Awards & Scholarships

Annual Undergraduate Research Scholarship Program


Microscopy Society of America (MSA) scholarships for undergraduate research are intended to foster the educational and research potential of full-time undergraduate students interested in pursuing microscopy as a career or major research tool. Applications for research involving any area of microscopy are suitable for the program. The MSA Undergraduate Research Scholarship Program has been providing funding for undergraduate research for over 25 years. Over 100 projects covering a wide range of topics in the physical and biological sciences have received support through this program. Nearly all the scholarship recipients have maintained a strong interest in imaging and analytical sciences and have gone on to graduate school, professional school, teaching, or industry positions.

The program which is funded by MSA and by matching funds from MSA Sustaining Members is able to support over 50% of applicants. These awards help to provide student stipends, supply costs, and limited travel expenses associated with research. Additional support in the form of instrument use time, equipment purchases, etc. is generally provided by the student's supervisor and/or through the sponsoring institution.

We are extremely grateful for the matching support provided by MSA Sustaining members and individuals. Their support over the years has enabled the program to increase both the number of awards and the maximum amount of each award.

The MSA Undergraduate Research Scholarship Program is currently soliciting applications from students interested in conducting a research project which involves the use of any microscopy technique. The maximum award is $3000. The application deadline is December 1 of each year (20xx) for use within the next year (20xx+1).

2021 Undergraduate Scholarship Awardees

2020 Undergraduate Scholarship Awardees

2019 Undergraduate Scholarship Awardees

2018 Undergraduate Scholarship Awardees

2017 Undergraduate Scholarship Awardees


Undergraduate Research Scholarship Program Application Information

Applicants must be full-time undergraduate students. Research must be completed prior to graduation.* Applicants must have junior or senior standing by the time the work is initiated. Applicants must be a member of MSA.

Scholarship funds must be expended within a designated period not to exceed one year from the award date (February 15th).

Applicants may receive only one scholarship.

Applications for research to be performed at an institution other than the one in which the applicant is enrolled are acceptable.

Successful applicants are encouraged to submit a two-page paper for presentation or as a Post-Deadline Poster at an upcoming M&M meeting.

Completed application packages must be received at the MSA Office by 11:59 PM PST December 1 to be considered for funds to be awarded by the following February 15. Applicants are responsible for seeing that all required materials are submitted online prior to the deadline.

*In special cases and by prior agreement funds may be used, in part, to support ongoing work which extends one additional summer semester past graduation.

A completed application consists of:

  1. A completed application form.
  2. A research proposal not more than three pages long. It should include, at least, an introduction, a section on methods, and a description and itemization of the study's goals.
  3. A budget indicating how the awarded funds will be expended. Please specify the source(s) of additional funding for instrument use, laboratory equipment, etc.
  4. A copy of the applicant's curriculum vitae, including details of education and/or training in microscopy and a brief statement of career goals.
  5. Students are required to be a member of MSA. For help joining, visit or call (703) 234-4115.

Apply Now!

For further information contact:

Microscopy Society of America
11130 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 350
Reston, VA 20191
(703) 234-4115

*MSA scholarship funds are generally approved for student stipends, supplies, and occasionally for limited travel essential to proposed studies. Fees for use of instruments, extensive travel, or purchase of/or contribution toward purchase of, laboratory equipment are generally considered to be part of the institutional and/or advisor's commitment to the research project.