Symposium Grants

Our Symposium grant assists Graduate Student Organizations (GSOs) in hosting academic symposiums that will offer graduate students unique professional and academic development opportunities.

Definition of Symposium:

For the purpose of this grant, a symposium is a short, 1-2 day conference on a specific topic organized by multiple GSOs. The symposium must have an academic focus in a professional setting and feature student involvement (i.e. students present and receive feedback on their work).

In order to qualify for this grant, multiple GSOs must assist in planning and organizing the symposium. One GSO will serve as the primary GSO that the Purdue Graduate Student Government (PGSG) will send notifications and funding to.


-- Funding Amount --

  • Applicants may request up to 30% of their total budget and no more than $2,000 of funding.

  • The policy of the Symposium Grant is to award “all” or “none” of the requested amount of funding. During periods of high application volume however, some GSOs may be offered a lesser amount than the total that they requested.

-- Deadlines and Review Schedule --

There are three funding periods for the Symposium grant, two during the Fall semester and one during the Spring semester.


Next deadline: June 30th, 2021

See the Grants Main Page for a Full List of Submission Deadlines


-- Eligibility Requirements --

  1. To be eligible to apply to and receive Symposium grants, all participating GSOs should be recognized by the Business Office for Student Organizations (BOSO) and by PGSG.

  2. All GSOs seeking Symposium funds must register annually with the Student Activities Office (SAO) as a graduate student organization.

  3. The event must be organized by multiple GSOs and appeal to graduate students from multiple departments.

  4. The Symposium and GSOGA grants cannot be used in tandem to fund the same events. GSOs that have applied for or been awarded GSOGA funding can still apply for the Symposium grant, provided that the event was not listed on their GSOGA application and meets the Symposium grant criteria.

  5. All Symposium funds must be used in accordance with all Purdue University, Graduate School, SAO, BOSO, and PGSG regulations.  

-- Application Instructions --


Important notes:

  • The event must have multiple funding sources. These sources can include, but are not limited to, departments, programs, fundraisers, and organizations.

  • Applicants may not request more than 30% of their total budget.

  • Applicants may not request more than $2,000.

  • The Symposium Grant sponsors academic symposiums, not primarily social or networking events.

  • Incomplete applications will NOT be considered for funding, so double-check completion status prior to submission. You may email the Symposium Vice-Chair ( to confirm that your complete application was received BEFORE the deadline.



Steps to complete your application

Prepare your application

  • Please note that our formatting instructions have changed. Make sure to follow the instructions below to avoid any point deductions and see the example application!

  • Your application should be compiled into a single Google Doc. The name of the Google Doc should be as follows: year_month of the application deadline_title of your symposium (Example: 2020_08_Our Awesome Symposium).

  • Your document should be 4 pages with up to 2 pages of optional supplemental information. The first page will be a cover page and the following pages will be essays (prompts below).

  • Please use Arial size 11 font and ensure each essay is only a single page with 1” margins. Your budget table and any figure legends may use smaller font, but no less than size 9.

  • Please include the following sections in the application:

Title page:

The first page should include the following information:

  1. Title of your symposium

  2. Date of the symposium

  3. Primary GSO

  4. Other involved GSOs

  5. Total Income ($$)

  6. Total Expenses ($$)

  7. Amount requested from PGSG ($$)

Essay #1 (Purpose and Impact):

Please address the following 4 prompts on purpose and impact:

  1. Detailed description of the events and activities that will take place at the symposium

  2. Description of how the symposium fulfills the needs of Purdue graduate students

  3. Description of the departments and GSOs involved in organizing/attending the symposium

  4. Description of the professional and academic development opportunities available to graduate students at the symposium

Essay #2 (Financial Need):

Please address the following 2 prompts on financial need:

  1. Description of efforts to reduce costs

  2. Description of efforts to solicit funds from other sources

Essay #3 (Budget):

Please provide a detailed and justified budget that includes:

  1. A breakdown of estimated purchases

  2. Amounts provided by other funding sources

  3. How funds from the Symposium Grant will be spent

  4. The number of graduate students, post-docs, and faculty expected to attend the symposium

Essay #4 (Optional - Supplemental Information):

  • You may submit up to 2 pages of supplemental information if you feel extra information about the symposium will benefit the reviewers in making their decision, including but not limited to:

  1. A budget from the symposium if it has occurred in previous years

  2. A link to the webpage of the symposium

  3. An official or tentative program for the symposium

  • You will not be penalized if you do not include supplemental information. You will be penalized, however, if this information does not follow the formatting instructions!

  • Note that supplementary information provided should be directly relevant to the application and should be referenced in the main application (Purpose and Impact, Budget, or Financial Need sections).

Check that your application meets the grading rubric

Make sure your application meets the criteria in the rubric below to increase your likelihood of receiving Symposium funds.



Submit your application

When ready, submit your application through the Online Qualtrics portal using the link below. The portal will generate a pdf of your responses. It is your (the applicant’s) responsibility to double-check the completion and accuracy of the responses in the application.





-- 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.

GRAC_2020-2021_Symposium Grant Rubric_50

-- Symposium Financial Report --


Important notes:


  • The primary GSO has to submit a financial report within 1 month of receiving a Symposium grant.

  • If the primary GSO fails to submit a financial report, your next Symposium application will be docked 10 points until the financial report is submitted to bring the GSO back to good standing.


Steps to complete you financial report:


1. Prepare your financial report

  • Your financial report should be compiled into a single Google Doc. The name of the Google Doc should be as follows: year_month of funding_name of the Symposium_Financial report (Example: 2020_08_Our Awesome Symposium_Financial Report).

  • Please use Arial size 11 font and 1” margins. Your budget table and any figure legends may use smaller font, but no less than size 9.

  • Please include the following sections in the financial report:

Page 1: Title page

The first page should include the following information:

  • Primary GSO

  • Funding round of Symposium award

  • Amount awarded

Page 2: Budget report

Please report the actual amount spent on your events. Include the budget table from your application with additional columns showing the actual amount spent and the difference between the amount requested and actual amount (amount requested - amount spent).

Page 3: Additional details

Please provide any additional details you think are important for the Grant and Allocation Committee (GRAC) to know about the way you spent your funds.


2. Submit your financial report

When ready, submit your financial report through the Online Qualtrics portal using the link below:

Have Questions about our Symposium Grant?

Reach out to our Symposium Grant Vice Chair for more info at