Endowment Fund for Education

© Norm Barker, MA, MS RBP, FBCA

The Endowment Fund for Education (EFFE) promotes and assists study and research in the field of biological communication by providing financial support to projects approved by the EFFE Committee. Through EFFE grants, the Association promotes opportunities for the study and research of visual communication media in the life sciences.

EFFE Grants

The EFFE grants are awarded based on merit and the availability of funds. There are two EFFE grants.

EFFE Grants are awarded annually based on merit and the availability of funds. Membership in the BCA is not a requirement for receiving a grant. Any student, trainee, biocommunicator or institutional program that can demonstrate a need for project funding may apply. Members of the EFFE committee, or their relatives, are ineligible.

The BIOCOMM Educational Grants are only available to BCA members who qualify and are awarded based on financial need to attend a BIOCOMM conference. The objective of this grant is to assist with financial support of BCA members who do not receive funding support from their institution to participate in BCA educational conferences.


The EFFE fund has awarded grants to applicants from several countries for a wide variety of projects such as preparation for certification, attendance at workshops, photographic exhibit support, and the development of new imaging techniques for the microscope. The total awards are limited to no more than 33% of available funds for the year and are typically $1500 or less.

Project Examples

Some examples of projects that could possibly qualify for an EFFE grant include:

  • Purchase of equipment for colleges, universities, schools, or other BCA recognized programs of formal biological photographic education.
  • Purchase or production of educational materials of a lasting nature (books, films, videotapes, DVDs, etc.) to be donated for reference use in programs of formal education.
  • Funding of projects whose chief purpose is to develop educational materials.
  • Funding of research on materials or methods in photography or media in the life sciences.
  • Funding of projects utilizing microscopy.

The EFFE Committee evaluates the completed applications received within the annual deadline and makes awards based on merit and the availability of funds. These funds are generated from the interest earned from investment of the EFFE principal sum in several financial instruments, most of which are mutual stock funds. A majority of the fund is derived from the generous contributions of BCA members. EFFE funds can only be used for approved educational projects. They can never be used for the operating expenses of the Association. EFFE funds are completely separate from the general operating funds of the BCA.


The Endowment Fund for Education (EFFE) started in 1982 as the Sam Agnello Memorial Education Fund which the BioCommunications Association established as an endowment fund to be used to fund educational projects and it incorporates a portion of the former Bernard Friedman Foundation, which was established to support microscopy education.