Professional Development Award

2020-2021 Professional Development Award – Presented by

The Graduate School

*Professional Development Award Applications for 20-21 are open. Please note that travel is not eligible for compensation while University travel restrictions are in place.  Expenses incurred for remote opportunities are eligible. 

For more information regarding travel impacted by COVID-19, please see: https://msu.edu/together-we-will/travel/

Award Information: 

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 an award 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 (see guidelines section 3 for more details).  Technical details should be made intelligible to a broad audience.  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 office@cogs.msu.edu.  PLEASE NOTE: Letter of Recommendation is part of the application and must be submitted on or before the application deadline to be considered.

Applications are reviewed at Finance Committee meetings and awarded by approval at full council. Number of awards approved depends on  available funds for the current semester award budget. Finance Committee may adjust deadlines in future semesters and/or apply lottery for selection (per funding guidelines) if applications exceed available funding.

APPLICATION DEADLINES:

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.  ONLY IF funds remain after the first review period, will 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 financial aid to stu-info account soon after awardees are notified and during the semester for which the event occurs.

Fall 2020  (Events from July 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020) – DUE BY 5PM on September 30, 2020

*Additional rolling deadline(s) may be added if funds are still available after the first round of awards. Funds remain available. Next deadline, will be November 25th.

Spring 2020 (Events from January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021)

  • Application deadline(s) will be posted once Spring 2021 Full Council Dates are confirmed.  Tentative Deadline is January 6, 2021.

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

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