Chelsea Segal
Chelsea Segal MPA ‘19 participating in a summer of 2018 program in India sponsored by Duke Sanford and IIM Udaipur studying international development in the context of India.

Thinking about attending a conference, networking event, competition, or taking an industry certification exam, or engaging in other* professional development opportunities? Apply for Professional Development Funding from the Office of Student Services to offset the cost of participation.

The Office of Student Services endeavors to support the needs of the student body by granting limited financial support for professional development opportunities in the U.S. and abroad. 

Funds will be awarded to qualifying students upon submission of a complete funding request to the Office of Student Services.  Please read this page carefully for a description of what a complete, competitive application entails.


Current degree-seeking students who are in good academic  and financial standing and who have paid the student activity fee are eligible to apply. Carefully review this page to successfully submit a complete, competitive request for Professional Development Funding (PDF). Students applying for PDF must read and agree to the terms and guidelines on this page. Due to the high demand for funding, the applicant pool is competitive. Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, are not guaranteed until all  steps have been met, and are likely to run out before the end of each academic year. 

PDF Policies:

  • One Professional Development Funding award per semester is available to eligible students, who can apply for up to $500 per semester to offset the cost of their participation in a professional development opportunity.  Funding tends to run low at the end of the academic year, so awards will gradually become smaller for equitable dispersement.
  • There is a section in the request form for requests that exceed $500, which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 
  • The professional development event must occur during the fall or spring semester to be eligible for funding
  • PDF requests must be received before the start of the professional development opportunity. Retroactive awards may be possible and reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Funding is not guaranteed and the awarded amount is up to the discretion of the PDF Committee.
  • The PDF Committee reserves the right to request additional documentation regarding attendance/participation, including but not limited to receipts, registration forms, and proof of participation, before reimbursement is made. 
  • Students can apply up to three times per semester, but will only receive one award per semester.

Eligible Expenses

Funding can be applied towards: 

  • Registration, ex. Conference, networking event, competition, certificate, or test
  • Lodging, ex. Hotel, Airbnb/short-term rental, or hostel
  • Travel:
    • Passenger tickets for planes, trains, subways, buses, or ferries
    • Parking, tolls, or mileage reimbursement (note: we cannot reimburse gas purchases)
  • Administrative fees for registration, lodging, or travel

Ineligible Expenses:

  • Educational courses,for-credit certification courses, airport lounges, homes of family/friends/unlicensed hosts, food and drink, entertainment, gas purchases.

Professional Development Funding Application Process:

1.  Several weeks before the opportunity, carefully fill out the Funding Request Form for PDF, and wait for a reply as to whether or not the request has been conditionally approved.  Please note the funding is not guaranteed at this point.

2.  Student attends the conference as a professional, collecting information for the deliverable mentioned below.

3. Within two weeks after the last day of the professional development opportunity, student completes deliverables and requests reimbursement:

  • All payment paperwork must be submitted for Student Services to process. 
    • Students who have been previously paid by MIIS can expect payment in 2-3 weeks, while students who have not been previously paid by MIIS can expect a deposit in 3-4 weeks.   
  • A required deliverable in the form of a slide deck that may be accessible by future students who are interested in participating, as well as faculty and CACS staff. Please answer the questions in this sample slide deck.
    • Failure to complete both disbursement components by the specified deadline will result in the student losing the awarded amount and disbursement will not occur. Full instructions for the reimbursement process are included in the award email from the PDF Committee.
  • The PDF committee will review requests weekly, and students will be notified of their award via email within one to two weeks of their submission.