Effective Saturday, March 14, 2020, all non-essential OSU-sponsored travel is suspended until further notice. Therefore, nominations for the Professional Development Award for any conference related expenses, where travel is required, have been temporarily suspended until restrictions have been lifted. Please visit the following webpage for guidance on the university travel suspension.

Graduate students are invited to submit proposals for reimbursement for qualifying trainings, resources, and activities that contribute to professional skills development. The professional development opportunity should complement the degree program but is not normally available or required as a part of it.

Award Details

This is a reimbursement award only; advance payments are not an option. Award amounts vary, but will not exceed $250 per request. Students may receive up to three Professional Development Awards per academic year.  


  • The proposed activity should enhance the degree program, but it cannot be a requirement of it.
  • Recipients must be enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program, with a minimum registration of three graduate credits during the term of the proposed activity.
  • The student must be making satisfactory academic progress as determined by the recipient’s graduate program.
  • Qualifying activities must include learning components that contribute to professional skills development. Examples of qualifying activities include:
    • Field-specific or certification training
    • Conference registration fees where no presentation is given (See Graduate Student Travel Award if presenting)
    • Online webinars or training modules
    • Tutoring or academic support that is not available through OSU

Fund restrictions

Examples of activities not eligible for reimbursement include:

  • Academic work for OSU credit
  • Field research data collection or activities that are part of the degree program
  • Travel expenses
  • Living expenses
  • Editing services

Request Period

The nomination period begins on October 1, 2019. Requests must be made online, up to one term before, or 30 days following the activity. Requests will be accepted any time throughout the academic year, until all available funds are distributed.

Request process and timeline

Requests must be submitted by the student directly through the online request form. 

    Award distribution

    Students will receive an email with the award decision within 3-4 business days. The quality of the application materials and the availability of funds determines the award decision.

    Awardees will be required to submit proof of participation and/or purchase before reimbursement funds will be released.

    Request Form

    Submit a request

    Request form overview

    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 nomination form.

    1. A statement summarizing how the proposed professional development or training enrichment activity relates to the degree program; 500 words maximum.
    2. Proof of proposed activity with costs, i.e. link to conference registration.
    3. Letter of support from the major professor that addresses the student’s academic progress, how the proposed activity will complement the degree program and contribute to the student’s professional preparedness. The applicant is responsible for obtaining this letter and uploading it to the application.