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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


More grad student groups seek funding grants

There is a significant increase of graduate student groups applying for professional development and club funding this semester than in previous semesters.

Bryan Helm, the Graduate and Professional Student Council treasurer, said he believes this is for many reasons, such as students applying for grants for the first time, repeating events that had funding in the past and less departments having the funds to support these student clubs or events.

He explained that there is less support from academic units for things like invited speakers at events, which Helm said many applicants requested this year, especially by those in graduate programs.

GPSC offers three types of funding grants: initial, special and Professional Opportunities Development — or POD — to groups whose student organizations are made up of graduate and/or professional students.

Initial club funding is intended to support basic student organization operations and may not be used for travel or events, according to the GPSC Club Funding website. Examples of articles that can be purchased with this funding include office supplies, postage and advertising. Each student organization can receive up to $500 of initial club funding per fiscal year.

Special club funding is more broad than POD funding, Helm said, because it can be used for things other than specific events. There is no limit as to how much a student organization can request within special club funding; however, requests above $1,500 require a letter of recommendation from a UA faculty member. The website explains that special club funding is highly competitive because it can involve large amounts of money and therefore clubs must demonstrate why they deserve funding.

POD funding helps support student organizations plan events like academic seminars, conferences and meetings with industry representatives, according to the website. At least three UA graduate and/or professional students must be directly involved in the event seeking funding, and the event must take place within six months of the application date. A student organization can receive a maximum of $1,500 for any given event or project, and a student can only be involved in one event or project funded by a POD grant in a fiscal year — however, organizations can apply as many times as desired.

A “”standard”” POD, Helm said, requests money for travel, hotel and honorarium, which is a gift given to the speaker.

An internal GPSC appropriations committee, chaired by the GPSC treasurer, meets monthly to review the funding grants. All grants must submit an itemized budget, fall within the initial guidelines for funding and justify reasons for funding. An example of a justification, Helm said, is an explanation of how a certain speaker could educate the graduate community.

The committee recommends which grants should be funded, and GPSC has the “”final say,”” according to Helm.

“”We (GPSC) have a limited amount of funds, so we have to be selective about which grants can be funded,”” he said.

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