Professional Development Awards

Professional Development Awards provide support for students to attend major professional meetings at which they present an original paper based on their research. The Graduate School allocates travel funds to each program at the beginning of each academic year. The graduate adviser and graduate coordinator can nominate students for these awards, which are approved and administered by the Graduate School.

Amounts can vary, but the recommended range is $250-1,000, with it suggested that students be limited to one award per academic year. Students must be registered during the semester the funds are to be used. (Summer registration will be waived if the student was registered for the prior spring semester.)


Nominations can be submitted by the graduate adviser or coordinator using the online Graduate School Awards System, available in EASI.

The application process involves these steps:

  1. The graduate adviser or graduate coordinator calls for applications for a fall, spring or summer award period by the program deadline (if applicable). Programs should provide their instructions to the student, then refer students to this page for more information and to access the student application form.
  2. The student completes the application form, saves it as a PDF, and sends the completed form along with a copy of his or her abstract and evidence of acceptance to the graduate adviser or graduate coordinator as directed by the program.
  3. The graduate adviser or graduate coordinator reviews all applications. For those applications selected for funding, the nominator will need to answer six short questions on the online nomination form, upload the student application materials, and submit the completed application online to the Graduate School. An email with the decision will be sent after the Graduate School review is complete.


Travel Period Application Period Student Deadline to
Request Payment
Fall Semester - Aug. 25 - Jan. 15 Sept. 1 to Dec. 5* Jan. 31
Spring Semester - Jan. 16 - May 31 Jan. 16 to May 4* May 31
Summer Semester - June 1 - Aug. 24 June 1 to July 7* July 31
*Deadline for this period.

Departments may submit an application as soon as the abstract has been accepted for presentation. Once the award is approved by the Graduate School, the student may request payment in advance of travel.