Professional Development Grants-CLOSED

Students presenting research (usually from a MAP) at conferences should first apply for funding through the Dean’s Office by submitting their Student Conference Travel Form.

The CLS Professional Development Grants are designed to support the professional preparation, growth, and development of current third-and fourth-year Grinnell students (at present, first- and second-year students are not eligible for CLS Professional Development Grants). Students may apply for professional development funding to offset expenses associated with attending a professional conference, joining a professional association, pursuing a certification/designation, or related professional development activity. Professional development grants may not be used to offset expenses associated with: applying to graduate/professional school (see Graduate School Grants); participating in an internship or summer research experience; paying educational fees to obtain academic credit from an educational institution; or general networking visits. Grants will not be awarded to cover past expenses. 

Advanced planning is essential. If air travel is requested, please allow a minimum of three weeks in advance of the event. Students are responsible for proactively communicating with faculty if any activity or event requires the grant recipient to miss class.


  • Attend an in-person or virtual conference, workshop, or related program (travel expenses, registration fees, etc.)
  • Join a professional association (membership fee)
  • Complete a non-credit course or certification (registration fee and related materials)


  • a current, degree-seeking third- or fourth-year student at Grinnell College;
    • Rising third-year students (finishing their second-year at Grinnell in May 2024) are eligible to submit applications for Professional Development Grants for activities taking place during summer 2024.
    • For processing purposes, November 19, 2023 is the last day applications will be considered from seniors graduating in December. The event must take place before December 2.  April 21, 2024, is the last day applications will be considered from seniors graduating in May 2024. Also, the event must take place no later than May 10, 2024.
  • in good conduct standing.


Funds are awarded on a rolling basis. Please note that one’s financial need level (as determined by the Office of Financial Aid) will determine the amount of funding a student is eligible to receive. The maximum amount of professional development funds a student may receive—based on their level of financial need—will not exceed $700 over the course of their time at Grinnell College. Students may apply for professional development funds more than once (for different reasons). Students awarded a professional development grant will receive a lump-sum deposit into the bank account they have on file with the College. Recipients of funds will need to keep a detailed (itemized) expense report and return all original receipts to the CLS. Additionally, recipients are required to write a brief reflection essay (typed) on their experience.


Please note that it takes time to receive, review, and process these requests. If you are seeking funds to attend a conference or professional development program and the event is fewer than 15 business days from the date of submitting this form, the CLS may not be able to fully consider your request.


If you are seeking funds to attend a conference or program outside the United States, please contact the CLS BEFORE submitting an application. We will want to explore potential visa challenges related to international travel prior to considering your request. Applications that include international travel and are received less than six weeks’ from the anticipated date of departure may be declined due to logistical constraints.  Students traveling internationally must register their plans (sharepoint login required) with the Institute for Global Engagement.


If a student fails to complete the detailed requirements by the due date highlighted in their initial email notification, a PAST DUE email notice will be sent as a final reminder stating that all required documents must be received within five (5) days of the deadline. Depending on the student’s class year, the student may lose access to the following grants: professional attire, professional development, senior interview, summer internship, and CLS funded trips such as externships and treks and their student account may be charged the full amount of the grant received.

*These grants are considered taxable income. For non-resident taxpayers, the Accounting Department will adjust the funds you are granted to cover the eventual tax to be paid.

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