For Students

Welcome to the Vesalius Trust’s student page – we’re glad you’re here!

Please click below to learn about the various ways you can be involved in and benefit from what the Vesalius Trust has to offer and thank you for visiting.

If you already know what you need, here is the quick link to the grants and scholarships application page:

Funding and Events You Can Apply For and Participate In

Student Research Grants and Scholarships

The Vesalius Trust provides grant funding to students enrolled in medical illustration programs and have completed one year of the curriculum. These competitive grants are awarded annually and are intended to help fund the student research projects and masters’ theses.

The top two Student Research Grants are named for Alan Cole and Joyce McGill. Alan was a well-known medical illustrator who was very active in the Association of Medical Illustrators, and was a founder of the annual fund-raising auction. The student research grants were partially funded by the auctions’ income, as they are today. Gael McGill, PhD, Digizyme CEO, Director of Molecular Visualization at Harvard Medical School and a past Vesalius Trust trustee, funded the Joyce McGill Scholarship in honor of his aunt, Joyce McGill, who dedicated her life to teaching art.

Major funding for the grants comes from proceeds of the generous bequest by Charlotte Holt, the Charlotte Holt Fund.

The applicants must provide an application form, resume, graduate project description, budget and time-line, transcripts, preceptor form and faculty adviser form. The applicants are judged on background, education, and project concept, design and production plan.

More information and applications for student research scholarships can be found here:

A full list of past winners can be found here: Award Winners

The Inez Demonet Scholarship

The Demonet Scholarship is the highest award given to a graduating student from an accredited graduate program in medical illustration. This small group of schools is approved by the Accreditation Review Committee for the Medical Illustrator (ARC-MI) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

The application process includes transcripts, a description of college and graduate student careers and accomplishments, reasons for entering visual communications, and future plans. A portfolio of recent work is also required. The evaluation committee looks for both successful past performance and the potential for meaningful contributions to the field of biocommunications. Faculty recommendations are strongly considered.

The current cash award is $2000, and the Demonet Scholar is made an ex officio member of the Vesalius Trust board of directors, for a one year term. In addition, reasonable travel expenses are provided to allow the awardee to attend the annual meeting of the Vesalius Trust, held each spring.

Further information and applications can be found at:

A full list of past winners can be found here: Award Winners

Research Poster Sessions

Note: This year we are going virtual! Click here to see the call for participation in the 2020 Vesaliust Trust Virtual Poster Symposium 

The Vesalius Trust, in association with Association of Medical Illustrators, holds a poster session at the annual conference. All applicants to the VT Scholarship program have an opportunity to present their work at this event. You do not have to have received a VT scholarship or grant to take part. Participation is voluntary for all applicants, and would be in addition to those who have been asked to present as Vesalian Scholar.

The applications for Vesalius Trust research grants are project proposals, and are reviewed before the applicants complete the final project. At the annual AMI meeting, the Vesalius Trust Student Scientific Presentations and the Vesalius Trust Student Scientific Poster Session provide two opportunities for students to be judged on the presentation of the final outcome of their projects rather than the proposal.


  1. What are the Vesalius Trust Student Scientific Presentations?
    Select students who receive awards are invited to make a live presentation of their projects at that year’s AMI meeting. Presentations are limited to the top 5 award winners. Students who are eligible will be contacted directly by the VT Student Scientific Presentations Chair.
  2. What is the Vesalius Trust Student Scientific Poster Session?
    The Vesalius Trust Student Scientific Poster Session is open to all research grant applicants, including those who have been invited to participate in the VT Student Scientific Presentation. A student does not need to have received an award to participate in the poster session. The only requirement is that student must be present at the AMI meeting to participate. A “call for posters” will be made by the VT Student Scientific Presentation Chair in advance of the annual meeting.
  3. What is required for the Poster session?
    Poster session participants are asked to create a poster (a template will be provided) and present it at the 50 minute poster session. The cost of printing is covered by funds from the Vesalius Trust. All posters will be printed in advance of the AMI meeting and the students will be able to take the poster home with them.

