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).

The submission window for 2023 has now closed. Thank you!

Application Information

  • Applicant must be full-time undergraduate students.
  • Applicant must have junior or senior standing by the time the work is initiated.
  • Applicant must be a current member of MSA. Need to renew/want to join MSA? Click here for more information!
  • Applicants who have previously received funding from this scholarship program are not eligible to be awarded a second time.
Scholarship Requirements and Information
  • Research must be completed prior to graduation.*
  • Scholarship funds must be expended within a designated period not to exceed one year from the award date, which is February 15th.
  • 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 a Post-Deadline Poster at an upcoming M&M meeting.

*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.

How To Apply / Application Requirements

Application Deadline: Completed application packages must be received by 11:59 PM Pacific, December 1 to be considered for the program. Awards will be announced the following February 15. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all required materials are submitted prior to the deadline.

A completed application consists of:

  1. A completed submission form (see linked form above and below).
  2. A research proposal not more than three pages long. The proposal should include, at minimum:
    - an introduction
    - a section on methods
    - 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 (CV), including details of education and/or training in microscopy, and a brief statement of career goals.

**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.

Previous Undergraduate Scholarship Awardees