GSS Funding for Professional Development

Welcome! The BGSU Graduate Student Senate is pleased to facilitate professional development for graduate students by providing funds which graduate students may apply for at the beginning of each semester. Funding for Professional Development (FPD) is designed to supplement costs for graduate students participating in these activities.

FPD is offered in three categories.

Membership in Professional Organizations

If you are applying for funding within this category, it will cover membership fees to organizations. In order to be eligible for funding, your membership must begin during the FPD period.

Academic Conference (Presenting or Attending)

If you are applying for funding within this category, it will cover conference registration fees, lodging, and transportation. Meals and social activities cannot be reimbursed.

Other Professional Development Activities. 

If you are applying for funding within this category, it will cover fees required for the activity. For this category, it is important to make sure it is distinct from a membership or conference. Activities that have been approved within this category include: masterclasses, workshops, musical performances at national events, music tours, and subscriptions to services. If you are unsure about whether your activity would classify as "Other FPD", please reach out to

If you wish to apply for more than one category, you must submit a new application for every activity.

Guidelines for Funding for Professional Development (FPD)- Summer 2024

Activity date range:  May 13, 2024 - August 25, 2024

  • Applications will open on: Wednesday, May 1, 2024
  • Applications are due NO LATER THAN 11:59pm EST on Saturday, June 1st, 2024
  • Applicants will be notified of the award status on or before Saturday, June 8, 2024.  

Please contact GSS Vice President Christopher Chandler ( with any questons/concerns

We are not able to guarantee a set amount you will receive if you are chosen to receive funding for professional development. The amount is determined by the amount of applications received and amount of funds being requested.

Click here to see how much was given in the past few semesters.


  • Applicants must be enrolled within BGSU's Graduate College for at least 4 credit hours in the semester they seek funding. Applicants for Summer 2024 funding must be enrolled in 1 credit for Summer 2024.
  • Applicants must be in good standing with the Graduate College.
  • The applicant's department must be in good standing with Graduate Student Senate (GSS). Applicants from departments not in good standing with GSS will not be considered for FPD. Please contact your senator or program coordinator to confirm your department’s standing.
  • Each student must fill out an application, completely independent of any other student. No group applications may be considered.
  • FPD will be considered only for expenses related to transportation, lodging, and registration or for professional membership fees.
  • FPD will not be provided for meals, food expenses, materials, or other social activities.
  • A student may apply for multiple activities within a semester. Each professional development activity will require a separate application. Many conference registrations include and/or require a membership to the organization. In this case, please submit a membership request and a separate conference funding event. It is imperative that you submit applications within the correct category. Applications within the wrong category will likely be denied.
  • FPD funding is intended to reimburse students, not departments, for professional development expenses.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • If an award includes any type of travel, students are required to complete the travel registration process as instructed by the Office of the Dean of Students ( Proof of submitting this form will be required for reimbursement
  • All offers of professional development funding are conditional on following the correct procedures of reimbursement. GSS leadership may rescind any offer of funding if reimbursement procedures are not followed in accordance with the guidelines. More specific guidelines will be provided with the notification of award.
  • If awarded funding, receipts for expenses and proof of attendance should be submitted through Chrome River, the software used by BGSU to administer reimbursements. This should be done within 30 days of the proposed FPD activity. Specific guidelines and instructions will be provided with the notification of funds.
  • There will be a limit for one award per category per student.

Evaluation Criteria

FPD applications will be reviewed by four members of the Senate Executive Committee, including the Vice President, Treasurer, and two other members appointed by the Vice President.

  • Explanation of how this professional development (PD) activity and/or membership connects to the idea of BGSU as a public university serving the public good.
  • Clear objectives and connections to how the PD activity will contribute to your professional development.
  • External funding source (Is this activity partially funded by your department or another grant?)
  • Total number of overall applications
  • Breadth of Activity (Is it national, regional, or local?)
  • Distance and means of travel
  • Job search status (Are you entering the job market after the current semester?)
  • Leadership/specific role in the activity (For example, is this a project you are leading? Do you hold an official position in the professional organization?)
  • Networking opportunity (Does this provide opportunities to make connections with others in your field?)
  • We are not able to reimburse activities that are required by your department, such as internships or course requirements. However, dissertation and thesis presentations are allowed.

Additionally, applications for conference presentations will include the following criteria:

  • Type of authorship (Only author, first author, or contributing author)
  • If the conference or activity involves a peer review or evaluative process

Reimbursement Process

Prior to beginning the reimbursement process, please review the GSS Reimbursement Instruction video.

Please expect your reimbursement to be complete approximately eight weeks after correctly submitting to Chrome River. If you are offered funding, more detailed information on how to submit for reimbursement will be included with your letter.

Click here to review reimbursement instructions for Summer 2024.


Receipts must show that the applicant paid for the expense.  If another party paid for the expense the attendee must have documentation which includes a copy of the receipt from the billing party (such as the hotel or airline) and a statement from the person who paid, verifying that they received compensation from the applicant.  

Reminders, Funding Guidelines, and Appropriate Use of FPD

  • Registration will be required for all FPD travel reimbursements. Please complete the Travel Registration Form.
  • Effective Spring 2023, there is a university expectation for conference/event attendees to utilize established traditional lodging (hotels or motels) in lieu of vacation rental facilities (AirBNB/VRBO, etc.) The expectation is established in an interest of safety for university employees and students as hotels are required to be inspected, uphold a level of fire code relevant to the location, appropriate insurance coverage, and are typically closer to the event venue.
  • If offered funding, reimbursement can only be given to the category for which it was awarded. For example, if you request funding for membership fees and are approved, you will only be reimbursed for the cost of membership and not any fees associated with conference travel.
  • Award amounts may vary per approval. The actual amount received is dependent upon the number of applications received, level of participation, and funding available within any given semester. Disbursement of funding is at the discretion of the Graduate Student Senate Funding Committee.
  • Applicants may only apply for FPD during the designated period of time.
  • Employees who travel on university business are encouraged to incur the lowest practical and reasonable expense while still traveling in an effective and timely manner. Those traveling on university business are expected to avoid impropriety, or the appearance of impropriety, in any travel expense. Employees should conduct university business with integrity, in compliance with applicable laws and Ohio Ethics guidelines, and in a manner that excludes consideration of personal advantage. Should an expense be incurred that is subsequently determined to be improper or in excess of normal costs of travel, the traveler may not be fully reimbursed.

Application Process

Complete the application through the GSS Canvas Shell. Late submissions will not be considered. Remember to submit a different application for each activity. All current graduate students should have access to the Graduate Student Senate Canvas shell. Please look under "all courses" in your canvas account to find it. If you believe you should have access to the canvas shell but do not, please contact in advance of the deadline.

Along with information about your proposed activity, you will be asked to submit two essays (maximum of 250 words each):

  • Please identify and describe three ways in which this opportunity will contribute to your professional development.
  • Please explain how this opportunity incorporates BGSU's commitment as a public university serving the public good.


Please contact your program's senator for more information, or contact us at


By submitting a Funding for Professional Development Application on Canvas, you are agreeing to have read and understand the above information.

Updated: 04/25/2024 12:51PM