Innovation in Materials Research Award

Rustum and Della Roy Innovation in Materials AwardRustum and Della Roy Innovation in Materials Research


The Rustum and Della Roy Innovation in Materials Research Award is designed to honor interdisciplinary materials research at Penn State which yields innovative and unexpected results.

Three awards are granted annually—two graduate student awards and one postdoctoral or junior faculty award. The award value is $750 (minimum) for graduate student recipients and $1,500 (minimum) for the postdoctoral researcher or junior faculty recipient.


Full-time graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and junior faculty members currently conducting interdisciplinary materials research at Penn State are eligible to apply. Senior research associates and associate professors are ineligible. Recipients of this award are not eligible to reapply for subsequent consideration. 


A call for applications is disseminated annually by the Award Panel appointed by the Materials Research Institute. Graduate students from all degree programs may apply, and each Department can nominate one postdoctoral researcher or junior faculty member. Please email an electronic copy of all required materials in a single PDF file, collated in the order below, to the Awards Panel at

The following material must be provided from each applicant using the online form:

In both categories (graduate student and postdoctoral or junior faculty):

  • application form submitted online;
  • statement that describes current research endeavors, highlights the interdisciplinary;
  • nature of the work, and details the level of novelty of the discovery (three-page maximum);
  • support letter to describe the importance of the innovative research (to be provided by department head for postdoctoral researchers or junior faculty and student’s adviser);
  • curriculum vitae.

Graduate student applicants also must include:

  • a transcript (unofficial copy is acceptable);
  • a list of dissertation committee members.


For the current 2019-2020 year, applications must be submitted through the online application to the Award Panel by August 30, 2020.

Selection Process

A selection panel comprised of four Penn State faculty administrators familiar with interdisciplinary materials research will review the applications. Awards are disbursed through students’ Bursar Accounts in accordance with federal financial aid regulations.

Apply for this Award

Contact Information

Dinesh Agrawal

Director of Microwave Processing and Engineering Center
Professor of Materials