The Professional Development Award for Graduate Students is supported by the Office of the Provost to help University of Delaware graduate students participate in significant professional conferences pertaining to their field of study. Conference travel is essential to the academic growth and development of graduate students. It affords opportunities for presentation of student work in a professional setting, as well as opportunities for networking and exposure to the latest academic research.
The Office of Graduate and Professional Education is charged with the responsibility of administering competitive funds for this purpose. The deadline for application for a travel award is one month prior to the beginning of travel. Awards are limited to one per academic year and to a maximum of two awards during the course of graduate study. The student must conform to University Travel Policy on allowable travel reimbursements.
Please note: The Professional Development Award is competitive. Applicants should submit well-crafted proposals that highlight the significance of their conference presentation to their career development, as well as the primacy of the conference to their field. Applicants who fail to meet these standards will not be considered.
The policies and procedures for these competitive awards are as follows:
1) A student must have a paper or poster accepted for presentation. A copy of the acceptance letter or other confirmation documentation must be provided, as well as a tentative title. In the case of multiple authors, only one student per presentation is eligible for funding.
2) The student should provide a clear and detailed written statement as to the value of the conference and presentation for his/her training and professional career growth, as well as the primacy of the conference to their field. The student should summarize the research to be presented and its relevance.
3) The student's dissertation or thesis advisor must submit a letter of nomination and explanation of the significance of the student's participation.
4) The amount of support will be based on the quality of the application and the level of conference participation up to a maximum of $500. These grants are competitive and full funding is not guaranteed. The applicant's department or college must match the award offered by the Office of Graduate and Professional Education up to $300. The departmental match must not be from research grant travel monies, but must be from other departmental resources. Please note: It is fully anticipated that those students receiving external grants that support conference costs will utilize those funds first towards their conference participation.
5) The student must submit a detailed budget for the proposed travel and include information outlining projected costs and all sources of funding being provided for the travel. Applicants should budget for the least costly mode of travel and lodging. Students should also pool resources whenever possible; for example if a number of students within a department are attending the same conference, then carpooling should be considered. The funds may not be used for meal expenses.
6) Awardees must submit a Finalized Expense Report and a Summary Statement to the Office of Graduate and Professional Education detailing the benefits of the conference to their professional career growth. The academic department will then be notified of the speedtype and the amount of financial support from our office. Submission of original receipts to department, reconciliation of charges in Works and submission of reports are to be completed within two weeks of return from conference.
Click here for the Professional Development Award Application.