The PLANTS grant is open to current undergraduates, including community college students, and those who are graduating the year of the conference they will be attending.

Participants must be available and commit to attend the entire meeting and participate in PLANTS programing. This includes attending at least 3 scientific talks per day with a mentor, as well as professional development and networking activities like field trips, PLANTS scholar and alumni gatherings, the Belonging in Botany special lecture, a Careers in Botany lunch event, etc.

See the Sample Schedule for an idea of what this might look like. 

Click here for the "Prepping for PLANTS" informational video.

Applications due March 1st

Applications are welcome from all undergraduates from the US and Puerto Rico who have an interest in plant science. Applications from international students cannot be accepted due to limitations from our funding source. The goal of this National Science Foundation (NSF) funded program is to foster diversity, increase accessibility, and create inclusive opportunities and experiences for communities historically excluded from botanical science. The application process includes:

    1. Completion of the online form (linked in the button) 
    2. Uploading your personal statement of interest, 
    3. A letter of recommendation, and 
    4. Unofficial transcripts.

The Online Form

The application is made through our online Awards Portal. You do not need to be a current BSA member to apply. However, if you do not have a BSA login, you will need to create one here. We encourage you to review the online form thoroughly before filling it out. You will need to upload your personal statement and unofficial transcripts. Our staff will upload your letter of support.

Access the Awards Portal by clicking here and logging in with your BotanyID/Password. Once signed in, click on the "2024 - PLANTS Grant" link and you should see a blue button that says "+ Create New Nomination" at the bottom if your login was successful.

You don’t need to complete the application all in one go, so you can start it before you have your documents to attach. If you have any difficulty attaching documents or have questions about the process, you can email the PLANTS Coordinator at for assistance.

The Personal Statement

Please address EACH of the following questions in a personal statement (500 word limit), which you will upload when filling out the application form:

  • Why are you interested in attending this Botany conference? Please use examples that have influenced your interests in plants and the botanical sciences.

  • What are your areas of interest within or related to plant sciences?

  • How do you hope the PLANTS program and the BOTANY conference might help you—please be specific, for example are there particular people, types of people, or people in specific careers that you would like to meet, topics that you are specifically interested in learning more about, etc. We recognize that students earlier in their academic career may not be able to be as specific as more advanced students.

  • What are your plans after graduation and your current career goals?

  • Please describe any current or past formal or informal mentor/mentee relationships you have had and what you gained from being a mentor or a mentee.

  • What would you like to gain from interacting with your PLANTS mentors (a near-peer mentor and a more senior mentor) at the BOTANY meeting?

  • One of the goals of the PLANTS program is to engage, support and sustain a diverse community of undergraduate students in the botanical sciences. If selected, how would your participation in the program contribute to this goal?

  • How would you actively engage and support others academically or socially at the meeting?

Letter of Support

Your letter of support should come from someone who knows you in an academic or professional setting. This could be a letter from a professor, a volunteer coordinator, a supervisor, etc... but you should avoid getting this letter from a peer (e.g. a classmate or friend). You should confirm with your letter-writer with as much advance notice possible that they are willing to write and submit a letter for your application by the March 1 deadline. Please send them the directions below:

Directions for the Letter-Writer

The PLANTS program seeks to build a cohort of scholars who are diverse in their backgrounds, academic achievements, botanical interests, and career goals. Each student contributes something unique to the program (leadership, a diverse perspective, outside-the-classroom field or research experience, etc.) and each benefits from the program in their own way as well (some need more focused mentoring, while others may benefit from presenting their research at a conference for the first time, etc.)

Please write a letter that details 1) how you know the student, 2) what you believe they will contribute to the PLANTS program, 3) how you believe they will benefit from the PLANTS program and the Botany conference, and 4) their general readiness to attend and participate in an academic conference of this nature.

Letters of support should be emailed to by March 1, 2024.

Your letter of support should have the file name [LAST NAME STUDENT_YOUR LAST NAME_PLANTS2024], ie. HALES_SAKAI_PLANTS2024. For questions, please email


If you have any questions during this process or need assistance, please reach out to the PLANTS Coordinator at We look forward to hearing from you!