Professional Opportunities Development Funding
Important policy changes have been implemented for the POD Grants program for academic year 2020-2021. Please review all posted information carefully.
The GPSC recognizes that graduate and professional student education is advanced by events promoting the development of skills necessary to succeed in their fields of study. Therefore, the GPSC strives to support professional development initiatives of graduate and professional students through Professional Opportunity Development (POD) Funding.
Such initiatives and events include, but are not necessarily limited to, academic seminars, conferences, meetings with industry representatives, etc. which are occurring at the University of Arizona. Any group of at least three graduate and/or professional students can apply to the GPSC for funding to support a POD event they are directly involved in planning. The maximum award for POD Funding is $1,500 per application to be used within six (6) months of receiving funding. It is in your organization’s best interest to apply early because it may take up to two months to receive funding. Please read ALL of the sections on this web page before you submit an application. To ensure your application receives full consideration, please check the GPSC POD Grant Evaluation Rubric and fill out your application accordingly. Questions regarding any part of the application process may be directed to the GPSC Grants Office at email@example.com.
In order to complete your grant application, you will be directed to Submittable, a third party grant management application. By continuing with this application, you consent to providing your student information to Submittable, and to having Submittable receive and process that student information, in order to complete your application and be considered for a grant award.
NOTE: Please log-in with your UA NETID (email.arizona.edu) account
It is suggested that all applicants save their text and responses on a separate document (Word or Google doc) in case an error occurs to ensure nothing is lost. If an error does occur, please contact the Submittable Technical Support team at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Last updated: 7/31/19
Range of SupportClick or enter to reveal information below
GPSC POD Grants are intended to partially or completely fund events or initiatives advancing the professional development of graduate and professional students that will be held within six months of the award date at the University of Arizona. Applicants can apply for up to $1,500 from the GPSC to support their event or initiative. Initiatives covered by the grant may include (but are not limited to):
- Academic seminars
- Meetings with industry representatives
Below is a list of allowable costs. Any item purchased with the grant belongs to your department. The list is not exhaustive. Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions regarding the allowance/prohibition of items not on the below list.
- Flyers and/or printing costs
- Speaker honorariums
- Travel expenses for speakers*
- Room reservations
- Carpool services
*Any funding requested for lodging and meals cannot exceed rates listed in the FSO Meals/Lodging Cost Index.
Prohibited ItemsClick or enter to reveal information below
The GPSC will not fund the following items. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding the allowance/prohibition of items not on the below list.
- Alcoholic beverages
- Philanthropic events
- Mailings for organizational minutes
- Awards, trophies, gifts, and gift cards
- Entertainment not open to the entire student population
- Reimbursement for a charge that would be payable after the use of the good or service is incurred by an organization (e.g. monthly phone bill, cable TV charge) except for travel costs.
Activities that could otherwise be funded through another GPSC funding program (Travel or Research and Project (ReaP) Grants) will not be considered for a Professional Opportunities Development Grant.
EligibilityClick or enter to reveal information below
- Any group of at least three graduate and/or professional students can apply for a POD Grant in support of an event they are directly involved in planning.
- Applicants must be University of Arizona graduate or professional students at the time of application and at the time of the event/initiative.
- Applicants may only submit one application per round.
- Applicants are only eligible to receive one POD Grant per academic year.
- Applicants are only eligible to apply for POD Grant funding for events/initiatives that have yet to take place, and which will be held within 6 months of the award date.
- The GPSC may fund politically oriented or religious organizations solely for the administration, execution, or maintenance of non-partisan/non-political/non-religious programs, services or special events deemed beneficial to the student body by the GPSC Appropriations Committee. For purposes of organization funding, "political" is defined as "having to do with the organization of individuals who seek to control or influence the action of those who manage the affairs of the state." "Religious" is defined as "having to do with an organization of individuals combining a particular system of faith and worship recognized and practiced by a particular church, sect, or denomination." The GPSC funds only secular, non-sectarian activities.
- Our organization is made up of both graduate students and undergraduates. Are we eligible to apply?
- As long as the POD Grant proposal is submitted by at least three graduate and/or professional students, your organization is eligible to receive a POD grant.
- Are expenses made before the award date eligible for reimbursement?
- Please reach out to us at email@example.com if your organization has expenses in need of reimbursement. For POD grants, we are often able to accommodate these requests (in contrast to our ReaP Grant policy).
Application and Faculty Letter of Support DeadlinesClick or enter to reveal information below
GPSC Professional Opportunities Development Grants have the following deadlines for academic year 2020-2021. All required materials must be submitted to the online portal by 11:59 PM Arizona Time on the day of the deadline. No exceptions will be made.
September Round: Application opens August 10th, applications due September 10th
November Round: Application opens October 1st, applications due November 1st
February Round: Application opens January 1st, applications due February 1st
April Round: Application opens March 1st, applications due April 1st
- An automated submission confirmation email is generated once an online application is submitted and sent to the primary applicant. If the primary applicant does not receive a confirmation email, please contact the Submittable Technical Support team at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Faculty letters of support are due at the same day and time as the applications! In your Submittable application, you will find a textbox in which you can enter your faculty supporter's email address. Submitting the application generates an email from Submittable which will provide your faculty supporter with a link to upload their statement of support-- this means that if you don't submit your application until 11:50pm the day of the deadline, your faculty supporter may not see their upload link in time to provide you with a letter. While not having a letter of support does not immediately disqualify you, it may affect your total score. So, please plan to submit your application with time to spare!
