Funding Opportunities

Grassroots, Member Proposals

The materials landscape is dotted with exciting and innovative grassroots projects, large and small, envisioned by our community and championed by our Society. As we launch the Materials Research Society Foundation, we continue the MRS tradition of funding for projects and partnerships conceived, developed, produced and implemented by our members … for our members … and for the materials community.

Do you have an idea for exposing students, teachers or life-long learners to the excitement and significance of materials in their daily lives? For bringing research out of the laboratory and to the general public? Or for finding new and creative ways to develop, support or recognize the next generation of materials scientists? Don’t just think about it… act on it. Submit your proposal for grassroots funding and help us broaden the impact of materials science worldwide.

The most recent submission period ended February 6, 2017. The next application window will be in early 2018.

Eligibility: Submissions accepted by current MRS members only

Funding Amount: $1,000 to $10,000 per project

Proposal Requirements:

All proposals must be submitted via the Materials Research Society Foundation online submission site and will require the following information.

  • project name
  • objective
  • project lead (name, affiliation and contact information—must be current MRS member)
  • target audience
  • intended outcome
  • benefit to the materials community
  • uniqueness of project
  • total budget for project (preferably itemized)
  • funding request from Foundation
  • funding type (total budget, seed money, matching funds)
  • executive summary of project/program (may attach supplemental documents as needed)

NOT FUNDED by Grassroots, Member Proposals:

  • grants to individuals
  • research and development, including prototypes
  • ongoing activities of the applicant
  • lobbying or electioneering
  • commercial promotion activities
  • construction or building renovations
  • endowments, scholarships or loans
  • participation of specific/individual teams at competitions
  • disaster relief
  • projects in excess of one year
  • operational, overhead, general and administrative or indirect costs

Evaluation Criteria: The goal is to support as broad a variety of projects as possible. To that end, proposals will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • project lead must be a current MRS member
  • project supports the MRS mission
  • meets a community need not met by others
  • benefit to the materials community and MRS members
  • clear and realistic project timeline, plan and metrics
  • attractiveness to volunteer involvement
  • similar project not supported by Foundation in past two years
  • requested financial support appropriate to perceived benefit to materials community

Evaluation Process:

Reviewed by members of the MRS Board of Directors or its designated committee, which can approve funding in three broad categories.

1) complete funding for a project
2) seed money to support the launch of a program
3) matching funds for a project

Grant Agreement:

All grant awardees will be required to sign a General Grant Terms, Conditions and Understandings agreement before funds will be distributed.

Records and Reporting:

Grant recipients are required to keep a record of all receipts and expenditures relating to the grant and to provide the Foundation with a written report summarizing the project promptly following the end of the grant period during which all grant funds are to be used. The report should describe results in achieving the purposes of the grant and include a detailed accounting of the uses and expenditures of all grant funds.

For questions regarding the Materials Research Society Foundation and its grant opportunities, contact

For technical questions regarding the grant submission process, contact

The Materials Research Society Foundation operates as a program of the Materials Research Society. The official registration and financial information of the Materials Research Society Foundation may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

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