What is a Professional Development Grant?
The GSA’s Professional Development Grant (PDG) program is provided to assist students with the economic burden of attending academic and professional conferences. Depending on if you have a balance in your University student account, you will receive your reimbursement in the form of a check from the University or credit to your student account. Degree-seeking master’s and doctoral students at UMass Boston may apply for grant funding to help offset the costs associated with attending a conference. Please read all of the information provided about PDG’s below before submitting your application.
What is the amount of the grant?
The maximum grant amount for students presenting a paper or a poster at a conference is $400.
The maximum grant amount for students not presenting a paper or poster at a conference is $250.
Who can apply?
Degree-seeking Master’s and Doctoral students can apply for PDGs.
Students enrolled in the following Division of Corporate, Continuing, and Distance Education programs or online programs are not eligible:
MA Applied Linguistics: ESL
Foreign Language Pedagogy
M.Ed. Counseling: School Guidance
M.Ed. Counseling: Mental Health
M.Ed. Instructional Design
MS Gerontology, Management of Aging Services Track
Adapting Curriculum Frameworks for All Learners
Applied Behavioral Analysis
Critical and Creative Thinking
Dispute Resolution (K-12)
Gerontology – Management of Aging Services
Instructional Technology Design
Instructional Technology for Educators
Nurse Practitioner: Family or Gerontology/Adult Orientation and Mobility
Teaching of Spanish
Teaching of Writing
Women in Politics and Public Policy
Students who attend conferences post graduation date are ineligible.
How many PDGs can one student receive?
Master’s degree students may receive one PDG over the course of their academic career.
Doctoral degree students may receive two PDGs over the course of their academic career.
Master’s students can apply for up to 1 additional PDG and PhD students can apply for up to 2 additional PDGs, subject to:
(1) filling out the application
(2) presenting request at a GSA meeting
(3) GSA approval (which will be contingent on the organization’s current budgetary situation)
When should I apply?
PDG applications must be submitted at least one full month prior to the conference date. For example, if you are attending a conference on May 1st, you must submit your PDG application no later than April 1st.
How do I apply?
To apply, you must log in to the GSA’s SA Groups site and fill out an online application. Click here for instructions on how to fill out the application through the SA Groups site.
When will I hear back from the GSA about my application?
You will be contacted about the status of your PDG application within one week of submitting the application.
My PDG application has been approved… what should I do now?
Once your application has been approved, go to your conference! Just be sure to save all of your travel receipts (for example: conference registration fee, hotel, transportation expenses, food, non-alcoholic drinks, and presentation expenses). The GSA can reimburse you for conference-related expenditures up to the approved amount of your PDG. Once you have returned from your conference, add up the total amount of your receipts and submit a PDG Receipt Summary Form, along with your ORIGINAL AND ITEMIZED receipts, to the GSA by getting them time stamped in the Student Activities and Leadership office (vital) and then placing them in the GSA mailbox.
Please note that as of 2/25/13 any receipts for transactions paid for by credit or debit card must have the last 4 digits of your card number listed on them. Any transactions paid for in cash must have the word CASH written on them. Any receipts for transactions paid for by credit or debit card that do not list this info must be accompanied by a bank statement or credit card bill with the last 4 digits and the particular transaction highlighted. All other info should be blacked out for security reasons.
The GSA mailbox is located in the Student Activities and Leadership Office on the third floor of the Campus Center. You must submit your original receipts for reimbursement within 30 days after the completion of the conference.
I’ve submitted my receipts for reimbursement… when will I receive a check?
PDG reimbursements are processed by the GSA Secretary, during office hours. It is not uncommon for the GSA to process several reimbursements every week. The GSA typically will process your receipts within two weeks, and the University payables system may take 1-2 weeks beyond that to issue you a check. Please be patient. If you submit your receipts over the semester break, please allow at least two weeks into the new semester before following up with the GSA.
Are PDGs considered taxable income?
Yes! All grants count as income, and as such are subject to taxation, as appropriate. Applicants are responsible for contacting University Financial Aid and the Bursar’s Office if they need information on how grants will affect their finances.
Can PDGs affect my financial aid?
Possibly. Please visit the UMB Financial Aid webpage at http://www.umb.edu/admissions/financial_aid_scholarships/
The following information is especially important:
If you receive any form of aid from sources other than Financial Aid Services, your aid may be adjusted. Contact the Financial Aid office to determine the impact of outside awards. Examples of other sources of aid include scholarships, veteran’s benefits, employee reimbursement and tuition waivers (Massachusetts Rehab, veteran’s state employee, graduate assistantships).
Please note that “outside awards” includes any money awarded by the Graduate Student Assembly.
To find out if a GSA award will affect your financial aid and if so, how much, please contact the financial aid office at:
Financial Aid Office
Campus Center, 04, 04300