PULLMAN – WSU graduate students have until Feb. 1 to apply for the first round of up to $20,000 in professional development grants designed to hone leadership, team and/or interpersonal skills.

Funding for the grants comes from WSU’s Graduate School, which oversees the program and is partnering with the Graduate and Professional Students Association (GPSA) on the project.
GPSA will provide assistance with grant recipients’ needs for event planning and facility scheduling, budget management and guidance for projectleaders.
“Professional development, refers to any activity that provides further professional and life skills development in a broad range of areas that are relevant to the preparation of graduate students for their future career endeavors,” said Pat Sturko,Graduate School Associate Dean.
The range of topics covered is quite open, she said. Proposals could be for everything from a speaker at a brownbag luncheon to a workshop on balancing life and career commitments, and from a series of events on developing mentorship skills to a one-time presentation on building self-esteem.
“This opportunity and funding emanates directly from national and local imperatives,” said Howard Grimes, Dean of the Graduate School. “Essentially every national study conducted in the past five years provides a strong mandate to enrich the lives of graduate students in skills that extend past disciplinary boundaries.
An individual or a group of students may submit a proposal, but the grant must serve the professional development needs of a many—or all—WSU graduate students on campus.
Each successful grant will have a limit of $3,000 per proposal. The first grants will be awarded for fall semester 2008 and decisions will be announced in mid-March, said Sturko. Another round of grants for spring 2009 will have an Oct. 1 proposal deadline.
Details of the application process, forms, evaluation criteria, conditions of agreement and guidelines for the proposals are available on the Graduate School Web site at http://www.gradsch.wsu.edu/current-students/profdev/.