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One of the primary goals of the Graduate Student Association (GSA) is to encourage and support graduate student research (see our mission statement on the home page). Therefore, GSA provides different types of grants (detailed below) for graduate students to aid in their pursuit of academic achievement and professional development.
Four caveats exist:
  1. An eligible graduate student is one who is enrolled in a graduate program that is in good standing with the GSA.
  2. The GSA expects an hour community service from any grant recipient. Future grant approvals may be withheld if this expectation is not met.
  3. Eligible graduate students may be awarded any number of grants each year whose total reimbursement cannot exceed a certain amount. This is the Grant Yearly Limit (GYL). GSA sets a new budget every academic year, so a student’s standing is tabulated from grant amounts approved between July 1 and June 30 (of the next year).
  4. The total reimbursement that Graduate Students are eligible for throughout their tenure at UMBC is the Grant Tenure Limit (GTL). The GTL for a student depends on type of degree program (Masters, MFA, PhD) in which the student is enrolled.

A list of these limits is given below.

Grant Yearly Limit

For all Graduate Students: $1000

Grant Tenure Limit

Masters: $1500

MFA: $2000 

Doctoral: $2500

The GSA operates from a limited budget that is largely a function of Graduate Student enrollment. The GSA also aims to support as many Graduate Students as possible. For these reasons, the limits above may not be negotiated. However, these grant limits are one of the many topics discussed and modified on a yearly basis at GSA Senate meetings. Any Graduate Student with ideas or concerns is encouraged to contact their senators or to otherwise attend a GSA Senate meeting. More information on these meetings can be found here.

GSA Grants come in a few different flavors. Each flavor has its own per-grant limit that was designed to ensure maximum availability to the Graduate Student population.

Professional Development Grant

Up to $250 reimbursement

Can be used to cover costs for:

  • Travel to interviews
  • Equipment training
  • Research methods training

Can NOT be used to cover costs for:

  • Professional memberships
  • For-credit courses

Conference Grant

Up to $750 reimbursement for expenses incurred at a conference at which you are delivering a lecture/talk or presenting a poster.

Up to $250 reimbursement for expenses incurred at a conference at which you are NOT presenting.

Research Grant

Up to $1000 reimbursement for expenses incurred while conducting research.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Participant incentives/compensation
  • Software/licensing*
  • Tools/equipment*
  • Travel to collect data/resources
  • Contact us if you are unsure about a questionable expense

*: For these items, there must be no way to get a requested item through a service of UMBC prior to your application’s acceptance. Additionally, physical items must be purchased through the applicant’s department and shipped to UMBC. The GSA will reimburse the department an amount up to the value of the awarded grant. 

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