For general information, please contact:

Joy Marlowe VT
Poster Session Coordinator

Walter Spohn Educational Fund (WSEF)

For information on the WSEF, please visit their website directly at

The Frank H. Netter Award for Special Contributions to Medical Education

Dr. Frank H. Netter has been called “Medicine’s Michelangelo” in recognition of his life’s work of illustrating the form and functions of the human body in both health and disease. Through the Ciba Clinical Symposia series of monographs and the classic multivolumeCollection of Medical Illustrations, as well as the Atlas of Anatomy, Dr. Netter had a profound and enduring impact in medical and health science education.

The Vesalius Trust for Visual Communications in the Health Sciences is accepting applications for the Dr. Frank H. Netter Award. This award recognizes innovative, creative, and impactful approaches to visual communication for medical and life sciences.

Recipients of the Dr. Frank H. Netter award advance knowledge through the use of visuals that promote in-depth comprehension of abstract and complex biomedical subjects. Some winning entries are collaborative efforts that integrate perspectives of people working in a variety of disciplines while other projects represent the work of a single person with a unique vision. The one thing all winning entries have in common is the ability to advance understanding of the health sciences through the effective use of visuals.

Individuals, institutions or companies engaged in the development of visually oriented educational materials that have influenced health science education or practice are invited to apply for this prestigious award.

The application deadline is January 6 (first Monday), 2020. Information about the award and the application form are available below:

Application Guidelines

Allocation of Research Funds
If you’d like to know more about where these funds originated, please read below.

AMI Restricted Education Fund

The Association of Medical Illustrators’ Restricted Education Fund (AMI Fund) was established in 2013 to support education, research and scholarship activities of the AMI and Its members. The AMI exists to inspire a diverse community of innovators in biomedical visualization. Creativity, expertise and interdisciplinary skills are the tools used to support discovery in life science, health and medicine – and to use clear, accurate and effective means to present these findings to audiences of all levels.

The AMI Fund helps support excellence in professional education. AMI members and potential members benefit from these awards; the general public and professional stakeholders are made aware of the profession and its contributions. Monies from the Fund support annual conference speakers, national and regional educational seminars and workshops. They also support dissemination of national conference proceedings and help underwrite online continuing education programs supporting the Board of Certification of Medical Illustrators. 

The Charlotte S. Holt Fund

Charlotte Holt, a longtime member of the AMI and a respected medical illustrator and medical sculptor, designated a bequest to be used for student support. These competitive scholarships are awarded annually to students in the form of student research grants.

Students who have completed their first year of graduate instruction at a CAAHEP-accredited graduate degree program are eligible. The applicants are judged on their backgrounds, education and the quality of their graduate research project proposals. The applications are reviewed by the scholarship committee of the Association of Medical Illustrators and the winners are awarded funds by the Vesalius Trust based on the committee’s recommendations.

Since inception of the program, nearly 350 scholarships have been awarded to students researching in fields ranging from basic anatomical research through exciting new technologies and cutting-edge medicine.

Ernest W. Beck Fund

Ernest W. Beck was a prodigious, creative and devoted medical illustrator and member of the Association of Medical Illustrators. Besides illustrating a number of books and atlases, he wrote five books, served as executive managing editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and 13 of its specialty journals, and was art director for the G.D. Searle Company.

Ernie was the recipient of the AMI’s highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award, in 1982. He held many other high profile positions in the association, including chair of the Journal of Biocommunication Editorial Review Board.

Of all his AMI activities, Ernie was the proudest of his work with the AMI Ethics Committee. His tireless efforts as an impartial, reasoned and open-minded arbiter ombudsman and advisor have had a deep and lasting influence on medical illustrators’ professional conduct and relationships. The Ernest W. Beck Award was established in 1983 to underwrite lectures or seminars on ethics or a related topic relevant to medical illustration.