Professional Development Award

2022-2023 Professional Development Award – Presented by

The Graduate School

Virtual professional development opportunities are eligible. For more information regarding travel impacted by COVID-19, please see:

Award Information: 

COGS thanks The Graduate School for their generous funding of this award.

This program is intended to support graduate/professional students attend events or engage in activities that enhance their professional development. A qualified event includes but is not limited to a local, regional, national or international workshop, academic competition, convention, or association meeting in which the primary goal of event participants is to obtain or hone a skill set useful to their profession both creative and scholarly. Please read the Professional Development Funding Guidelines before applying. Professional development awards cannot be used to fund presentations at conferences. If you are presenting research at a conference, please apply for a Conference Award.

The maximum award amount is $500.00. All graduate and professional students are limited to no more than $500 worth of  COGS Professional Development Award funds during their MSU academic career. Especially during this time of remote engagement, events may cost less than $500. With that in mind, the committee has updated the guidelines to clarify that students may win a maximum of $500. And you may apply more than once if you have not used the full $500, but any funds will be limited to reaching the total $500 limit per student.   (NOTE: Funds are dispersed as a fellowship award from The Graduate School via the financial aid office to the student’s stu-info account. Only enrolled graduate/professional students can receive this award.)

To submit an online application, you will need:

  • Statement of Justification: In 500 words or less, please explain how you believe the skills, learning, or experience the event offers will be useful to you during your graduate degree or your career thereafter (access guidelines section 3 for more details). You should make technical details of this experience clear to a broad audience. Applicants should clearly identify and explain how their professional development activity honed or improved their skill(s) or developed their knowledge. Attending an event does not guarantee funding. If the event is administered by another institute of higher education, please explain how the event differs from similar events at Michigan State University.
  • Letter of recommendation: Please have your major professor or advisor write a letter (1) confirming your attendance at the event and (2) explaining how this experience will contribute to your academic career. If you professor wishes to submit the letter directly to our office, it can be emailed to  PLEASE NOTE: Letter of Recommendation is part of the application and must be submitted on or before the application deadline to be considered.

After each stated deadline, applications are reviewed at Finance Committee meetings and awarded by approval by vote at full council. Number of awards approved depends on  available funds for the current semester award budget. Once applications pass the initial review process, Finance Committee may apply randomized lottery for selection of final awardees if eligible applications exceed available funding.


Applications are due by 5pm on the stated due date.  Please note: We are unable to consider late applications.

COGS FUNDS ARE LIMITED, SO APPLICANTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY BY THE EARLIEST POSTED DEADLINE FOR THE SEMESTER THEY ARE ATTENDING THEIR EVENT.   IF funds remain after the first review period, applications will be reviewed for the 2nd posted deadline for that semester. Once no more funds remain for a given semester, then no further applications for events taking place for that semester will be considered. (You may apply early for the next semester’s event, but your application won’t be reviewed until the posted review period for that semester.)  Website will be updated as to the availability of funds after each initial review period.  Funds are dispersed via fellowship to student account soon after awardees are notified and during the semester for which the event occurs.

Fall 2022  (Events from July 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022) First deadline is October 27, 2022. Notifications of awards and remaining funds will be sent & posted after the Nov. 16th full council meeting.  IF funds remain, next deadlines is: 11.23.22. Notifications of awards  will be sent after the Dec. 7th full council meeting. **NO MORE FALL SEMESTER EVENT APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Fall funds are depleted.

Spring 2023 (Events from January 1, 2023 through June 30, 2023) – First deadline is January 26, 2023.  Award Notifications will go out after Feb 15th full council meeting.

FINAL DEADLINE: FUNDS are still available as of 2.15.23 and application remains open.  The final application deadline is March 30, 2023. Notifications would then go out to applicants after  April 19th full council meeting.

Check for COGS Full Council Meeting dates here:

NOTE: Do not apply for events that take place AFTER June 30, 2023 until the FY 23-24 Applications are posted, sometime after July 1, 2022.

Please contact the office (517) 353-9189 if you have any questions.