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Electron Microscopy Sciences

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KEY2020 NIGHTSEA / EMS KEY Award for New Faculty

The application period for the 6th annual NIGHTSEA / Electron Microscopy Sciences KEY Award for New Faculty is now open! The KEY Award is an annual equipment grant to an individual entering their first faculty position at any academic institution worldwide.

The Award

  • A stereo Microscope Fluorescence Adapter system with two excitation/emission combinations
  • $750 in equipment or supplies selected from the full EMS catalog

About the Award

Fluorescence is increasingly central to many fields of research, most notably in the life sciences, but also in other disciplines. New faculty start-up budgets are limited and fluorescence microscopy equipment can be very expensive. Immediately after the introduction of the economical NIGHTSEA Stereo Microscope Fluorescence Adapter (SFA) system, we realized that it was popular among researchers entering their first faculty position because it provides an economical way to implement a fluorescence capability at a reasonable cost.

NIGHTSEA founder Dr. Charles Mazel's R&D career owes much to the inspiration and support of many people. The KEY Award is a way of giving back to the community and honors several of those individuals.

According to Dr. Mazel

'K' is for Dr. Les Kaufman, Professor of Biology at Boston University. I met Les when he was Director of Research at the New England Aquarium and I was just a SCUBA diver walking in off the street with a 35mm slide deck of photographs of fluorescing corals. His excitement and encouragement led me back to school to pursue research into the meaning of the phenomenon and ultimately to a rewarding research career.
'E' represents two people – Dr. Harold E. 'Doc' Edgerton of MIT and Dr. Thomas Eisner of Cornell University. I was privileged to know both of these great men. Doc was a pioneer in both high speed imaging and underwater search, and an inspiration to all who met him. Tom was a great entomologist, the 'father of chemical ecology', and absolutely brilliant at using photographic imagery to communicate his observations of nature and the novel scientific investigations that they inspired.
'Y' also represents two people – the remarkable husband and wife team of Drs. Charlie and Clarice Yentsch. I met this inspirational pair of scientists when I entered my PhD program, and Charlie was on my thesis committee. I was privileged to spend a summer conducting research at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, which they founded, and working side by side with them on numerous field projects.

Past Award Recipients

  • 2019 - Dr. Joshua Currie, University of Toronto, Canada
  • 2018 - Dr. Pierre-Paul Bitton, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
  • 2017 - Kristen Gorman, California State University, Chico
  • 2016 - Dr. Sarah Petersen, Kenyon College
  • 2015 - Dr. Robert Mitchell, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh


The KEY Award is open to individuals entering their first faculty position at a non-profit college or university any time in the academic calendar year 2019-2020, worldwide. That includes starts in Fall 2019, Winter/Spring 2020, and new hires for Fall 2020.

Evaluation and Selection

Entries will be read and ranked by an evaluation panel of scientists and non-scientists.


  • The application deadline is Friday, June 5, 2020.
  • Selection of the awardee will be made in early August.
  • Equipment will be sent to the awardee at their new institution.


Enter here. If you have any questions please contact us.

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