Student News

Student Professional Development Grant application now open

girl sitting using laptop.
Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 28, 2022) ­— The Center for Graduate and Professional Diversity Initiatives (CGPDI) welcomes University of Kentucky graduate and professional students to apply for the 2022-23 Student Professional Development (PD) Grants.

These grants are intended to encourage professional development and networking through attendance or active participation at academic or professional meetings or conferences and study abroad opportunities by helping students defray the costs associated with these activities. 

“Student success is the primary focus of CGPDI and our Professional Development Grants provide students with opportunities to hone presentation skills, present research and strengthen their professional networks," John Blaine, director of CGPDI, said. "PD Grants are available in the fall and spring semesters. I strongly encourage any graduate or professional student from an underrepresented identity to apply for a PD Grant.”  

Committed to supporting an inclusive community of scholars through the recruitment and retention of underrepresented and historically marginalized students, CGPDI supports the university's diversity and inclusivity efforts by promoting community, academic excellence and professional development in graduate and professional programs.

Students are eligible for up to $500 in grant awards per semester. To apply for the grants, you must be a current UK graduate or professional student.


  • Students may submit multiple grant requests, however, each grant request must be a separate application.
  • Funding is limited and grants will be awarded on a competitive basis.

The PD fund will support student participation in a virtual meeting or conference of a professional association and opportunities related to his/her career objective or field of study. Participation can include a presentation of scholarly work or active participation in a poster session, an annual conference or a career expo. 

PD Grant Recipients will be expected to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Timeliness. Conference fees, association memberships, materials and travel expenses will be pre-paid by CGPDI. 
  • Awarded grant money must be used by June 30 of the fiscal year for the award. 
  • Submit a report (approx. 1000 words) reflecting on the experience, three to four photos of themselves engaged in the grant activity (videos may also be submitted) — due within two weeks of experience.
  • A complete accounting of expenses, with itemized receipts — due within two weeks of experience.
  • PD Fund award recipients will be recognized, and at a later date will be invited to present on their experiences at a later date. 

Applications and all supporting documents should be submitted by midnight Friday, Oct. 14, 2022. To apply, click the following link:

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.