The Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) grants are terrific. With support for travel, research, professional development, and more, there’s a GPSC grant out there for you. To share more about these opportunities, we reached out to GPSC’s Lauren Fritzsche, Funding Administrator, and Aakanksha Arora, Grants Director. We’ll let them take it from here!
Hello, I’m Lauren Fritzsche, a PhD candidate in the School of Geography, Development & Environment. As the Funding Director, I am largely in charge of overseeing review and funding allocation for our primary grants: Travel, Research and Project, Professional Opportunities Development, and Promising Practice. I am excited to be working with the GPSC Grants Office because I have personally benefited from GPSC grants as a graduate student, and I look forward to facilitating funding opportunities for other graduate and professional students.
My name is Aakanksha Arora, and I am a Master's student pursuing Business Analytics. I am excited to introduce myself as the new Grants Director at GPSC. I am responsible for collaborating with GPSC members, and I am on a designated committee to create and implement fair grant programs that prioritize the interests of all graduate and professional students.
To start, here’s an overview of all the different funding GPSC currently provides:
- Promising Practice Grants (PPG)
Graduate, professional, and undergraduate students pursuing professional licensure and certification in order to progress in their chosen career path
- Travel Grants
Graduate and professional students who are attending or presenting research at academic or professional conferences or similar events
- Research and Project (ReaP) Grants
Graduate, professional, and undergraduate students who have a project proposal and principal investigator or project advisor
- Professional Opportunities Development (POD) Grants
Graduate and professional student groups hosting academic seminars, conferences or similar events on campus
- Basic Needs MicroGrants
Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in times of great financial hardships
Which grant is most popular? Is there one that is underutilized by students?
The Travel Grant is by far our most popular grant. For the February 2023 grant cycle, we received almost ten times as many Travel Grant applications as we did Research and Project Grants. It would be great to see more Professional Opportunities Development (POD) Grants submitted. This grant provides a unique opportunity for a group of graduate or professional students (at least 3) to receive funding for an event (seminar, conference, talk, etc.) that they are organizing on campus. Is there a scholar you’re particularly excited about? Consider applying for POD funding and bring them to campus for a talk!
Do you have any advice for students applying to GPSC grants?
One easy tip is to subscribe to GPSC’s newsletter for reminders about grant openings and other application details. Below is a list of general tips to keep in mind when applying to GPSC grants:
- Read the guidelines carefully: Ensure you understand the requirements and eligibility criteria.
- Start early: Begin working on your grant proposal as soon as possible to give yourself enough time to thoroughly research and prepare. Reach out to your faculty advisor to write you a letter of support.
- Tailor your proposal: Consider the specific goals and priorities of the grant program. Be sure to address the program's key objectives and explain how your project aligns with them.
- Highlight your impact: Emphasize the potential impact of your project and how it will benefit the community or target audience. Use specific examples or data to illustrate the significance of your work.
- Submit a complete application: Check that your application includes all the necessary components, such as budget and proposal narrative.
Why might students want to serve as a GPSC reviewer?
Serving as a GPSC student grant reviewer is a great way to learn about the other side of the application process. You’ll become more familiar with the evaluation criteria and see lots of examples of strong applications. Because of that, serving as a GPSC reviewer helps you become a better grant writer.
GPSC cannot run these grant programs without reviewers, and we are so appreciative of everyone who has helped support GPSC and their fellow students by volunteering. To sign up as a reviewer, email email@example.com or fill out this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/u/1/d/e/1FAIpQLSfRCkY_HfK2bXgGxd5u8GjJgaTRW3yUABMjZMlKxJAMTugPDw/viewform
The Basic Needs Microgrant (BNM) is a fairly new opportunity. Who is eligible for the BNM?
We started the BNM to help alleviate some of the financial burden students might be experiencing. The Microgrant can be applied towards many regular expenses – including healthcare, academics, hygiene, childcare, transportation, and/or housing-related essential costs. The BNM is open to all students who demonstrate a genuine unmet financial need. We especially encourage applications for mental healthcare costs. The BNM grant will re-open in Summer 2023. Stay tuned!
There’s also a grant opening soon called the “Completion Grant.” Who might be interested in it?
The Completion Grant will open up later this semester for applications. It is intended to cover graduation related expenses and fees. Sign up for the GPSC Newsletter for more information regarding this grant!
For the Travel Grant, ReaP Grant, and POD Grant, the next funding cycle is April 1 – May 1, 2023. We hope you all consider applying to one of our grants or signing up as a reviewer!