Professional Grants

The Professional Grant provides financial assistance for costs associated with academic and professional development to graduate students
This grant funds professional development opportunities that are not research-orientedsuch as certificate programs, professional venues, and workshops. PGSG proudly supports students who strive to gain a competitive edge in the job market through these academic and professional endeavors.

-- Important Links --


Check the links below for quick access to submission deadlines, current policies, and examples of excellent applications!


-- Funding Amount --

Exact funding amount will depend on each individual application; however, the maximum is set at $750.

Applicants are required to justify the amount of funding they are requesting, as described in the application instructions and rubric. Allocation decisions are based the number and quality of applications in a given funding round. Funding is not guaranteed.


-- Deadline and Policies --

Next deadline: June 30th, 2021​

Consider the following policies before applying:

  • Grants are reviewed and awarded on a monthly basis.

  • Applications for events involving travel plans should occur at least one (1) month after the submission deadline. 

  • Applications for non-travel events should be submitted before expenses occur.


-- Eligible Opportunities--

An updated version of Professional Grant policies can be found here.

The Professional grants offer financial support for professional development opportunities that applicants would not otherwise experience in coursework or research. This grant excludes any expenses directly related to and required for your research. Examples of eligible and ineligible expenses are shown below.

Ineligible Expenses

  • Supplies for thesis (e.g. reagents, equipment, etc.)

  • Travel to work on thesis at another site,
    such as a collaborator’s lab

  • Training, courses, or workshops required for thesis

  • Workshops or courses that provide techniques
    used for thesis work

  • Books for coursework or thesis

  • Publication fees

  • Equipment used required for thesis work

  • Travel to present work of any kind (thesis, projects, etc)

  • Restrictions included in the reimbursement procedures


Eligible Expenses

  • Workshops that support professional development and/or career advancement. Workshops may provide training, skill, or knowledge that the applicant would not otherwise be exposed to through thesis work or coursework at Purdue.

  • Networking/professional development events.

  • Career advancement opportunities that applicants would not experience in thesis research or coursework.

  • Training certificates

  • Internships and externships

  • Equipment that will be used in career, not just for thesis.

This grant is designed to help the graduate students. Funds will not be given for purchases that should be paid for by advisors (e.g., tuition and fees).


Applicants are encouraged to email the Vice Chair ( before starting an application to assess whether they are within the scope of the Professional Grant.


Before Applying

Review Eligibility Requirements 

  • Purdue graduate students may only submit one application per semester. 

  • Purdue graduate students may only receive one award per year (Summer 2020 - Spring 2021).

  • Incomplete applications are not eligible for funding, so double-check completion prior to submission.

Read Reimbursement Policies

  • Applicants should understand the reimbursement procedures and policies here before traveling or making any purchases related to the applicant’s grant application.

  • Proper documentation must be submitted for full reimbursement.

Prepare Application Materials


Write Application Essays

Essay Prompt #1

In 500 words or less (excluding title) please describe the activity for which this grant is intended to support. This essay will be judged by the 'Purpose' and 'Impact' criteria of the application rubric. Additionally, please keep in mind that your application will most likely be reviewed by someone outside your field; write for someone who might not be familiar with your subject area.

Essay Prompt #2

In one (1) page or less, please justify the amount of money you are requesting. This essay will be evaluated using criteria related to the 'Budget"  the application rubric.

Essay Rubric

Your essays are the only component of the application that is used for scoring. Professional Grants are competitive and applicants are expected to thoroughly address each criterion. Please pay careful attention to the rubric provided below to ensure the best possible outcome.

Formatting Instructions

  • Each essay must fit on one (1) page using one inch (1”) margins and size 11 Arial font.

  • Professional Grant applications are evaluated by a double-blind review process. Do not include any identifying information, such as:

    • Your name

    • Your advisor’s name

    • Collaborators’ names

  • Save both essays as Word documents (.docx) with the following naming schemes:

    • Essay #1: Lastname_Firstname_Purpose_Impact.docx

    • Essay #2: Lastname_Firstname_Budget_Justification.docx

  • Applications that are not formatted correctly or contain identifying information will be docked one (1) point for each offense on the final evaluation.

Submit Your Application

When you have completed the above steps, submit your application through this online portal:

After completing the application, the survey will provide you with a pdf of your responses. It is the applicant’s responsibility to double-check the completion and accuracy of your responses.


Changes to an application may be made by submitting a new application prior to the application date. Should changes be made, please notify the professional grant vice chair so that the most updated application is reviewed.


- Vice Chair Office Hours - 

The Professional Grant vice chair is available by email to answer questions during the academic school year.



-- Application Instructions --


-- Application Rubric --

Applications are scored out of fifty points; there are ten criteria, each worth five points.

Click on the image below for a printable version.


After scoring applications, reviewers recommend one of four funding tiers, as shown below.





This is a poor application and should not be funded.

This application meets criteria and should receive partial funding.

This application is good and should receive partial funding.

This application is excellent and should be fully funded.

Have Questions about our Professional Grant?

Reach out to our Professional Grant Vice Chair for more info @