GSC Awards Funding

          The Graduate Student Congress (GSC) provides awards to University of Kentucky graduate and professional students to attend conferences, conduct research, engage in professional development, and purchase or rent graduation regalia. We do not place specific restrictions on the types of research, conferences, or professional development that we will fund. Successful applicants should be able to make a strong case for how their proposed research, conference, or professional development will contribute to their personal and professional growth. Due to the competitive nature of the awards, and our desire to fund as many students as possible, applicants are only eligible for funding once for each type of award per academic year. 

Overview of Available GSC Awards 

  1. Conference Awards: this GSC Award will fund up to $21,000 for expenses related to attending an academic conference that occurs within 90 (+/-) days of the cycle deadline. A total of 42 individual awards worth $500 each will be given throughout the academic year. Successful applications make a strong case for the importance of attending the specific academic conference, demonstrate financial need and efforts to secure additional funding, and clearly describe the work to be presented. Although it is not required that applicants present their work, priority will be given to those that do. Applicants will also be required to provide an itemized budget for the requested funds. Read more about GSC Conference Awards. 
     
  2. Research Awards: this GSC Award will fund up to $6,000 for expenses related to research projects. A total of 12 individual awards worth $500 each will be given throughout the academic year. While we do not restrict research funding to dissertation or thesis projects, successful research proposals reflect a carefully crafted and feasible research plan. Applicants will be required to provide an itemized budget for the requested funds, as well as list any other sources of funding for the project in question. Read more about GSC Research Awards. 
     
  3. Professional Development Awards: this GSC Award will fund up to $1,500 for expenses related to attending a professional development workshop or event that occurs within 90 (+/-) days of the cycle deadline. A total of 6 individual awards worth $250 each will be given throughout the academic year. Successful applicants make a strong case for the importance of attending the specific professional development workshop and event, demonstrate financial need and efforts to secure additional funding, and clearly describe the skill(s) to be learned. Applicants will also be required to provide an itemized budget for the requested funds. Read more about GSC Professional Development Awards.  
     
  4. Graduation Regalia Awards: this GSC Award will fund up to $3,200 for expenses related to purchasing or renting graduation regalia sets. A total of 10 individual awards worth $100 each will be given to graduating master's students throughout the academic year, with 3 awards allocated for Fall commencement and 7 awards allocated for Spring commencement. A total of 10 individual awards worth $220 each will be given to graduating doctoral students throughout the academic year, with 3 awards allocated for Fall commencement and 7 awards allocated for Spring commencement. Applicants will be required to verify that they have applied for graduation in myuky. Unlike the other GSC Awards, however, recipients of this award will be selected solely via a random number lottery drawing. Read more about the GSC Graduation Regalia Awards. 

2021 - 2022 Award Deadlines

To provide for timely review of applications, the GSC has set the following award review cycles for the 2020 - 2021 academic year (Note: these deadlines are subject to change at any time.):  

Cycle Application Opens
(12:01 a.m.)
Deadline
(11:59 p.m.)
Committee Funding Vote
(11:59 p.m.)
Recipient Announcements
(11:59 p.m.)
Awards Available
1 Wednesday, September 8, 2021 Wednesday, September 29, 2021 Wednesday, October 13, 2021 Thursday, October 14, 2021

