Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Professional Development Funds | GSPIA

Professional Development Funds FAQ

What are Professional Development Funds?
The purpose of the Professional Development Fund (PDF) is to recognize outstanding students, acknowledge substantial professional development activities, and defray some of the travel and other expenses incurred by these activities.

What criteria are used in allocating PDF funds?
In making its allocations, the PDF committee considers the quality of the student’s academic record and performance, merit of the activity, and financial need.

What can I request funding for?
  • Approved Internships - paperwork must be completed and approved by Career Services before the PDF application deadline.
  • Conferences – Students may apply for funding IF they are presenting a poster or paper at a conference. General conference attendance is not an eligible activity.
  • Study Trips
  • Approved Study Abroad Activities
  • Other Activities as appropriate

For what items can I get reimbursed?
See below for details concerning allowable and unallowable items

How do I apply?
Apply online by logging into GSPIA Connections and choosing the “Professional Development Funds – March 2015 Application” link on the home page. Depending on your application purpose, you may be required to submit hard copies of additional documents. All application materials must be received by 11:59pm on Friday, March 6th.

Are there additional rounds of funding?
Yes! If you are not prepared to apply for this round, there are additional funding rounds in May and October of each academic year.  You may apply retroactively for an activity.

I am graduating soon. Can I still apply?
Students are not eligible for funding if they will graduate before the activity in question takes place. Graduating students may apply retroactively for an activity that has already occurred.

I am a PhD student – can I apply for funding?
PhD students may apply in this round for internships only. Dissertation research applications can ONLY be submitted in the Fall round.

Funding Use Guide
Updated: January 2013

All expenses must be budgeted for in the original application and accompanied by an original receipt per the University policy. The award letter will indicate the expenses approved for reimbursement. In the event of a destination or purpose change, a revised application and budget must be submitted for review and approval. Below is a guide of allowable and unallowable expenses. This list is not all-inclusive.
Note: Expenses can only be reimbursed for after the trip/event has occurred per University Policy. Students are required to complete a Travel and Business Expense Report Form for reimbursement (University-approved form).

Generally allowable items on the PDF (when budgeted for and accompanied by an original receipt)
  • Airfare
  • Lodging
  • Transportation costs
  • Registration Fees
  • Program Fees
  • Enrollment Fees
  • Mileage on a personal vehicle in lieu of gas reimbursement. Gas receipts are required as the form of back-up. When a personal car is used (per application), mileage will be reimbursed at the approved rates. 
Un-allowed items on the PDF:
  • Any items that are not accompanied by an original receipt
  • Per Diem (Receipts are required for reimbursement)
  • Clothing
  • Food/Meals (includes drinks and groceries)
  • Entertainment/excursion costs (i.e. city tours)
  • Passport fees
  • Health insurance
  • Cell phone, internet, or personal communication bills
  • Pittsburgh (hometown) rent and utilities while away (also includes if the trip/internship was also in the city)
  • Emergency funds, miscellaneous funds or spending money categories will not be funded. A detailed description is required. 
Time Frame for Reimbursement:
Generally speaking, the University’s Payment Processing Department takes on average 3-4 weeks to process a payment. There is no guarantee on the time frame however, it could take less or more time depending on their workload

Please contact Shannon Brenner with questions.