Small Grant Program

Program Objective and Funding Information

The Texas Society for Microscopy (TSM) Small Grant Program is intending to provide undergraduate and graduate students and their mentors with valuable microscopy educational experiences. By encouraging close working relationships between students and faculty, the program promotes scientific excellence and achievement through hands-on learning.

The program awards grants of up to $1,500 for a graduate student proposal and $750 for an undergraduate student proposal. Mentors could use the funds for materials and standard microscopy equipment necessary to complete a specific research project, student stipends and limited travel expenses associated with research.

Eligibility and Requirements

1) While membership in TSM is not a requirement for applying for funding, it becomes necessary for both the student awardee and mentor at the time of award.

2) Funding is restricted to proposals from student-mentor whose research is performed at a Texas institution.

3) Student applicants must be enrolled full time in an accredited high school, college or university and use microscopy for research project in areas of life sciences, materials science, education, and any other areas involving use of microscopic techniques.

4) Student applicants must have a 3.0 grade point average in the last year prior to application. An official transcript must be submitted with the application.

5) The students must provide two letters of support, one from their mentor and the other one from another professor who is familiar with the students’ ability to use microscopy for their research.

Application and Submission Instructions

Deadline is January 31 of each year. The award will be made public at the TSM spring meeting. The proposal should be submitted as one pdf file by email to the secretary of the TSM: Dr. Amy Jo Hammett (Ahammett1@twu.edu).


Page 1. Cover Page with the title of the project, student’s and mentor’s names and affiliation

Click here to download the Cover page

Page 2. Abstract (no more than 250 words)

Page 3. Mentor’s budget with justification

Pages 4-6. Narrative
Attach a project narrative of no more than 3 pages. The font should be 11-point or larger although figures, charts, tables, figure legends, and footnotes may be smaller in size provided they are readily legible and include a caption. Margins must be at least one-inch, and the application should be single-spaced with page numbers.

The 3-page research plan should include the following:

1) Specific Aims (used interchangeably with: hypothesis, research questions, or objectives)

2) Research Strategy:
(a) Significance – explain the importance of the problem, the critical barrier to progress in the field that the proposed project addresses, or how the project will improve scientific knowledge.
(b) Innovation – explain how the application challenges and seeks to shift current research or describe novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies.
(c) Approach – describe the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses to be used to accomplish the specific aims of the project. Include expected results (if the case) and a timeline to describe the tasks to be accomplished during the months of the project.
(d) Details about the protocol in this section.

3) Discussion of future research work

4) Data sharing plan – include a proposed method of presenting results; a TSM presentation is mandatory.

Page 7 and on. List of literature cited (no page limitation)

Application Appendixes
1) Biosketches (CVs) of student and mentor. The mentor should address internal and external research support in his/her CV.
2)Student’s transcripts
3) Student’s two (2) letters of support for the research project

Conditions of the Award

1) Grant funds must be expended within a designated period not to exceed one year from the award date.
2) Recipients must present an oral presentation at the following TSM meeting.
3) Recipients must write a final brief report (1,000-2,000 words) on the results of the project within two months after the conclusion of the award period. The report will be published in the Texas Journal of Microscopy.
4) Recipients must acknowledge the TSM award in all publications resulting from the funded research.


The TSM Research Grants Committee, composed of three (3) members will review the proposals and announce the grant recipients at TSM meetings annually.

The review committee looks favorably on proposals that:
• are meritorious in the field of microscopy;
• will enhance the applicant’s record of scholarship and research;
• will provide financial support and research experience for students;

The review committee will not look favorably on proposals that
• are essentially for preparing textbooks or revising courses;
• are essentially equipment requests and do not support student research