Involvement in organizations is a valuable leadership experience for graduate students, and the benefit multiplies through quality programming hosted by these groups.  These experiences and programming fill a need in uniquely contributing to various aspects of professional development for graduate students.  As such, the Graduate School Office of Professional Development seeks to enhance these opportunities by providing funds for professional development activities for graduate student organizations.

Graduate groups that are fully Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) with the Center for Leadership & Involvement (CfLI) are encouraged to apply for grants of up to $1,000 to be used toward professional development activities that directly benefit graduate students.

Competitive applications will include the following:

    Provide a brief description of the proposed activity that would be funded by the grant. Include your goals for the activity, and explain how these map to the DiscoverPD professional development framework.
    Describe who your target audience is. If the program is for members only, include a list of student names and their academic departments. If it is intended for general graduate student audiences, include how and to whom the program will be publicized.
    Indicate the level of support requested if less than $1,000 and an estimated budget for how the funds will used. Include any matching funds you anticipate receiving.
    Describe how you will ensure a good turn-out at your activity, including how you will advertise.
    Describe methods that will be used to demonstrate if goals have been met, the timeframe for collecting and reviewing data, and how the evaluation will help your organization improve future programming.
    Tell us about your graduate student organization, including the name and the group’s mission and membership. Indicate the individual who is the primary contact is for the proposed activity, including name, email, and phone number.


Registered Student Organizations (RSO) ( comprised of at least 50% graduate students are eligible to receive the grant.  If your organization is not currently an RSO (you can check by searching your group in the Wisconsin Involvement Network), register for RSO status now; the approval process can take up to 2 weeks.  Your grant application will be considered if your RSO status is pending.

Organizations applying for this grant will need to have an academic program or department that is willing to accept a transfer of funds from the Graduate School for this programming. 


Details, including how to apply for funding and relevant deadlines, will be available on this page by the middle of fall semester.  


EVENT MANAGEMENT: Graduate student organizations are responsible for all aspects of event planning and management, which may include booking space, reserving AV equipment, arranging travel for speakers, managing participant registration, ordering refreshments, distributing evaluation surveys, etc. 

PUBLICITY: Graduate student organizations are responsible for ensuring participation in the program.  Additionally, for activities that appeal to a broad audience, the Graduate School Office of Professional Development ( can aid in promotion via the weekly newsletter, events calendar, and social media; at least two weeks advance notice should be given if this assistance is desired.

FINANCIAL: The awards will be disbursed as a transfer of funds to the academic program or department.  University accounting policies must be followed.  Funds must be spent by June 1.

POLICY/LIABILITY: Graduate student organizations are expected to follow all campus policies and event planning procedures.  See the Center for Leadership & Involvement Event Planning Guide for more information.

Need assistance?
We can help. Call us.

Alissa Ewer

Assistant Dean, Office of Professional Development and Communications

209 Bascom


Eileen Callahan

Director of Professional Development

223 Bascom


Amy Fruchtman

Assistant Director of Professional Development

225 Bascom


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