2 Conference

1 Research

0 Professional Development

2 Friday, October 8, 2021 Friday, October 29, 2021 Friday, November 12, 2021 Saturday, November 13, 2021

12 Conference

3 Research

2 Professional Development

3 Sunday, November 7, 2021 Sunday, November 28, 2021 Monday, December 13, 2021 Tuesday, December 24, 2021

1 Conference

2 Research

1 Professional Development

1 Graduation Regalia (1 M.A. and 0 Ph.D.)

4 Monday, February 7, 2022 Monday, February 28, 2022 Monday, March 14, 2022 Tuesday, March 15, 2022

13 Conference

2 Research

1 Professional Development

5 Wednesday, March 9, 2022 Wednesday, March 30, 2022 Wednesday, April 13, 2022 Thursday, April 15, 2022

7 Conference

2 Research

1 Professional Development

6 Friday, April 8, 2022 Friday, April 29, 2022 Friday, May 13, 2022 Saturday, May 14, 2022

7 Conference

2 Research

1 Professional Development

19 Graduation Regalia (9 M.A. and 10 Ph.D.)

Application Procedure and Review Process

          The GSC supports the sustainability initiative at the University of Kentucky to eliminate paper applications. Please complete the electronic applications below. Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) on the deadline date to be considered. All subsequent communication with applicants will be conducted via email. No physical copies of any materials will be accepted. 

          Following each cycle’s deadline, the GSC Awards Committee Chair reviews and prepares all applications. S/he then provides them to the GSC Awards Committee for review. The committee reviews the applications and scores each application based on whether they meet specific criteria (mentioned below) *. Each application is scored by at least three members of the committee for an average score. After the committee members submit their evaluation scores, a cutoff score is generated based on the number of applications and the amount of funds available. The GSC Awards Committee Chair then assigns each application meeting the cutoff score a random number and then uses a random number generator to select the allowed number of recipients for that round. Next, the GSC Awards Committee Chair presents the selections to the GSC Awards Committee at the next monthly meeting for their approval. A simple majority of the Awards Committee is needed to confirm the recipients. 

          Funding decisions are then communicated to the applicants by the GSC Awards Committee Chair. Depending on the date of receipt of the application and the total number of applications submitted that cycle, it may take up to six (6) weeks to receive a funding decision. Students that do not receive funding may reapply during a later award cycle.  

*Except for applications for Graduation Regalia Awards, which as previously described, are selected based solely on a random number lottery drawing.  

Conference Awards 

Range of Support 

          Awards are contingent upon the availability of funds and the number of applications received. As of the 2020 – 2021 fiscal/academic year, the GSC will award up to a maximum of $500 per applicant, even though the cost of attending the conference may exceed that amount. Students are highly encouraged to provide detailed explanations for the amount requested and demonstrate efforts to find the cheapest alternative (e.g., room sharing, carpooling, etc.). The GSC Conference Award is not a guaranteed source of funding. Conference Award winners are not guaranteed to receive funding before their conference begins. We encourage students to submit the required application materials by the earliest eligible Conference Award deadline. 

Eligibility  

  • The applicant must be enrolled as a student in a graduate or professional degree program at the University of Kentucky (i.e., must pay student service fees) and be in good academic standing.
  • The applicant must have a GSC Representative “IGood Standing” as of the application deadline.
  • Conference attendance must be completed before graduation: If your conference has already taken place at the time that your application is due, you must still submit a budget report along with your application. For instance, if you apply during the March round and your conference took place in February, you must submit your budget report along with your application.
  • Applicants are eligible to receive one (1) GSC award per academic/fiscal year; the fiscal year begins on July 1 *. To implement the 'one award per year' policy, all awards are treated as given on the application deadline. A student may apply as many times as desired per year until they win an award, if they follow all necessary guidelines. Applicants may reuse previous application content, but revisions are encouraged.
  • Group applications are not allowed. If several students are attending the same event, each student must apply separately for funding, and each student must be responsible for creating their own application.

*The GSC observes a standard fiscal year that runs from July 1 to the following June 30. Conference Award recipients must claim reimbursement during the same fiscal year the award was received. Therefore, students attending conferences between July 1 and the start of the fall semester should wait to apply for conference funds until the Fall semester after they return.  

Conference Funding Application 

Please complete the Conference Award Application here. 

Conference Funding Evaluation Criteria and Process 

          For more information regarding the criteria used by the Awards Committee to evaluate the conference award applications, please refer to the Conference Awards Evaluation Rubric. 

Conference Budget Report 

          GSC Conference Award recipients are required to submit a Budget ReportPlease include all items of expense incurred (or that you anticipate to incurrduring your conference attendance. Submit your Budget Report electronically by attaching it to your application. Failure to submit the required Budget Report may result in the withdrawal of your GSC Conference Award and make you ineligible for future GSC Conference Award funding. 

