Graduate Council: Funding Opportunities


The Professional Development Fund (PDF) is intended to support the policy and professional interests of students beyond the classroom.

Professional development is a fundamental aspect of the graduate program, providing students the opportunity to expand their career perspectives and represent the Frank Batten School to an external audience.


The Batten Graduate Council primarily achieves its professional development objectives through a grant program. Students receive funding via an application and review process in which a Council committee performs an independent assessment to budget the trip and validate the requested amount.

Applicants of the fund are granted financial awards for their participation in development activities including, but not limited to: attending conferences, meeting policy professionals, hosting events, and providing community service.

Evaluation of Applications:

Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Contributions to the individual applicant’s professional interest;
  2. Contribution to Batten school through representation of the applicant;
  3. Commitment to community learning through agreement to fulfill the 200-250 word write-up requirement following the experience or event;
  4. Accuracy of itemized budget proposal for travel and registration expenses;
  5. For event sponsorship, the event must be open to all students willing to participate and enhance professional development.

Review Procedures:

The Batten Council Treasurer assumes responsibility over the administrative duties of the Professional Development Fund. Class Representatives are responsible for reviewing and approving awards under supervision of the Treasurer, who must ensure the integrity of the review process. Applicants are to remain anonymous to the reviewing parties; anyone with knowledge of the applicant’s identity should remove himself/herself from the review process, if he/she feels unable to justly perform the aforementioned duty.

The following information provides an in-depth explanation of the review protocol:

  1. Upon receiving an application, the Batten Graduate Council Treasurer is to notify the Class Representatives and disseminate an anonymous application.
  2. Class Representatives are to review the application and merit approval based on the criteria listed under “Evaluation of Applications.”
  3. If an application meets the PDF criteria, Class Representatives validate financial amount via independent searches of expenses etc. Representatives are to agree upon an appropriate monetary award. However, this award shall not exceed $250. **Special circumstances requiring funding above the $250 maximum that are brought to the Council will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 
  4. After the Class Representatives have agreed upon the appropriate monetary award, the Treasurer informs the applicant of the Council’s decision.