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:

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.