The Ben Woo Scholarship


The purpose of the Puget Sound Mycological Society (PSMS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization chartered in 1964, is to foster the understanding and appreciation of fungi as a hobby and a science, and to assist related institutions in these purposes. The society represents a variety of interests — pothunters, adventurous gourmets, weekend naturalists, serious amateurs, and professional mycologists.

Education is the main focus of the Society.

To further its educational mission and overall purpose, PSMS has established the Ben Woo Scholarship and K-12 Grants programs (listed separately).

Ben Woo Scholarships

The PSMS scholarship program is named in memory of Benjamin Woo, one of the founding members of the Society and its first president when the society formed in 1964. Over the next 40+ years, Ben played many important roles in PSMS. . He also was an original member of the Pacific Northwest Key Council for whom he prepared a key to the genus Russula, his long-time love. But his influence extended well beyond PSMS and the Pacific Northwest, and this was recognized by the North American Mycological Association at the NAMA Diamond Lake Foray in 2002 when he received its highest honor — the Award for Contributions to Amateur Mycology.

Guiding Principles

The object of the Ben Woo Scholarship program is to provide financial support for research and education regarding fungi in the Pacific Northwest, as well as support projects conducted by PSMS members seeking funds for educational or outreach purposes. Although a wide range of mycological subjects can be considered, priority will be given to projects involving mushroom-forming fungi (“macrofungi,” “macromycetes”), as they are the principal focus of most of our membership. Applicants do not necessarily have to reside in the Seattle area or Pacific Northwest as long as the research involves, or clearly pertains to, Pacific Northwest fungi or the research or educational activity takes place in the Pacific Northwest and benefits the Pacific Northwest mycological community. Projects of high interest to the PSMS membership or that otherwise provide benefits to it are especially favored.

For purposes of the Woo Scholarship program, the Pacific Northwest is considered to comprise Washington, Oregon, Idaho, southern British Columbia, and southeast and south-coastal Alaska.

The program will be administered by a Scholarship Program Coordinator appointed by the PSMS President and approved by the Board.

Awards are made from the Ben Woo Scholarship Fund, which is supported by annual allocations from the PSMS Board of $3000 as well as individual donations and proceeds from fund-raising activities. The maximum individual award is $3000. Given the limited funds available, PSMS favorably views proposals that have obtained (or will obtain) matching (or greater) funding from other sources for Academic research. PSMS Members seeking funds for educational or outreach purposes need not seek matching funding elsewhere.

In order for a scholarship to be awarded, an application must be approved by a simple majority of the PSMS Board of Trustees.

Each application must include a proposed budget that clearly shows how the requested funds would be used. Depending on the type and specific nature of the proposed research or educational activity, allowable costs could include items such as travel expenses, laboratory analyses, stipends or honorariums, books and other media resources, expendable supplies, and equipment. Salary, institutional overhead, and tuition or educational fees for individuals are not allowable costs. Budget detail should include a description of each item, its purpose, quantity, unit price, and total cost. Items and quantities should be clearly relatable to the project's description.

Application Deadline

Applications for financial support for research are due by 1 March each year.

Applications for funding PSMS Member's outreach or educational projects may be submitted any time during the year. (Note that our club and board is inactive mid-June through mid-August and processing may be delayed during this time).

Application Form

Academic and Research Application for Ben Woo Scholarship Grant

PSMS Member or Pacific Northwest Mycological Organization request for support for outreach or educational support

Recipients & Grants pdf

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