Alexander H. and Helen V. Smith Research Award

Alexander H. and Helen V. Smith Research Fund

The primary purpose of this fund is to encourage the study of specimens of macrofungi − fleshy basidiomycetes and ascomycetes −collected by Alexander H. Smith and his associates. These collections and materials relating to them are currently deposited at the University of Michigan Herbarium. The fund will distribute grants-in-aid to cover all or a significant part of the expense of visiting the Herbarium and working with the collections and materials relating to them. 

Application deadline: February 15th before midnight Pacific Time.

Award amount: $1,200


  1. Grants may be made available to members of the Mycological Society of America who are working actively on the taxonomy or floristics of the fleshy fungi, with the main emphasis on supporting high quality research.
  2. Professional and trained “amateur” (i.e. para-professional) mycologists are eligible and are encouraged to submit proposals.
  3. The individual should be at a point in their studies where having full access to Alex’s material would advance the applicant’s work. These grants are not intended for preliminary studies of possible lines of investigations.
  4. This award may also support fieldwork on the fleshy fungi of North America, or for other types of studies on the fleshy macrofungi of North America. If support for a field project is awarded to an applicant, duplicate/representative collections resulting from the field work are to be deposited at the University of Michigan Herbarium.
  5. Applicants must be a current member of the MSA or must have applied for membership at the time of the award application.

Documents required:

  1. Application Form.
  2. A curriculum vitae that includes at least (maximum 3 pages): 

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

    b.     Education and professional history

    c.     Previous awards and honors

    d.     Publications and other significant professional output if available

    e.     Service if available

  3. A detailed plan of study. The text of this plan of study must be no longer than 5 pages; including tables, figures, and references. Applications that include proposals exceeding the 5-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. The proposal must include: 

    a.   Abstract (200-250 words)

    b.   Introduction: explains what you want to do and why it is interesting or important and how the study of Alex’s specimens and manuscripts would advance the applicant’s work.

    c.    Objectives

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

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

    f.     Budget and budget justification. Include in this section a timeline to complete the proposal (generally one year) and a plan for dissemination of results.

    g.   References

  4. Applicants must contact the Fungal Curator of the University of Michigan (Dr. Tim James, An approval email from the fungal curator should be included with this application.

To apply: Send one copy of your complete application, including items 1-4 listed above, in electronic format as a single PDF file to: 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. Johnson-Smith Application). Confidential letters of reference should be sent separately to: The letter of reference file name should contain: the last name of the applicant-award name-referee letter (e.g. Johnson-Smith-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 with the exception of the collecting permit

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. 

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 send your bio and picture to the MSA Awards Coordinator. 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 (this form will be provided with the check). This only applies if you have a US Social Security Number. The W-9 form needs to be filled out right after the award ceremony or sent to the MSA treasurer within two weeks of receiving your award.
  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 article about their research to MSA within a year of receiving the award. The articles should be written for a general audience and will 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 and pictures should be sent to the Awards Coordinator by email as a word document.
  6. Recipients of these grants-in-aid are asked to provide the University of Michigan Herbarium with copies of any publications that result from this support.
  7. 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

Download an Application Form