Conference Award Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Q: I am trying to apply for the GSC Conference Award, but Qualtrics indicates that all applications are closed. How do I apply? 

A: All GSC Award applications will open three-weeks (21 days) before the award deadline. 

Q: Is there any way for me to get a confirmation email saying that I applied for this award? I need to submit proof that I applied for funding.   

A: If you need a copy of your application, please email the current Awards Committee Chair, Tasha Kozak, at tko231@uky.edu. 

Q: Is there a limit to the number of awards a student can receive? 

A: Applicants can only win one of each type of award per academic year. We try to award funding to as many different individuals as possible. 

Q: I have been granted a Conference Award. How will I receive my award? 

A: Awards will be dispersed by the University of Kentucky’s Accounts Payable via check. Please allow time for processing all the paperwork before inquiring about your award. Reimbursements should be expected in the mail within 60 to 90 days. 

Research Awards 

  Range of Support           

          Awards are contingent upon the availability of funds and the number of applications received. As of the 2020 – 2021 fiscal/academic year, the GSC will award up to a maximum of $500 per applicant, even though the cost of conducting the research may exceed that amount. Students are highly encouraged to provide detailed explanations for the amount requested. The GSC Research Award is not a guaranteed source of funding. Research Award winners are not guaranteed to receive funding before their research begins. We encourage students to submit the required application materials by the earliest eligible Research Award deadline. 

Eligibility 

  • The applicant must be enrolled as a student in a graduate or professional degree program at the University of Kentucky (i.e., must pay student service fees) and be in good academic standing.
  • The applicant must have a GSC Representative that is “IGood Standing" as of the application deadline. 
  • Research must be completed before graduation.  
  • Applicants are eligible to receive one (1) GSC award per academic/fiscal year; the fiscal year begins on July 1 *. To implement the 'one award per year' policy, all awards are treated as given on the application deadline. A student may apply as many times as desired per year until they win an award, if they follow all necessary guidelines. 
  • Group applications are not allowed. If several students are working on the same research project, each student must apply separately for funding, and each student must be responsible for creating their own application.  

*The GSC observes a standard fiscal year that runs from July 1 to the following June 30. Research Award recipients must claim reimbursement during the same fiscal year the award was received. Therefore, students conducting research between July 1 and the start of the fall semester should wait to apply for research funds until the Fall semester after they return. 

Research Funding Application 

          Once you have completed the Research Awards Application, please have your advisor/PI submit a letter of recommendation to tko231@uky.edu with the subject line as Research Award Letter – (Your Name). This letter should include a description of your characteristics and achievements that are relevant to your academic and professional performance and emphasize the merit and significance of the proposed research project. The letter is due by the cycle deadline. Applications that have not received a letter of recommendation by the deadline will not be considered.

Research Funding Guidelines 

All applicants are responsible for reading all the information on this website before applying, and will be held to the following guidelines (subject to change): 

  1. There is a maximum award of $500 allowed per project. 
  2. Allocated funds may only be used for the purposes for which they were approved by the GSC. 
  3. Activities that could otherwise be funded through GSC Conference or Professional Development Awards will not be considered for Research Award funding. 
  4. Reimbursement for items purchased before the award was received will not be allowed. 
  5. If the final cost of an approved item is more than the remaining balance of the awarded amount, the GSC will not pay the difference. 
  6. The activity or potential activities must align with the mission of the University of Kentucky and the GSC. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the individual or the organization to ensure that allocated funds are spent in accordance with the University of Kentucky and the Board of Trustees policies, and any other policies with which the recipient is expected to comply. 
  7. Acknowledgment of the GSC’s support is expected on all publicity, presentations, posters, and/or publications resulting from the research project. The GSC logo will be provided for use if funding is awarded. 

