Due to ongoing uncertainty regarding the GSA budget, the Professional Development Grant application will not be open until negotiations between GSA, Student Affairs, and relevant UMass, Boston administrators have concluded. No new PDG submissions will be accepted at this time though requests made prior to October 20th will be processed and honored. Once budget negotiations conclude we will re-open PDG applications to all students and waive the 30-day-prior requirements for students impacted by this suspension.
If you are on this page to apply for a PDG, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, program of study, and intended conference travel dates so that we have a record of students impacted by this suspension. All requests will be examined on a case-by-case basis and we cannot make any guarantees of funding at this time. Students traveling for conferences are advised to save their original receipts (e.g. airfare, hotel, conference registration) in case GSA is able to offer reimbursement once our budget is determined.
Please see our home page for more details about this suspension: gsaumb.wordpress.com
Application Fact Sheet
The Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) is dedicated to enhancing the academic development of graduate students at UMASS Boston. The Professional Development Grant (PDG) program’s goal is to assist with the economic burden of attending academic and professional conferences. This is a post-travel reimbursement program. However, approval occurs prior to travel.
Overview of Process
**Please note that all conference travel and all receipt submission must be completed by Friday, May 19, 2016.
1. Submit a completed online application no less than 30 days prior to your departure date. Make sure to read the instructions carefully and to provide all of the required information. Follow the link below to access the online application:
2. The GSA will notify you of the status of your application within approximately one week via email to the email address provided on your application.
3. If accepted, attend your conference and keep all of your receipts for any transportation, accommodation, poster/paper printing, registration, or meal expenses. You will need to submit original receipts to the GSA for reimbursement. Print outs of digital receipts are fine, but photocopied receipts will not be accepted.
Receipts must also include the last 4 digits of the credit/debit card number or account number that the transaction was paid with. If paid for in cash, the receipts must specify this. If any of your receipts do not include this information, you will need to submit a bank statement with all info besides the last 4 digits of your card number and the individual transaction blacked out for security purposes.
4. Submit your receipts, (a bank statement if necessary), and a completed PDG Receipt Summary Form to the Office of Student Activities and Leadership located on the 3rd floor of the Campus Center in suite 3400. Give your paperwork to a student working the Student Activities desk (right side of the front desk), and ask for your paperwork to be timestamped and placed in the GSA mailbox.
5. Please allow 6 weeks for your reimbursement to be posted to your student account in WISER. The GSA doesn’t handle the reimbursements directly. Once we submit your paperwork, it is out of our hands and is processed by other offices. The reimbursement will go into your student account and will be labeled as “Student Activities Reimbursement”. The best way to monitor the status of your reimbursement is to check your student account periodically via WISER.
6. Because the GSA takes pride in sending graduate students to prestigious conferences, nationally and internationally, we encourage those who receive funding to contact the UMB Office of Communications upon returning. Please submit a small blurb discussing your conference and academic contributions. This is an excellent opportunity to share your accomplishments outside of your respective programs. The link can be accessed at this address:
Who can participate?
Degree seeking Masters and Doctoral students presenting work at the requested conference.
Students enrolled in the following College of Advancing and Professional Studies 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 also ineligible.
What is the PDG dollar amount?
The maximum grant for students presenting a paper or poster is $400.00
Students not presenting a paper or poster are no longer eligible for PDG travel funds. GSA regrets having to end this service for the 2016-2017 academic year, but due to university-wide budgetary constraints, we are no longer able to afford this expense. GSA is working to rectify this issue, but for now, we must suspend non-presenting PDGs.
How many PDGs can I receive?
PhD students are allowed 2 PDGs over their career.
Masters students are allowed 1 PDG over their 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)
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.
The maximum grant amount for students presenting a paper or a poster at a conference is $400.
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