Professional Development Microgrants


IEEE GRSS IDEA Professional Development Microgrant

Motivation and Goal

The IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS) Microgrant Program aims to provide financial support to students and young professionals who are IEEE GRSS members pursuing advanced degrees and a career in geosciences and remote sensing. This program empowers recipients to overcome financial barriers and enhances their ability to build successful careers in these fields. This grant prioritizes applicants from marginalized backgrounds and underrepresented regions to promote access to GRS-related professional development, research, and graduate study. The IEEE GRSS Microgrant Program reserves the right to make exceptions or amendments to these policies and eligibility criteria as necessary to best serve the program’s objectives and the needs of its members.

Applicants are asked to answer a set of questions that they can answer on a voluntary basis and that will assist in evaluating their application for a Microgrant. In addition to providing information to evaluate applications, these data will inform GRSS about how the Microgrant Program can be improved. Access to the raw data will be restricted to the GRSS Microgrant evaluation committee only.

Eligibility Criteria

  • IEEE GRSS Membership: To qualify for a microgrant, applicants must be current members of IEEE GRSS. If an applicant is not a member, they must join IEEE GRSS prior to applying.
  • Professional requirement: Applicants must be pursuing an advanced degree (e.g., master or doctoral degree) or must be working in the field of geosciences and remote sensing.

The same applicant can receive a microgrant no more than once every two years.

Microgrant Details

  • Each microgrant is limited to a maximum of $500 USD per individual.
  • Microgrants are awarded to eligible individuals to support expenses associated with their graduate studies and professional development in the field of geosciences and remote sensing.

Eligible Expenses

Preference will be given to expenses that directly contribute to professional development and engagement with IEEE GRSS activities. Eligible expenses are limited to:

  • Attendance at IEEE GRSS organized or sponsored events where the applicant is presenting: This includes registration fees, travel, accommodation costs associated with presenting at attending conferences, workshops, and seminars.
  • ​​Computer hardware and software: Expenses related to purchasing necessary computer hardware or software to support academic research and studies in geosciences and remote sensing.
  • Training costs: Fees for specialized training courses, workshops, or certifications relevant to geosciences and remote sensing.
  • Field work expenses: Costs related to conducting fieldwork, including travel expenses and equipment necessary for data collection and research in the field.
  • Lab work expenses: Costs associated with conducting research in a laboratory, including equipment and supplies required for experiments and analysis.
  • Publication fees: Fees associated with publishing research papers in peer-reviewed journals or conferences.
  • Books and eBooks: Expenses for textbooks, reference materials, and e-books relevant to geosciences and remote sensing.

Ineligible Expenses

  • Hardware: Purchase of consumer electronics such as smartphones, tablets, or personal laptops, and drones for general use, unless specifically justified for research purposes, is generally not eligible.
  • Tuition and course fees: Microgrants are not intended to cover regular tuition or course (provided by the university/college to obtain a degree) fees that are considered standard educational expenses. However, Coursera and other professional development course content is eligible.
  • Attending a conference: Expenses incurred merely to attend the conferences without presenting are not eligible.
  • Non-research or non-study-related expenses: Expenses that do not directly contribute to research, professional development, or studies in geosciences and remote sensing are not eligible.

Criteria for a Successful Application

Applicants are initially reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Membership
  • Funding history (whether applicant received a funding within the last three years)
  • Demonstrated financial need
  • Clearly defined positionality statement, situating applicant as a young minority (defined by the applicant), underrepresented in the GRS field, and/or from an underrepresented region

The second-round review will focus on the following criteria:

  • Minority backgrounds underrepresented in remote sensing and geosciences
  • Demonstrated financial need
  • Articulation of how receiving the microgrant will benefit and advance the applicant’s personal and professional goals
  • A strong commitment to engage with the GRSS community

Important Dates

  • Call for participation : January 05, 2024
  • Application submission deadline: March 31, 2024
  • Applicants informed of the outcome of the review: May 15, 2024
  • The last date for expenditures : October 31, 2024
  • The last date to submit expenses via Concur for reimbursement: November 1, 2024
  • The last date to submit your report to IDEA on how you applied your microgrant to advance your graduate studies: November 1, 2024.

Note that the report must be received before expenses are submitted for reimbursement.

How to Apply

The application for a microgrant is via Google Form, or for Chinese applicants via Shimo Form. Any inquiries regarding applications can be sent to the IEEE GRSS IDEA committee at


Compliance and Reporting

Microgrant Program recipients are expected to use the funds in accordance with the proposed budget and expenses outlined in their application through IEEE Concur. Recipients are required to submit itemized receipts demonstrating how the funds were utilized for the intended purposes before applying to the fund. Microgrant recipients also agree to submit a summary or story of how they used their microgrant towards their professional development or research and studies of geosciences and remote sensing (photographs preferrable), and how it advanced their career (400-500 words total).

By submitting your information, you are agreeing to let GRSS use the information you have provided for the purposes of personal and business marketing. Please be aware GRSS will never provide this information for use by third parties.  This information would be shared via social media, e-newsletters, and the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Magazine, as examples. Agreement to share this information is mandatory to qualify for receipt of a microgrant.