Minigrant Program

Program Overview

The Penn State Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) has created a minigrant opportunity to provide support of new STEM initiatives that make a postiive impact on students, underrepresented populations, and the community at large. Minigrant awards typically do not exceed $500.  An annual fund is approved and utilized until depleted.

Education and Outreach Minigrants may be available to:

  • MRSEC graduate students to pursue specific educational or outreach projects of their own design
  • K-12 teachers who participated in the Interdisciplinary Materials & Physics Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program to implement their Summer Teacher Fellowship project
  • External students and faculty who would like to collaborate with the Penn State MRSEC on a project that support the broader impact of materials science on 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 a meaningful connection to the Penn State MRSEC and the need for financial assistance
  • Inclusion of public acknowledgement of the Penn State MRSEC
  • Committment to provide evaluation data and report project results

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 Program Director for Education and Outreach
To: kad4 @   [no spaces]
Subject: MRSEC Minigrant Proposal
3. Proposals are reviewed on an ongoing basis, and will be considered as long as funds remain available.  The availability of funds is determined each fiscal year.
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 Kristin Dreyer (kad4 @