Graduate Student Professional Development Awards


Professional Development Awards (PDAs) 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 department or 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.


The award amount can vary but there is a recommended minimum of $250 and maximum of $1000 with only one award per student within a given 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.

Nomination Process

Using the Online Process to Apply

Nominations for PDAs can now be submitted by the graduate adviser using the online Graduate School Awards System that can be accessed from the online awards system. The online PDA application process works like this:

1) Program graduate adviser or graduate coordinator calls for PDA applications for a fall, spring or summer award period by their local deadline (if applicable) along with their instructions to the student, and refers students to this web page for more information and to access the student application form available here:

Application form for Online Application for a Graduate Student PDA (pdf)

2) Student completes the application form above, saves it as a pdf file, and then sends the completed form along with a copy of their 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 complete application online to the Graduate School. An email with the decision will be sent after the review in the Graduate School is complete.


For Travel During: Submit Application From: Student Deadline to Request Payment
Fall semester 8/27 - 1/19 September 1 - December 5 * January 31
Spring semester 1/20 - 5/31 January 13 - May 4 * May 31
Summer semester 6/1 - 8/25 June 4 - July 9 * July 31

* Deadline for this period

These are firm deadlines.  Awards for fall, spring, or summer meetings not submitted by the appropriate departmental deadline will not be accepted. Payments not requested by the appropriate student deadline will not be processed.

Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Evidence of acceptance and an abstract must be attached.

Please note that 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.

Questions about PDAs may be sent to Ann Page in the Graduate School at


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