Professional Development Award

Note: as of February 5th, 2024, the funds for this award have been exhausted and the GA is no longer accepting applications for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Applications for the 2023-2024 school year are now live on the GA Funding CalLink page under Forms (bottom of the page, you must be logged into CalLink to view the forms).

The mission of the Graduate Assembly is to improve the lives and outcomes of all graduate and professional students. Student funding through the Professional Development Award is meant to improve the lives of students in all programs and stages from first years to students in their final stages at Berkeley. Professional development needs and available resources vary between academic programs and the needs of all graduate and professional students may vary significantly. Any graduate student can obtain funding up to $900 every three years during their program, with a per-year maximum of $500.

The scope of the Professional Development Award has been expanded to become more inclusive of all professional development activity including, but not limited to: 1) later stage students, particularly students completing exams and dissertations who would benefit from external academic and writing coaching, 2) students in industry-focused programs who may benefit from attending workshops and seminars which are not considered academic conferences, and 3) students wishing to gain professional skills outside of their academic research focus such as taking pedagogy workshops or attending equity and inclusion focused conferences.

The application process for the Professional Development Award has been revised to include a requirement that the applicant justify the merit of the professional development activity being applied for and demonstrate that existing departmental and university resources do not provide sufficient support for such activities.

The applicant’s sponsoring professor or advisor must email from an academic email address stating their support that the conference benefits the student’s educational or research endeavors. 

The selection process for both awards is merit blind. If applications exceed available funding, funding will be awarded by random lottery. 

For all award reimbursements, you will need to submit a Purchase Request (PR) on the GA Travel Awards CalLink page within 30 days of the professional development activity.

The GA allocates Professional Development Award and Graduate Student Parent (GSP) Travel Award funding on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. Graduate student parents may apply for both awards.

Applications will be open from July 1st, 2023 till funds last. All grants awarded are to be used before July 31, 2024. All receipts are to be submitted no later than 30 days after the date of the activity/conference.

Each month, applications submitted by the end of the 3rd week will be considered. Applicants will be notified by the end of the 1st week of the month after their application submission. 

Only currently registered full-time graduate students or students on filing fee during the semester in which the activity/conference will occur may apply for and receive a Professional Development Award or GSP Travel Award. 

Also see this Conference Travel Grant from the UCB Graduate Division.

Funding support for the GA Professional Development Award is provided as part of the Peet’s Student Support Program. A portion of every Peet’s Coffee purchase made at Cal Dining Peet’s locations helps support student programs and initiatives including graduate travel grants, student scholarships, campus sustainability programs, a basic needs skills course, and an on-campus farm and gardening program. Visit the Peet’s partner page to learn more.