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).
  • 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.
  • Individual grants will not exceed $500
  • 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.
  • Timely and complete submission:

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). Applicants who receive funding from the Janet B. Royster Scholarship for the same opportunity are no longer eligible for the Forum’s Professional Development Grant.

The application includes details about the opportunity, a budget of expenses, and answers to the 3 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.)

    • How would this opportunity advance your professional goals?
    • For what other sources of funding have you applied? What, if any, support have you confirmed from those sources? (Please be sure to update Matt Banks (employeeforum[at]unc.edu) if you learn of additional funds after submitting your application.)
    • What professional growth opportunities have you participated in since joining the University?

Submission Guidelines 

  • Submission must be complete.
  • Click HERE for online application (preferred).   The general e-mail announcement for applications has gone out.  The application process is open.  Check your spam folders. 
  • Electronic application submission: employeeforum@unc.edu

  • Hard copy application submission: Contact Matt Banks (919.962.3779) or visit the Employee Forum office (134 East Franklin St. Room 207)

  • Application submission by fax (only accepted once general Forum notification e-mail has gone out to employees): 919.843.1843


Beginning in fiscal year 2017-2018,

  • Funds for the year will be divided equally between three application periods (see below), and applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis within each period.
  • Applicants may apply for funds during any submission window before and including the professional development opportunity.
  • Applications will be reviewed and applicants notified within 60 days.
  • Applicants who are not selected during their initial submission window may reapply for funds in the next cycle.

Submission Windows:

  • July 1- Nov 30
  • Dec 1- Mar 31
  • April 1- June 30

Requirements for Reimbursement:

  • Receipts must be turned in to the Employee Forum office within one week after the event. If submitting close to the end of the fiscal year, receipts must be turned in no later than May 31.

For questions concerning the application process, please contact the Employee Forum at employeeforum[at]unc.edu or by phone at 919.962.3779.

PDF application (only accepted once general Forum notification e-mail has gone out to employees):


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