- Please advise your faculty recommender to submit a letter addressing: 1) the potential impact that the proposed initiative would have on the professional development of UA graduate/professional students, 2) the feasibility of the plans for executing the proposed initiative, and 3) the necessity and relevance of the proposed budget items.
- I do not see the POD Grant application when I click the “Online Application” button on this website.
- The application may not be open yet. Please check the application opening and closing dates listed above. If the application should be open at this time, please email us at email@example.com.
- I am having trouble submitting my application online. Can I submit my application materials via email?
- No, we can only accept application materials via the online application. Judges can only view materials submitted through the online system/portal, and as such, we cannot accept materials in an alternate format. If you are experiencing issues with the online application, please contact the Submittable Technical Support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before beginning the application, applicants should save their text and responses on a separate document (Word or Google doc) in case an error occurs to ensure nothing is lost. If an error does occur, please contact the Submittable Technical Support team at email@example.com as soon as possible.
Selection CriteriaClick or enter to reveal information below
- The number of awards per round is contingent upon the availability of funds and the number of applications received.
- Applications are reviewed by graduate students from various disciplines. After the judges submit their evaluation scores, a cutoff score is generated based on the number of applications and the amount of funds available.
- For information regarding the necessary components of a POD Grant application as well as the criteria used by judges to evaluate POD grant applications, please refer to the GPSC POD Grant Evaluation Rubric.
Notification of AwardsClick or enter to reveal information below
- The GPSC POD Grant program is competitive and is not a guaranteed source of funding.
- The primary applicant will be notified via email when an application status changes. The primary applicant may check their online application portal for status updates.
- Award determination will take several weeks.
- If awarded a POD grant, the primary applicant will be asked to accept or decline the award. POD awards are typically processed through the applicants’ academic department business office but can be disbursed as a stipend to the primary applicant upon request. To access POD funds after June 15th, 2020, awards must be disbursed as a stipend to the primary applicant. Any unspent funds by this date are rescinded and cannot be reprocessed. Stipends are considered taxable income and may affect financial aid status. Operational advances and outstanding purchase orders must be settled by the June 15th deadline as well.
- Events may be advertised on the GPSC calendar upon request.
- Applicants who were not awarded are encouraged to reapply during subsequent rounds, provided that all eligibility criteria are met (see the “Eligibility” section above).
Funds may only be used for the purpose(s) approved by the GPSC. It is the responsibility of the individual or the organization to ensure that allocated funds are spent in accordance with University of Arizona and Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) policies, and any other policies the recipient is expected to comply with.
Award Refund and Reallocation PoliciesClick or enter to reveal information below
- If you are awarded a Professional Opportunities Development Grant but would like to decline your award, please notify the Grants Office at firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
- If your project is cancelled for reasons beyond your control but you have already incurred non-refundable charges, the GPSC will not require you to return that portion of the grant to the GPSC. Please complete your Post-Award Report to document the expenses which could not be refunded.
- Funds may only be used for the purpose(s) approved by the GPSC. Awarded applicants may request to reallocate funds. To submit a reallocation request, please send an updated budget spreadsheet and written explanation for the reallocation to email@example.com. Reallocation requests may take several weeks to review.
- If the final cost of an approved item is more than the budgeted amount, the GPSC will not pay the difference.
- If less than 90% of awarded GPSC funds are used, then the organization or primary applicant will be required to reimburse the University of Arizona for the unspent funds. Please notify us of your unused funds at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Post-Award Reporting and ResponsibilitiesClick or enter to reveal information below
- POD Grant awardees are required to submit a Post-Award Report within six months of the award date. Failure to meet these reporting requirements affects your eligibility for future GPSC Professional Opportunities Development funding. The Post-Award Report will be assigned to awardees and completed entirely through the Submittable platform. Once assigned, the form is accessible via Submittable under the tab labeled "Post-Award Form." Required components include: 1) an experience narrative (500 word limit), and 2) verification that all other award conditions have been met.
- All receipts of purchase are to be submitted upon event/initiative completion if requested by the Grants Office.
- Awardees must spend at least 90% of their award. If less than 90% of awarded GPSC funds are used, then that student will be required to reimburse the University of Arizona for the unspent funds. Please notify us of your unused funds at email@example.com.
- Awarded applicants must acknowledge GPSC on all publicity, presentations, posters, and publications regarding the event or initiative. The GPSC logo will be provided for use if funding is awarded.
Grants JudgesClick or enter to reveal information below
- Awardees may be asked to serve as judges for following GPSC grant application rounds.
- Graduate and professional student volunteers may also serve as judges. Serving as a GPSC Grants Judge allows would-be applicants to obtain an insider's perspective on the evaluation process. Other reasons to be a judge include:
- Formulating a more competitive application by reviewing actual applications
- Additional service or volunteer experience for the relevant section of your CV or résumé
- Obtaining an insider's perspective on an evaluation process similar to how major granting agencies (NSF/NIH/NEH) award research grants
- Being involved in a central part of student governance
- If you are interested in serving as a GPSC Grants Judge, please sign-up to become a judge via https://forms.gle/PX17dTTEdWkym7NQ7 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All volunteer judges are signed up to review grant applications (Travel, ReaP, and POD) on an ongoing basis, unless otherwise specified.
PLEASE NOTE: You MAY NOT serve as a judge for the POD Grants program in the same round in which you applied. You may, however, be assigned applications for a different program (Travel or ReaP). Please notify us if you have submitted an application but would also like to serve as a judge.
Thank you to our supporters!
POD grants are made possible by funds provided by the GPSC, the Graduate College, and Student Fees. Thank you to all of our partners for their meaningful contributions to graduate and professional student advancement.