single PDF file.  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-Undergraduate Application). Confidential letters of reference should be sent separately to: msafungi@reesgroupinc.com. The letter of reference file name should contain: the last name of the applicant-award name-referee letter (e.g. Smith-Undergraduate-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 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.

Diversity Statement: MSA encourages and welcomes submissions 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 full MSA Diversity statement here.

Award terms: 

Indirect cost is not allowed on MSA awards.

  1. All awardees must provide a short biography (100-200 words) and a picture (if possible) within two weeks of notification. Please submit your bio and picture here. 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 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 and may be necessary for tax purposes.
  5. Each awardee will contribute a short report to the MSA within a year of receiving the award. Part o the report may be published in 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.
  6. Please acknowledge MSA in any products that result from this support (e.g., poster presentations, oral presentations, and scientific articles)

See a list of past MSA awardees