Professional Development Funding

Staff Senate is committed to helping staff members grow and improve their work skills and knowledge here at KU. Professional development is rewarding in that it builds employee confidence, increases job competency, expands access to industry professionals, and enhances potential for career growth.

Professional Development Committee

Application & Timelines

Applications will be reviewed continuously, and you can anticipate receiving feedback on your application within 5-7 business days. The allocation of awards depends on fund availability and operates on a first-come, first-served basis.
Apply for Funding

Appropriate Uses of this Fund

Here are some examples of opportunities funded in the past:

  • Conferences, workshops, and seminars, both on and off-campus, including registration fees and travel expenses (priority will be given to applicants presenting at conferences as opposed to solely attending)
  • Membership to professional organizations related to a staff member's current position
  • Funding for special projects, such as research and publication, related to a staff member's current position (e.g., conducting research or lab work specific to position)
  • Webinars
  • Certification exams that would enhance a staff member's employment
  • Registration fees that include a workbook
  • Departments may apply for the funds, given the purpose will be professional development. The preference would be for events that would benefit the entire department. This could include honoraria for speakers, materials such as books, or registration for webinars, among other things.

Other professional development opportunities will be reviewed. However, the following expenses are not eligible for funding:

  • Computer hardware
  • Training required by a department to fulfill one's position responsibilities
  • Pay for a KU employee as a speaker or a paid honoraria
  • Tuition, fees, and textbooks

Award Size

Awards range in size, with the maximum amount per award set at $1,000, with typical awards of $250-500.

If funding is awarded, recipients using the award for travel will be required to complete necessary KU travel forms prior to travel. Since this account uses endowment funds, the awardee must follow the Official University Business Travel policy and any state guidelines for travel.

Awardees will work with their department or Shared Service Center and University Governance on reimbursement. Awards cannot be provided if the event has taken place and expenses have already been paid.

This funding is meant to complement departmental funding. All applicants must ask their respective departments for funds, but are not required to secure them to be considered for Staff Senate reimbursement. Staff who are also graduate students must note whether they are eligible to receive funding from Graduate Studies.

Eligibility Requirements

All unclassified and support staff (UPS and USS), at both the Lawrence and Edwards campuses, represented by Staff Senate can apply to receive funding for professional development. This includes individuals appointed to regular positions, both full-time and part-time. Status is determined at the time of the submitted application.

  • Employees must have been employed by KU for at least 6 months in a staff capacity by the time of application.
  • Individuals with temporary appointments, as well as those on leave during the time of travel, are not eligible.
  • Preference will be given to first-time applicants, as well as applicants with no other funding sources.
  • An applicant can only be awarded funds once per fiscal year (July 1-June 30). Upon award, a recipient is ineligible for another award until the next fiscal year.

Application Requirements

A completed application includes:

  • Supporting documents (e.g., conference brochure, timeline of travel, information on registration fees, airfare, hotel rates, shuttle/taxi service, parking, meals, etc.).
  • Statement of support from supervisor confirming the opportunity is supported. The statement does not need to be lengthy; it can be one or two sentences (sent directly from supervisor via email to

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Additional details about required materials are in the application. Your application will be reviewed based on the required materials.

Applications will be reviewed by the committee on a rolling basis as they are received. You can expect to hear about your application within 5-7 business days.