Grants & Scholarships

Donald B. Sayner Student Scholarship

Eligibility: College students studying science and art 
Deadline to apply: July 15, 2022, 11:59pm EDT
Notifications sent: July 31, 2022

Since its inception at the Smithsonian Institution over 50 years ago, the GNSI has fostered a community that is supportive, generous, and passionate about increasing science literacy through exceptional imagery. One of GNSI's hallmarks is identifying and nurturing students who want to learn more about science illustration. 

Donald B. Sayner taught scientific illustration at the University of Arizona Biological Sciences Department for over 35 years. Thousands of students who loved science and art took his classes, and many went on to careers in a variety of scientific disciplines. Sayner was a passionate teacher, and this scholarship exists to honor his legacy. 

Each year, one scholarship will be awarded to a college student to attend a GNSI conference or workshop, or for a one-year GNSI membership. 

To be considered for this scholarship, students must be studying science and art in college with the goal of improving their skills in scientific illustration. 

Please prepare the following information for application:

  • Name, Address, phone number
  • Where do you attend school, graduation date and what are you studying?
  • Please introduce yourself and describe your interest in scientific illustration or visual science communication. If you have experience in the field, please share that here but know experience isn’t required for this scholarship. 
  • What are your career plans? 
  • Submit at least 3 samples of your artwork as jpg files. Include links to online portfolio, Instagram account, or other if you have these. 

 Applications for 2022 are due July 15, 2022. Recipient will be notified by July 31, 2022. This scholarship is open to both members and non-members.

Apply Here!

This scholarship is funded by the sale of the book, Drawing for Scientific Illustrations: Technique and Rendering (Or How to Keep Illustrating When the WIFI Goes Out) by Donald B. Sayner, edited by Lana Koepke Johnson and Jeanette R. O'Hare with a foreword by Paul Mirocha. You may also make direct contributions to the fund via email us at [email protected] after making a donation to earmark your donation for the Donald B. Sayner Scholarship Fund.

 Accessibility Grant Fund 

Eligibility: Anyone interested in visual science communication 
Deadline to apply: TBD
Notifications sent: rolling basis

In 2020 and 2021, GNSI was able to offer 23 small grants to both members & non-members in an effort to help ease the financial burden for those interested in attending our online conferences. These grants brought us new outstanding members and gave recipients the opportunity to jump into the world of scientific illustration/visual science communication.
“Receiving the grant to attend the conference allowed me to interact with scientific illustration professionals that I would not have otherwise met. This allowed me to learn more about the different types of people that are scientific illustrators and better decide if this was a career path I wanted to pursue. Because of the conference, I have been spending more time with my art, and want to incorporate art as part of my scientific career.”

- Desirée Denman, 2021 Grant Recipient

Applications for Accessibility Grants are sent out with conference registration material each year.

If you would like to help us continue to support visual science communicators in the future and encourage accessibility within our organization, please donate to the fund! All donations are tax-deductible. 



GNSI Education Fund

Eligibility: GNSI Members in good standing 
Deadline to apply: April 1 and October 1 of each year
Notifications sent: within 3-4 weeks of applications

The Education Fund consists of money raised by the Annual Conference Auction and is designed to help support events that GNSI Chapters and individual members organize. For example, GNSI Chapters can apply for funds to host a workshop or exhibit, and individual members may seek support to throw an educational and outreach event that is open to the general public.

The GNSI Education Committee reviews applications and recommendations are sent to the Board of Directors for an additional review.

Important information about the Education Fund:

  • Only GNSI Chapter representatives and individual members in good standing are eligible to apply;
  • Applying projects cannot be for the sole benefit of an individual member;
  • Application deadlines are October 1 and April 1 of each year;
  • Typically, the maximum amount awarded does not exceed $1,500.00;
  • Successful applications may be funded in full or in part based on merit;
  • Applications for food and alcohol will not be funded.

For more information, download the GNSI Education Fund Guidelines and Application Form, or contact the GNSI Education Director with any questions.