The Employee Forum’s Professional Development Grant provides permanent University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill employees additional funding to help cover professional development opportunities.

The grant covers work-related education and training and can be used for conferences, certificates, non-credit classes, or similar instructional opportunities. In other words, it covers anything related to or contributing to the professional skills of the individual employee and not already covered by other resources at the University. Specifically, the grant is designed for expenses incurred prior to the opportunity (e.g., registration, materials, travel) that an employee’s department or other sources cannot cover. Courses for academic credit are not eligible for this grant but can be accessed through the University’s tuition waiver benefit.  (However, books and application expenses related to academic courses are now eligible for grant support.)

Full or part-time permanent SHRA or EHRA non-faculty employees are eligible for this grant. We encourage applicants to seek funding from departmental and/or unit sources, if available, prior to submitting this application. Additionally, there are a number of other university sources of support, such as Educational Programs though Benefits, HR’s Training offerings, and the Janet B. Royster Memorial Staff Scholarship Fund. Please exhaust these other options before applying for the Professional Development Grant.

Application Criteria 

  • Funding must be for individual benefit, relate to the employee’s position, and meet a professional development purpose (not departmental).
  • Applicants must indicate all other sources of funding they are pursuing and/or have already received (e.g., departmental funds, Employee Assistance Program, Janet B. Royster Scholarship, three tuition waivers/year, etc.).
  • Applicant may not have received a Professional Development Grant from the Employee Forum nor the Janet B. Royster staff scholarship from the Staff Assembly, for the same or a different opportunity, in the year prior to application.
  • Applicant must include their supervisor’s name and email address. We do not need your supervisor’s approval, and we will not contact your supervisor unless the Professional Development Grant account is audited.
  • Individual grants will not exceed $500.
  • Timely and complete submission:

The application includes details about the opportunity, a budget of expenses, and answers to the five (5) following questions. (We recommend that you draft and save your answers in a Word document and then cut and paste the answers into the application when you are ready to submit it.)

      1. Describe how this professional development opportunity is relevant to your career aspirations.
      2. Describe how this professional development opportunity is relevant to your current work duties.
      3. For what other sources of funding have you applied for this professional development opportunity?
      4. What other sources of funding have you received for this professional development opportunity? (Please be sure to update Matt Banks (employeeforum@unc.edu) if you learn of additional funds after submitting your application.)
      5. Please describe university activities in which you have been involved in the last 12 months.

Please note: Professional Development Grants are no longer processed on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to ensure all university employees have an equal chance to apply for this funding opportunity, the Education and Career Development Committee will review and score applications based on applicant answers to the questions in the application.

Submission Guidelines 

  • Only complete submissions will be considered.
  • Online application submissions are strongly preferred.  If you are unable to submit online, please use the following alternatives: 
    • Email a PDF copy of the completed application to employeeforum@unc.edu

    • Mail or hand deliver a hard copy of the completed application to Matt Banks in the Employee Forum office at 134 E. Franklin Street, Room 207, Campus Box 3488, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3488.

    • Fax the completed application to Matt Banks’ attention at 919.843.1843.
  • Applications will only be accepted during the submission period as noted below.


For the current submission period,

  • Applicants may apply for funds before or during the professional development opportunity.
  • Applications will be taken within the submission period (October 15-30, 2019).
  • Applications will be reviewed by the Education and Career Development Committee during the review period (November 1-14, 2019).
  • Applicants will be notified several days after the close of the review period (November 25, 2019)
  • All funds granted during this submission period must be spent between December 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020 and must be reimbursed by May 31, 2020..
  • Applicants who are not selected during this submission period may reapply for funds in the next submission period.

SUBMISSION PERIOD: October 15-30, 2019

REVIEW PERIOD: November 1-14, 2019



***If your professional development opportunity will occur after May 31, 2020, please do not apply in the current submission period. Instead, please apply for the next submission period. Additional details and specific deadlines about the next submission period will be shared on the website soon.***

Requirements for Reimbursement:

  • Receipts must be turned in to the Employee Forum office within five (5) business days after the event. If submitting close to the end of the fiscal year, receipts must be turned in no later than May 31, 2020.  If reimbursement materials are not submitted by May 31, 2020, Professional Development Grant funds are forfeited.

For questions concerning the application process, contact the Employee Forum at employeeforum@unc.edu or by phone at 919-962-3779.

Employee Forum Professional Development Grant Application (REVISED PDF) (Updated September 20, 2019)

Summer 2019 Recipients

Betty Ann MorganOffice of Sponsored ResearchNCURA Region III Annual Conference, Hollywood Beach, Florida
Richard Combs Jr.University Career ServicesSoACE Employer Relations Summit, Tampa FL
Ramsankar BasakRadiation OncologyASTRO Annual Meeting 2019, Chicago IL
Alyssa LaFaroOffice of Research CommunicationsScience Writers' Conference 2019, State College PA
Heather MinchewRomance StudiesNAFSA Region VII Conference 2019, Orlando FL
Catherine BarnesNCTraCSTextbooks for Clinical Research and Product Development Master's Program
Mary RosageUniversity Career ServicesNCACE Conference, Wilmington NC
Tiffany TempleITS Information Security OfficeISC2 CISSP Certification Exam
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