Research Funding Evaluation Criteria and Process 

          For more information regarding the criteria used by the Awards Committee to evaluate the research award applications, please refer to the Research Awards Evaluation Rubric. 

Research Budget Report 

          GSC Research Award recipients are required to submit a Budget Report. Please include all items of expense incurred (or that you anticipate to incurrduring your research project. Submit your Budget Report electronically by attaching it to your application. Failure to submit the required Budget Report may result in the withdrawal of your GSC Research Award and make you ineligible for future GSC Research Award funding. 

Research Award Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Q: Can the Research Award cover travel visas, passport photos, or visa mailing fees? 

A: No. 

Q: Can I apply for a Research Award for research that I have already conducted? 

A: No. All research applications should be specific to research that will be conducted in the future. 

Q: Does the award cover software? 

A: Yes, so long as it is not already provided by the University of Kentucky or otherwise freely available. If the software is provided at a reduced fee, you may include this fee in your award application. 

Q: Does the award cover books? 

A: Only in the case where they are not available through the UK Library, and their research purpose is well-justified. 

Q: How long does a decision take? 

A: We try to make decisions within six weeks of the application deadline but cannot guarantee this. All decisions must be approved by the GSC Awards Committee, which meets approximately once per month. 

Q: Does the ward cover shipping charges or taxes? 

A: Shipping charges and taxes are covered, but they must be included in the award application with the budget. They cannot be covered after the fact. 

Q: What happens to any equipment purchased with the award after it has been used? 

A: The equipment will belong to your department 

Q: I am trying to apply for the Research Award, but Qualtrics indicates that all applications are closed. How do I apply? 

A: All GSC Award applications will open three-weeks (21-days) before the awards deadline. 

Q: Is there any way for me to get a confirmation email saying that I applied for this award? I need to submit proof that I applied for funding.  

A: If you need a copy of your application, please email the current Awards Committee Chair, Tasha Kozak, at tko231@uky.edu. 

Q: How are the awards reviewed and who decides which awards are funded? 

A: All awards are reviewed and given a score by at least three members of the Awards Committee. That averaged score is used to determine which applications are recommended for funding to the Graduate Student Congress (GSC). The GSC Awards Committee then votes on the recommendations at their monthly meeting(s). 

Q: Is there a limit to the number of awards a student can receive? 

A: Applicants can only be awarded one of each type of award per academic year. We try to award funding to as many different individuals as possible. 

Professional Development Awards 

Range of Support 

          Awards are contingent upon the availability of funds and the number of applications received. As of the 2020 – 2021 fiscal/academic year, the GSC will award up to a maximum of $250 per applicant, even though the cost of attending the professional development seminar or event may exceed that amount. Students are highly encouraged to provide detailed explanations for the amount requested and demonstrate efforts to find the cheapest alternative (e.g., room sharing, carpooling, etc.). The GSC Professional Development Award is not a guaranteed source of funding. Professional Development Award winners are not guaranteed to receive funding before their professional development seminar or event begins. We encourage students to submit the required application materials by the earliest eligible Professional Development Award deadline. 

Eligibility  

  • The applicant must be enrolled as a student in a graduate or professional degree program at the University of Kentucky (i.e., must pay student service fees) and be in good academic standing. 
  • The applicant must have a GSC Representative “In Good Standing” as of the application deadline. 
  • Professional development seminar or event attendance must be completed before graduation: If your professional development seminar or event has already taken place at the time that your application is due, you must still submit a budget report along with your application. For instance, if you apply during the March round and your professional development seminar or event took place in February, you must submit your budget report along with your application. 
  • Applicants are eligible to receive one (1) GSC award per academic/fiscal year; the fiscal year begins on July 1 *. To implement the 'one award per year' policy, all awards are treated as given on the application deadline. A student may apply as many times as desired per year until they win an award, if they follow all necessary guidelines.
  • Group applications are not allowed. If several students are attending the same event, each student must apply separately for funding, and each student must be responsible for creating their own application. 

