Professional Development Grants

GWISE offers a Professional Development Grant (PDG) program to help our members benefit from professional development opportunities in the Boston area and beyond. The PDG Program will provide funding for registration fees and other expenses associated with participating in professional development events.

Who is eligible to apply for a PDG?

The PDG Program is open to Boston University graduate students in STEM fields who have attended at minimum of 3 GWISE events in the past calendar year (1 event for students in their first semester at Boston University). Check out past recipients of PDGs!

What type of professional development opportunities would be supported?

GWISE will fund a range opportunities, including (but not limited to) workshops, networking events, memberships in professional societies, and conferences. For example, MASS AWIS, WEST, and MassBio all hold events that might be of interest to graduate students. Please be aware that grants are not intended for travel to scientific meetings where you will be presenting research. Other avenues are available for such funding, and GWISE’s goal is to fill an otherwise unmet need for professional development. If you are attending a conference or all-day workshop during the work week, please be sure to clear it with your advisor.

How many grants are available and how much do they cover?

GWISE will award PDGs in a tiered basis to support of a variety of professional development opportunities.

The following grants will be made each academic year:

  • 20 grants of up to $25
  • 20 grants of up to $50
  • 5 grants of up to $100
  • 2 grants of up to $500

More grants may become available according to demand and budget considerations.

When are the application deadlines?

The $25 and $50 grants will be awarded on a monthly basis. The applications for these grants are due on the first Friday of each month, unless otherwise noted.

The monthly applications deadlines for the 2014-2015 academic year are below:

  • October 3
  • November 7
  • December 5
  • January 9
  • February 6
  • March 6
  • April 3
  • May 1

The $100 and $500 grants will be awarded on a per-semester basis. Since the cycle is less frequent you may choose to apply for a $100 or $500 grant retroactively for an event you have already attended. In this case you must be able to produce your receipt or evidence of registration.

The deadlines for the 2014-2015 academic year are below:

  • October 3
  • February 6

How many times can I apply?

GWISE wants to benefit as many members as possible, so each member will be awarded no more than one PDG each academic year. If you are unsuccessful in a given cycle, you are eligible to apply again during that academic year.

If you have already been awarded a PDG through GWISE, you may be eligible to apply for a scholarship to attend an event through the Stay in MA program

How do I apply?

Apply online using the this APPLICATION. You will be notified within one week of the application deadline whether you will receive an award.

What happens after I am awarded a PDG?

Once you receive the grant, register for the opportunity via the host organization’s system. GWISE will reimburse you following the event. Be sure to attend the event–GWISE will NOT reimburse you for events you do not attend! Following the event, you must submit your receipts or proof of registration to GWISE for reimbursement. We also require that grantees complete a PDG survey that will be posted as a blog post on the GWISE website so that you can share what you learned with the GWISE community. Your reimbursement will not be processed until you have completed the survey.

I have a question that hasn’t been answered.

Please contact Allison at or Stacy at with any other questions about PDGs.