Many professional development opportunities exist beyond the university to help graduate students build core competencies and transferrable skills. The Graduate School invites students to apply for funding through the Professional Development Award to help cover costs for qualifying training, resources, and activities that contribute to professional skills development.

The award also aligns with and supports development in the OSU Grad Advantage core competencies for graduate students. Nominees are encouraged to complete the OSU Grad Advantage Self-Assessment Tool at the time of their nomination, or in the case of prospective students after they have been formally admitted to gauge their ongoing professional development.

Award details

Students may receive up to $500 in Professional Development Award funds per academic year. Funds will be disbursed via check or direct deposit.

This is a student reimbursement award only; advance payments are not available. Students must provide documentation showing that they directly provided payment. Payments made on behalf of the student with an OSU Purchasing/Department card are not acceptable. Students may apply for the award prior to purchasing their PD opportunity, however, if selected for an award, all awardees will be required to submit proof of purchase (made by the student) before reimbursement funds will be issued.


  • The student must be participating in a professional development opportunity that complements their current degree program and supports their professional and career objectives. The Graduate School will not consider requests for professional development opportunities that are part of, or required for, degree completion, or requests required for employment as a GTA or GRA. Similarly, the Graduate School will not consider requests for funding that is typically covered by the academic program.
  • The student must be a current master’s or doctoral student at Oregon State University and be making satisfactory academic progress as determined by the student’s graduate program.
  • The student must be enrolled in at least 3 graduate credits at OSU at the time of the opportunity, or in the case of an opportunity occurring between the end of spring term and the beginning of fall term, the student must be registered for at least 3 graduate credits of enrollment in fall term following the award.
  • To qualify, opportunities must include learning that contributes to professional skills development. Examples of qualifying opportunities include:
    • Field-specific or certification training
    • Conference registration fees where no presentation is given (See Scholarly Presentation Award if presenting)
    • Online webinars or training modules
    • Professional organization membership fees
    • Tutoring or academic support that is not available through OSU

Fund restrictions

Examples of costs not eligible for reimbursement include:

  • Academic work for OSU credit
  • Travel, lodging, or food expenses
  • Living expenses
  • Editing services
  • Any research activities, trainings, or certifications that are part of or required by the degree program or required for employment as a GTA/GRA.

Request period

Requests opened July 1, 2024 and are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the academic year; subject to funding availability per term. Summer 2024 funds exhausted on Monday, July 22, 2024. Requests re-open for Fall 2024 consideration on Monday, September 23, 2024. Requests must be made no earlier than one term prior to the date of the activity, and no later than 30 days following the activity.

Request process and timeline

Requests must be submitted by the student directly through the online request form. Students will receive an email with the award decision, typically within 7-10 business days. 

In the online request form, students will be required to prepare/upload the following materials as one PDF document using the following file name convention:
"Last Name_Department_PD Award.pdf", and upload it through the request form.

  1. A detailed statement from the student describing (a) the importance of the opportunity relative to their academic field of study, (b) how the proposed activity contributes to their academic and professional goals, and (c) how the opportunity will support them in addressing one or more of the core competencies of OSU Grad Advantage. Students are encouraged to complete the OSU Grad Advantage Self-Assessment Tool to assist in responding to part (c). 1–2 page(s) maximum.
  2. Letter of support from the student’s major professor, department head, program director, or unit head/chair that confirms (a) the student is making satisfactory academic progress, (b) that the proposed opportunity is not part of, or required by, the degree program, and (c) that the opportunity will complement the degree program and contribute to the student’s professional preparedness; 1 page maximum.
  3. Proof of proposed reimbursement request costs (i.e. link to conference registration, screenshot of receipt, invoice, or proof of payment). 
  4. A copy of the student’s résumé or curriculum vitae.

Request form

Submit a request

Nomination form overview


For questions about this award or any Graduate School administered awards, please contact our Graduate Scholarships and Fellowships team