*The GSC observes a standard fiscal year that runs from July 1 to the following June 30. Professional Development Award recipients must claim reimbursement during the same fiscal year the award was received. Therefore, students attending a professional development seminar or event between July 1 and the start of the fall semester should wait to apply for professional development funds until the Fall semester after they return. 

Professional Development Funding Application 

Please complete the Professional Development Awards Application here. 

Professional Development Award Funding Evaluation Criteria and Process 

          For more information regarding the criteria used by the Awards Committee to evaluate the Professional Development Award applications, please refer to the Professional Development Awards Evaluation Rubric. 

Professional Development Budget Report 

          GSC Professional Development Award recipients are required to submit a Budget Report. Please include all items of expense incurred (or that you anticipate incurring) during your professional development seminar or event attendance. Submit your Budget Report electronically by attaching it to your application. Failure to submit the required budget report may result in the withdrawal of your GSC Professional Development Award and make you ineligible for future GSC Professional Development Award funding. 

Professional Development Award Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Q: I am trying to apply for the GSC Professional Development Award, but Qualtrics indicates that all applications are closed. How do I apply? 

A: All GSC Award applications will open three-weeks (21 days) before the award deadline. 

Q: Is there any way for me to get a confirmation email saying that I applied for this award? I need to submit proof that I applied for funding.   

A: If you need a copy of your application, please email the current Awards Committee Chair, Tasha Kozak, at tko231@uky.edu. 

Q: Is there a limit to the number of awards a student can receive? 

A: Applicants can only win one of each type of award per academic year. We try to award funding to as many different individuals as possible. 

Q: I have been granted a Professional Development Award. How will I receive my award? 

A: Awards will be dispersed by the University of Kentucky’s Accounts Payable via check. Please allow time for processing all the paperwork before inquiring about your award. Reimbursements should be expected in the mail within 60 to 90 days. 

Graduation Regalia Awards 

Range of Support 

          Awards are contingent upon the availability of funds and the number of applications received. As of the 2020 – 2021 fiscal/academic year, the GSC will award up to a maximum of $100 for master's applicants and $220 for doctoral applicants. Applicants will be required to submit verification that they have applied for graduation in myuk. The GSC Graduation Regalia Award is not a guaranteed source of funding. Graduation Regalia Award winners are not guaranteed to receive funding before their commencement. We encourage students to submit the required application materials by the earliest eligible Graduation Regalia Award deadline. 

Eligibility 

  • The applicant must be enrolled as a student in a graduate or professional degree program at the University of Kentucky (i.e., must pay student service fees) and be in good academic standing.
  • The applicant must have a GSC Representative “In Good Standing” as of the application deadline. 
  • The applicant must have applied for graduation in myuk 
  • Group applications are not allowed. If several students are graduating in the same semester, each student must apply separately for funding, and each student must be responsible for creating their own application.  

Graduation Regalia Funding Application 

Please complete the Graduation Regalia Awards Application here. 

Graduation Regalia Award Funding Evaluation Criteria and Process 

Unlike the other GSC Awards, recipients of this award will be selected solely via a random number lottery drawing. 

Graduation Regalia Award Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Q: I am trying to apply for the GSC Graduation Regalia Award, but Qualtrics indicates that all applications are closed. How do I apply? 

A: GSC Graduation Regalia Awards are only available once per semester. This application will open three-weeks (21 days) before the last award deadline of the semester. 

Q: Is there any way for me to get a confirmation email saying that I applied for this award? I need to submit proof that I applied for funding.   

A: If you need a copy of your application, please email the current Awards Committee Chair, Tasha Kozak, at tko231@uky.edu. 

Q: Is there a limit to the number of awards a student can receive? 

A: Applicants can only win one of each type of award per academic year. We try to award funding to as many different individuals as possible. 

Q: I have been granted a Graduation Regalia Award. How will I receive my award? 

A: Awards will be dispersed by the University of Kentucky’s Accounts Payable via check. Please allow time for processing all the paperwork before inquiring about your award. Reimbursements should be expected in the mail within 60 to 90 days.