Carnegie Mellon University

Professional Engagement Funding

Beginning in February 2024, the Office of the Provost is pleased to announce the pilot of a new source of funding called Professional Engagement Funding. Professional Engagement Funding joins Conference Funding and GuSH Research Grants in supporting master’s and doctoral students at Carnegie Mellon. The Provost created this funding source based on feedback from members of the graduate student community, who expressed a desire to distinguish between funding for students who are presenting at conferences and those who wish to pursue professional engagement opportunities for other reasons.

Professional development funding is available in the amount of $250 for individual graduate students who are attending a conference or other professional engagement opportunity to network, perform, deepen knowledge, or compete within their field of study. The primary audience of this funding is master’s students, but all graduate students are welcome to apply.

Professional development funding is provided by the Office of the Provost and is managed by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs.

If you are presenting at a conference, you should apply for Conference Funding, a funding source available for students who are presenting scholarly work related to their degree pursuits and is inclusive to all scholarship areas. Students can apply for either type of funding, but not both types. If a student does not receive funding, they are free to apply again for either type of funding in the next cycle(s). Students who have applied for funding in past cycles but have not been selected in the lottery will be prioritized.

  • Applicants must be enrolled students at the time they attend the conference.
  • Applications must be submitted within the application period dates otherwise funding is not available. 
  • Students are limited to one conference funding or one professional development funding  award per fiscal year (July 1–June 30) based on the award date of funding (not the conference date).
  • Awardees must complete all post-event requirements outlined in the After the Event section
  • Awardees are selected through a lottery process as there is limited funding available. All applications will be closely reviewed to ensure that they are complete and  align with the eligibility requirements before being entered into the lottery. In subsequent cycles, the application and award process may change.
  • This is considered a partial source of support, and applicants should seek funds from other sources, such as funds from the engagement they are attending, as well as from their advisor, department, and/or college and identify in their application where they are seeking additional funding.
  • Eligible expenses include: 
    • registration costs for a conference, competition, or other engagement
    • travel to the engagement
    • travel in the engagement city
    • lodging
    • food
  • Ineligible expenses include: 
    • society membership costs
    • wardrobe for the engagement
    • alcohol
  1. Applicants should complete the Professional Engagement Funding Application (form is coming soon and will be linked here once available) by the deadline outlined in the Application Periods section
  2. Completed applications are automatically routed to the applicant's advisor. Applicants must alert their advisor and provide them with the details of their engagement, so they can complete their portion of the application by the deadline outlined in the Application Periods section
  3. Awardees will receive an award notification email with a letter detailing the process to access the funding, which is transferred to an account in the awardee’s department. Department business managers are copied on this email to allow for financial transfers to take place in a timely manner. Applicants should be aware of their department business manager’s Andrew ID, which will be required in the application process for this reason. 
  4. Awardees can access the funds following departmental requirements through their business manager.

All graduate students who accept Professional Engagement Funding from the Office of the Provost commit to the following:

  • Awardees must write a report describing their experience, specifying both concrete and abstract benefits from attending the engagement. The report must also indicate where all the funding for the engagement derived from, if applicable. Please submit the report to no later than three weeks after the engagement. 
  • Awardees must work with their department business manager to follow all requirements for submitting receipts for reimbursement of expenses. Please see the Eligibility section for more information on eligible expenses.

You should apply for professional engagement funding if:

  • You are planning to attend a conference, competition, exhibition, or performance in your field to network, perform, compete, or gain new knowledge
  • You have not received Conference Funding in this academic year (July 1 - June 30)
  • You will be enrolled as a graduate student at CMU when the engagement takes place
  • You have have exhausted the available funding from your college, department, and/or advisor

Application Periods (2023 - 2024)

The application cycle runs concurrently with the application cycle for Conference FundingYou will be notified of the results approximately three weeks after the deadline.


If your engagement occurs between:

You may apply between*:


Fall 2023




Winter 2024




Spring 2024

April 1 - June 30, 2024

Feb. 19 - March 1, 2024

This application cycle has closed, and applicants have been notified of the results.

Summer 2024

July 1 - Sept. 30, 2024

May 13 - 24, 2024

Student Form
Advisor Form

Note: All students planning to attend April, May, and June engagements have been funded through our spring application process. Beginning May 13, we'll be accepting applications for engagements happening from July 1 up to and including September 30.

*Both the student form and the advisor form must be submitted during this timeframe.