Professional Development Grants
Professional Development Grants (PDGs) are available to help students meet the costs of attending skills/knowledge building and networking events that will enhance their professional development and/or standing. This includes, but is not limited to, conferences, symposia, film festivals, and industry gatherings.
The GSA recognizes that different programs have different professional development needs and opportunities, and encourages all graduate students to apply for PDGs.
Please read all of these guidelines carefully to avoid contacting the GSA with unnecessary questions. GSA officers volunteer their time to run the GSA and we ask that you treat their time respectfully.
- General Guidelines
- PDG Award Amounts
- Application Form, Deadlines, and Process
- Approval Process
- Reimbursement Procedure & Deadlines
- Items Required for Reimbursement
- Reimbursement for Travel & Accommodation
- Reimbursement for Shared Accommodation
- Reimbursement Checks
- PDGs are available to assist students to meet the costs of attending skills/knowledge building and networking events that will enhance their professional development and/or standing. This includes, but is not limited to, conferences, symposia, film festivals, and industry gatherings.
- The GSA recognizes that different programs have different types of professional development needs and opportunities and encourages students to apply for PDGs to enable them to take part in any happening that they believe will enhance their professional development and/or standing.
- PDGs are intended to cover a portion of the student’s legitimate expenses while attending the approved events or activities.
- Legitimate expenses include, but are not limited to, Event Registration Fee, Flights, Bus, Train, Other Ground Transport, and Lodging. Food is not considered a legitimate expense.
- PDGs are awarded by the GSA upon approval by the GSA Executive Council.
- PDG awards work on a reimbursement basis and require submission of original receipts to the GSA.
- PDG award recipients may be required to give a very brief presentation at a GSA End-of-Semester or End-of-Year Event describing how attendance at the event or activity contributed to their professional development.
- At a minimum, PDG award recipients must submit a short, two paragraph description of the event and how they benefited from attending it that will be posted to the GSA blog.
- Graduate students may receive only one PDG during the lifetime of their program. If a student declines or fails to claim a PDG that has been awarded to him her, he/she may apply for a second PDG.
- PDGs are not available for additional educational experiences, such as education workshops or internships.
- PDGs may not be applied toward work for academic credit or for coursework activities, such as capstone experiences.
- Undergraduates may not apply for PDGs.
- Applications submitted for past events or activities will not be considered.
- Matriculated students who are currently registered in a degree-granting graduate program.
- Students must be in good standing and the events or activities must be closely related to the applicant’s field of study.
- Students may apply for a PDG award at any point during their academic career. Graduating students may still apply for funds in their final semester if the event takes place within the first 4 months following graduation.
- PDG award amounts will depend on factors such as relevance of event, student’s level of participation and/or role at the event, event registration fees, amount of travel required, size of grants requested by other students attending the same event, and so on.
- The maximum grant available for conferences and other events requiring travel and accommodation is the conference/registration/entry fee up to a maximum of $250, plus travel and accommodation up to a maximum of $350.
- For all other grants, the maximum award is $350.
- In truly exceptional circumstances the maximum award may be increased to $600.
All PDG grant amounts are awarded at the sole discretion of the GSA Executive Council.
Applicants must submit the GSA PDG Application Form by a minimum of three (3) weeks before the event or activity occurs. Applicants who do not submit the application form by the three week deadline will not be funded. At the same time as you submit the form, please email GSAInfo@emerson.edu to notify the GSA treasurer that a grant request has been submitted.
Applicants must include a summary of their participation and a breakdown of estimated expenses. The most common expense categories are Event Registration Fee, Flights, Bus, Train, Other Ground Transport, Lodging, and Association Membership Fee. Applicants should specify Other Ground Transport and any additional expenses. The summary must include an explanation of how the event or activity will contribute to the applicant's professional development.
Students should not assume that they are guaranteed any or all funding when submitting a proposal.
The last day to submit applications for consideration for Summer 2013 is April 1, 2013.
Applications received by the GSA will be reviewed by the GSA Executive Council at the GSA Executive Council meeting on a rolling basis. If you need an application reviewed more urgently in order to be able to attend an event, please email GSAInfo@emerson.edu.
Students will be notified by the GSA of acceptance or non-acceptance of the proposal. If awarded, the grant is a commitment of reimbursement up to the specified amount, given the timely submission of proper receipts. No funds may be released without formal GSA approval. The decision of the GSA Executive Council is final.
Original receipts and the email from the GSA approving the PDG request must be submitted to the GSA in the Office of Graduate Studies, 180 Tremont Street, 12th Floor. Please hand-deliver materials and make photocopies of receipts for your records.
If you attend an event during the spring or fall semester, all receipts must be submitted within six weeks of attending the event, or within one week of the end of the semester, whichever comes first.
If you attend an event during the winter or summer recess, all receipts must be submitted within six weeks of attending the event.
Reimbursement requests submitted after these deadlines may be rejected, or the amount of the award reduced, at the sole discretion of the GSA Executive Council. Reimbursement requests and paperwork for events or activities attended during the summer recess may, with prior agreement with the Office of Graduate Studies and GSA Executive Council, be submitted by mail. The Office of Graduate Studies and GSA Executive Council are not responsible for the loss of receipts and/or paperwork.
- For anything paid for by cash, check, or credit card: original dated receipts.
- For anything paid by check: a copy of the canceled check (front and back).
- For airline flights, a copy of the travel itinerary showing the cost of the flight. Boarding passes are NOT redeemable for reimbursement.
- A completed check request form. This document can be obtained from the Office of Graduate Studies when turning in your receipts.
- Attach a copy of your award letter from the GSA.
- Attach a short, two paragraph description of the event and how you benefited from attending it that will be posted to the GSA blog and possibly the Emerson website. Please e-mail this to GSAInfo@emerson.edu as well.
- The rules of the College apply for reimbursement of Transportation (by the most economical means available), Lodging (excluding food), and Registration Fees.
Although applicants must specify individual amounts for Flights, Ground Transport, and Hotels in their PDG application, one overall amount is awarded for Travel & Accommodation expenses. When submitting a claim for Travel & Accommodation any combination of receipts for Flights, Ground Transport, and Hotels will be accepted.
This is done to simplify the reimbursement process and to allow students still to claim the full amount awarded for Travel and Accommodation even if one of the costs ends up being less than the amount awarded. For example, if a flight ends up costing less than the amount awarded, the difference will be set against the cost of the hotel.
Regardless of the actual breakdown of expenses, or the value of receipts submitted, the total amount claimed for Flights, Ground Transport, and Hotels may never exceed the overall amount awarded for Travel and Accommodation.
Since all claims for reimbursement must be supported by original receipts, only the person whose name is on a hotel bill may use that bill to claim for reimbursement. If you are sharing a hotel room, the easiest solution is to arrange for each of the occupants to pay for different nights on separate hotel bills.
Reimbursement checks are issued on Fridays by the Emerson College Finance Department. If you wish to receive your reimbursement check by mail, you must tick the “please mail” check box on the check request form.
If you do not tick the “please mail” check box, your reimbursement check will be held for collection at the Cashier’s Window just opposite the elevators on the 13th Floor of 180 Tremont Street. Checks being held for collection will be mailed out after two to three weeks if they have not been collected by then. Checks can only be mailed to the current address on your student record.
Email GSAInfo@emerson.edu with questions.
for pdg applications
All applications must be received at least three (3) weeks prior to the event/conference.
Applications received without at least three weeks notice will not be funded.
The last day to submit applications for consideration for Summer 2013 and beyond is April 1, 2013.