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The 3rd annual VMSD Scholarship + Experience recognizes and supports leadership potential in the Interior Design, Retail Design, Hospitality Design, Visual Merchandising, Architecture, UX Design, Engineering, and Product Design fields through a $1,500 scholarship plus an invitation to attend the 2023 International Retail Design Conference (IRDC) in Minneapolis, MN, this October with travel and expenses covered. A prize package totaling $4,400 for this year's recipient.

Congratulations to our 2023 recipient, Zoey Howard, from Miami University!


Since 1897, VMSD (Visual Merchandising Store Design) is committed to providing retail professionals with the most up-to-date, innovative retail design ideas and industry news -- and to do so in a way that inspires, challenges, and motivates.


Presented annually by VMSD magazine, the International Retail Design Conference (IRDC) is a one-of-a-kind conference that delivers two full days of education and design dialogue centered on the newest best practices, emerging opportunities, and fresh strategies for engaging shoppers, maximizing resources, and rethinking the retail experience.


IRDC is recognized as the premier educational and networking event for the store design and visual merchandising communities.




The following items must be included in your application for your request to be considered.​​


  • Personal Statement (Max 500 Words):  Why are you pursuing a degree/career in the design of retail environments/consumer experiences?

  • Portfolio (8-10 Pages Max) Highlights of your most recent retail-related* work. Can be student or professional-based.


* Retail-related work includes design work related to retail, restaurant/F&B, hospitality, healthcare, workplace, education, pop-ups, immersive experiences, products, store fixtures, displays, etc.

  • One Professional Reference We will need the phone number and email address for your reference. Can be a professor, faculty member, or an employer (including internship supervisors). References CAN NOT be friends or family members.

  • Must include a complete copy of your current transcript (official or unofficial).

  • Applications and supporting documents must be submitted through Submittable.

  • All applications must be received by September 15, 2023, by 11:59 pm ET/8:59 PT to be considered.

Friday, September 15, 2023, by 11:59 PM Eastern/8:59 PM Pacific. 



Student applicants will be judged blindly by a panel of industry professionals. One student will be selected to receive:

  • A $1,500 Scholarship

  • Expenses will be covered (airfare, hotel,  and per diem according to rates) for the recipient to attend the International Retail Design Conference (IRDC) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 25-26, 2023.

Total Prize Package Value - $4,400


  • Student must be a 3rd or 4th-year undergraduate or graduate student (any year) as of October 25, 2023.

  • Student must be enrolled in a program working toward a degree in Interior Design, Retail Design, Hospitality Design, Visual Merchandising, UX Design, Architecture, Engineering, Product Design, or similar programs.

  • Student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

  • Student must be located and studying within the United States or Canada.


The PAVE Scholarship Program, now in its thirteenth year, provides financial assistance to students in educational programs preparing them for careers in the retail environments industry, including but not limited to careers in retail design, visual merchandising, interior design, architecture, product design, UX design, graphic design, and industrial design.


PAVE was developed to help ensure a future talent pool for the industry by eliminating barriers to studying in these fields. The funds assist students who are experiencing financial difficulties that may prevent them from continuing school. PAVE has awarded students over $246,000 in financial grants and scholarships in the past five years.​

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