2024 Student Prizes & Awards

The Drake and LaCross awards recognize student projects or proposed near-future projects that are directly related to Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum's strategic plan.  Student work may encompass a range of projects from ecological studies to sustainable and environmental design to environmental art installations or even youth place-based stewardship projects. Two awards (cash prizes) for projects and scholarship will be awarded.


  • Two students conducting research in a greenhouse.Application is open until March 19, 2024

  • Undergraduate Students: must be enrolled in the Program in the Environment (PitE)

  • Graduate Students: must be enrolled in the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS)

  • Students who have concurrent majors/minors/degree candidacy with other units are eligible as long as one is PitE or SEAS. Prizes are awarded for current or proposed, near future work. Preference is given to students who have not won previously.

  • Candidates must apply directly. Please see the submission instructions below. 


Overall up to $13,000 may be distributed to two or more candidates.


Please complete this form. The application will prompt you to upload a PDF that contains the following information:

  • Purpose statement of Project/Scholarship
  • Project/Scholarship description (300 word limit)
  • Connection to MBGNA mission/ strategic plan and goals
  • Budget (materials cost, site fees, stipends)
  • Resume
  • Review the descriptions of the William Drake and Nanette LaCross prizes, and describe how your project/scholarship best exemplifies the spirit of their work.

Additionally, we will also require:

  • Your name, email, and phone number 

  • Academic degree program enrollment, expected graduation 

  • Have you connected with a staff member of MBGNA about this project/scholarship? If so please provide their name.

  • Two references. Please include the reference name, title and phone number.


  • A matrix is developed to review the submission.

  • Interviews will be held with top applicants.

  • References will be contacted.

  • Award winners will be notified before Mar 29, 2024