Minigrant Program

Program Overview

The MRSEC has created a minigrant opportunity to provide support of STEM initiatives that make a postiive impact on students, underrepresented populations and the community at large. Minigrant awards range from $500 to $3,000. Education and Outreach Minigrants may be available to:

  • MRSEC graduate students (administered through a standard Penn State purchasing card) to pursue specific educational or outreach projects of their own design. Sample projects might include mentoring minority undergraduates or developing a module for the Teacher Workshop.
  • K-12 teachers (to enhance the Summer Teacher Fellowships)
  • Students and faculty from outside of the MRSEC for projects that relate materials research to wider societal goals.

Award Criteria

  • Direct impact on students or members of the community
  • Primary content focus on nanotechnology, chemistry, physics or materials science
  • Substantiation of program need for financial assistance from the MRSEC
  • Inclusion of public acknowledgement of the MRSEC
  • Committment to provide evaluation of program to the MRSEC

Proposal Process

Submitting a proposal for a Minigrant is simple and easy:

       1. Complete the Proposal Form (click link to download form), or make your own proposal that includes your name and affiliation, project background and intended audience, requested budget and project timeline, and your signature indicating your committment to providing program evaluation.

       2. Submit the completed form and any additional attachments via email to:

Kristin Dreyer 
MRSEC Outreach Coordinator
Subject: MRSEC Minigrant Proposal
       3. Proposals are reviewed on an ongoing basis.

       4. Award decisions are typically communicated to applicants within a few days or weeks.

Program Evaluation and Follow-up

Awardees are expected to provide a brief follow-up report to the MRSEC within approximately three months of the program closing date. The report should contain:

  • Program results (participant feedback, evaluation metrics, outcomes, etc.)
  • Attendance statistics
  • Explanation of any changes from the proposed program description, attendee participation, marketing plan, and/or use of funds.


For questions or for more information, please contact the MRSEC Outreach Coordinator, Kristin Dreyer (, or the MRSEC Postdoctoral Fellow for Education & Outreach, Dr. Sydney Chamberlin (