Grants & Funding

ASPB Funding Opportunities

ASPB Research Fellowship Awards

Support offered by the ASPB to support student research.

The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) fund promising undergraduate students so they can conduct meaningful research in plant biology during the early part of their college careers. SURF recipients are expected to present their research at ASPB’s annual Plant Biology meeting in the year following the fellowship award and research completion.

Applications accepted at:  Apply by March 15th

Questions? Contact Winnie Nham, or 301-296-0902

Learn more and view recipients

Questions? Contact Crispin Taylor, or 301-296-0900.

ASPB Annual Meeting Travel Awards

ASPB is offering a limited number of travel grants to attend the Annual Meeting.

ASPB’s Minority Affairs Committee is offering a limited number of Recognition Travel Awards for students, postdocs, and faculty who are themselves members of groups underrepresented in the US scientific workforce and/or who are directly supporting the education and professional development of students in such groups.

Recognition Travel Awards provide “full ride” fellowships to attend ASPB’s annual meeting, which will be held next year in Washington, D.C, from July 25-29, 2020. The award includes coverage of travel to and accommodations in Washington, D.C, registration for Plant Biology 2020, a per diem allowance, and membership in ASPB through 2021. Applicants do not have to submit a research abstract to be considered for this award; however, successful applicants with pertinent research are strongly encouraged to present that research during Plant Biology 2020.

The goals of the program are to increase diversity among the annual meeting attendees and to provide access to the science and networking opportunities available at a major society meeting to those that might not otherwise have been able to attend. Undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to apply, as are graduate students, postdocs, and faculty. ASPB membership is not a requirement to apply.

Go to October 7, 2019 for eligibility for eligibility requirements and instructions to apply.

Applications close January 29, 2020.

Questions? Contact Sylvia Lee, or 301-296-0898

ASPB is offering a limited number of $575 travel grants to attend the Plant Biology 2020 Annual Meeting which will be held next year in Washington, D.C, from July 25-29, 2020.  This program aims to increase attendance of early career scientists at the annual meeting by providing travel funds for those in financial need. Increasing diversity among the annual meeting attendees is another primary goal. Undergraduate students, graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and professionals beginning their careers in plant science are strongly encouraged to apply. US Residency is not a requirement to apply.

Go to October 7th, 2019 for eligibility requirements and instructions to apply.

Applications close December 4, 2019

Questions? Contact Sylvia Lee, or 301-296-0898

ASPB is offering a limited number of Sharon Gray Women’s Young Investigator Travel Awards to attend Plant Biology 2020 which will be held next year in Washington, DC, from July 25-29, 2020.  Sharon Gray had a passion for and commitment to mentoring women in science. By naming the WYITAs for Sharon, we honor her contributions and seek to continue her legacy. The goal of the program is to increase attendance of early-career female investigators who are within the first five years of their appointment in academic faculty-level positions, government research positions, or industry research scientist positions, as well as experienced postdocs. Awardees must hold positions at an academic, industrial, or government institution. The Society with support from a fund established in memory of Sharon Gray has allotted $8000 to be given out in increments of $1000 for this program.

Go to on October 7, 2019 for eligibility requirements and instructions to apply.

Eligible women must meet these criteria:

  • Must be members of ASPB. (Applicants may reside outside the U.S.)
  • Must currently be in one of the following categories:
    • Academic faculty member (within first 5 years of appointment)
    • Government member (within first 5 years of appointment)
    • Industry member (within first 5 years of appointment)
    • Experienced post-doctoral researcher with at least three consecutive years of research in their field (seeking to obtain an independent position)

Applications close December 11, 2019.

Questions? Contact Sylvia Lee, or 301-296-0898.

In an effort to boost research engagement at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs) for current and prospective faculty, ASPB is offering a PUI workshop on the morning of July 25, 2020, just prior to start of the Plant Biology 2020 conference in Washington, D.C. The workshop’s theme is research collaboration, and will focus on what a successful research collaboration looks like with a goal of each attendee generating a tool to identify, advocate for, manage, or plan/design successful research collaborations. The proposed schedule for the workshop offers a discussion with a panel composed of PUI faculty who have engaged in successful collaborative research, and small-group discussions for the development of a tool to enhance research collaborations, depending on the stage of the participant.

In order to promote participation in this workshop and attendance at Plant Biology 2020, the PUI section is applying for funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for travel awards for PUI faculty to help defray some costs of travel. Read more about the grant and apply.

Education & Outreach

ASPB is offering a limited number of fellowships to support the education and outreach efforts of our members.

Plant BLOOME Awards

In 1995, the ASPB established the Plant Biology Learning Objectives, Outreach Materials & Education Grant (BLOOME) grant program with the goal to enhance public awareness and understanding of the essential roles of plants in all areas of life.

Applications will be accepted December – early April (check BLOOME application site for deadlines)

Questions? Contact Winnie Nham, or 301-296-0902.

View previous BLOOME recipients and project descriptions

Open exclusively to ASPB members, Transforming Education in Plant Biology offers financial support to successful applicants to participate in focused, substantive, and practical professional development with the aim of creating undergraduate plant biology instructional materials aligned with the recommendations of Vision and Change and ASPB’s core concepts in plant biology (  Applicants can select from the suggested multi-day professional development sessions noted below or propose another program that fits with the recommendations of Vision and Change.

Applications will be accepted September 1, 2019- October 31, 2019 (11:59 ET)

Questions? Contact Winnie Nham, or 301-296-0902.

2019 winner

Mary Heskel (Macalester College)

Chloroplasts, Carbon, and Climate: Teaching leaf to global carbon cycling in an introductory ecology course

As a new faculty member in the Biology Department at Macalester, I am in the process of revamping an introductory Ecology course to more explicitly integrate the impacts of climate change and human development. As the only actively-teaching plant biologist in the department, I also see this as a crucial opportunity to emphasize the role of plants and other photosynthetic organisms in primary production and climate regulation. I hope to convey the ‘magic’ and immeasurable importance of Rubisco to students who might not be exposed to plant biology in other courses.

As the recipient of the Transforming Education in Plant Biology award, I plan to attend a Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching to develop teaching materials (a ‘teachable tidbit’) to share with the greater ASPB community. The Summer Institutes emphasize evidence-based teaching practices, active learning, effective assessment, and inclusive teaching, with the goal of helping higher-ed educators create products that will enhance student learning in their respective content fields. As a plant ecophysiologist whose research spans cells to ecosystems, I approach teaching photosynthesis as both an assemblage of intricate biochemical pathways and as a global transformation of energy that is observable from space. The Summer Institute workshop will allow me to effectively teach photosynthesis for understanding beyond a simplified equation, and help students recognize its fundamental and global importance to life on Earth.

2018 winner

Dong Wang (University of Massachusetts)

Plants as master builder: investigating legume symbiosis proteins in a biochemistry laboratory course

I will use the TEPB funds to develop and showcase an undergraduate laboratory course that allows students to engage in authentic research experiences.  These pedagogical approach, course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs), will teach students to apply their conceptual understanding of biology with newly acquired laboratory skills to conduct original research that leads to new scientific insights.  I plan to direct student research on plant genes important for the symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.  The TEPBwill allow me to expand the scope of my research on the nitrogen-fixing symbiosis and efficiently integrate it with my undergraduate teaching.

Federal Funding Opportunities

The links below include information finding funding from other sources.

Primer on funding from the NIH.

Active Program Announcements

Primer on funding from the USAID.

Primer on funding from the DOD.