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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 through 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.
  • 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 three (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.)

      1. Describe how this professional development opportunity will enhance or complement your current position.
      2. Describe how this professional development opportunity is relevant to your career aspirations.
      3. Please describe university activities in which you have been involved in the last 12 months outside of your primary job duties.

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 Leadership, Education, and Career Development Committee will review and score applications based on applicant answers to the questions in the application.

Submission Guidelines 


For the past submission period,

  • Applicants may apply for funds before or during the professional development opportunity.
  • Applications will be taken within the submission period (June 1 – June 30th, 2024).
  • Applications will be reviewed by the Leadership, Education, and Career Development Committee during the review period (July 1 – 15th, 2024).
  • Applicants will be notified several days after the close of the review period (July 22nd, 2024)
  • All awards funded during this submission period must be for activities occurring no earlier than June 20th, 2024 and no later than December 31st, 2024.
  • Applicants who are not selected during this submission period may reapply for funds in the next submission period.

SUBMISSION PERIOD: June 1 – June 30th, 2024

REVIEW PERIOD: July 1 – July 15th, 2024


AWARDS ONLY GIVEN FOR ACTIVITES OCCURING: June 20, 2024 – December 31st, 2024.

***If any portion of your professional development opportunity will occur after December 31st, 2024, please do not apply in the current submission period. Instead, please apply for the spring/summer submission period in early December. Additional details and specific deadlines about the next submission period will be shared on the website in the late spring.

Requirements for Processing Professional Development Grant Purchases:

  • In accordance with University purchasing policies, Professional Development Grant purchases will no longer be processed via campus voucher reimbursement.
  • For professional development activities related to travel or virtual conferences, Concur will be used to process the requests.
  • For professional development activities that involve textbooks or course preparation materials, a university supplied purchasing card should be used.
  • Additional details will be provided to applicants selected to receive funding.

For questions concerning the application process, contact the Employee Forum at

Winter 2023 Recipients

NameDepartmentDevelopment Opportunity
Larry Adams IIMedicine Administration, Finance Service CenterCPA Exam
Adebimpe AdefolajuSchool of Pharmacy - Eshelman Institute for InnovationSociety for NeuroOncology Conference
Nadia AlamoPsychiatryProject Management Professional Certification
Natalie AntenucciPsychology and Neuroscience2024 American Psychosomatic Society (Annual)
Liubov ArbeevaThurston Arthritis Research CenterOARSI 2024
Nathan BreitoMedicine Administration - Human ResourcesSPHR Certification
Gabby BrennanLineberger Comprehensive Cancer CenterACSM Annual Meeting
Allison BrittPsychiatry - ResearchSOCRA Certification
Tashas Cameron-WheelerUNC Kidney CenterACRP Conference
Mary Mac CollieUNC Kidney CenterManuscript Publication Fee for the article
Leslie deRossetMaternal & Child Health2024 Professional Certificate Program in Implementation Practice
Nidhi DesaiPsychology & NeuroscienceSociety for NeuroEconomics Conference
Victoria DoyleLineberger Comprehensive Cancer CenterCRA Certificate for Research Administration
Tehya DrummondPsychology & NeuroscienceSociety for Personality and Social Psychology
Tracy EldredGlobal Health & Infectious DiseaseMaximo Nivel Intensive Spanish Course
Julia HeinlyTEACCHAssociation for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Annual Conference
Roger HuamaniThurston Arthritis Research CenterCertified Clinical Research Coordinator (CRCC)
Prateek JainBiologyTAGC24
Alexa KatonSocial MedicineProject Management Professional (PMP) Certification Exam
Sara KelleyMedicine - NephrologyThe Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) Conference 2024
Bridgett KiernanTEACCHISITDBT Annual Conference, ABCT Annual Convention
Sarah LewisMedicine - Nephrology21st Int'l Vasculitis Workshop
Hayden LoebTEACCHGatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Ames LynchSocial MedicineUNC's 45th Annual Minority Health Conference
Ben McNuttArt - Art HistoryAdvancement in Photographic Techniques - Large Format Photography
Lauren RalphLineberger Comprehensive Cancer CenterQualification in Immunohistochemistry, QIHC
Veena ReddySocial Medicine2024 SGIM Annual Meeting
Sarah RiersonSchool of EducationUplift Conference for Women in Development
Tiffany TempleITS - Information SecurityWiCyS 2024 Annual Conference
Erin ValentineUNC Institute for the EnvironmentProject Management Professional Certification Exam
Melanie WhisnantCity & Regional Planning2024 Higher Education Accounting Forum
Jill WilhelmVice Provost for Global AffairsChief of Staff Association's Executive Education Programme at the Said Business School, Oxford Univ.

Spring 2023 Recipients

NameDepartmentDevelopment Opportunity
Naila Adams MorancieFamily MedicineThe Female Athlete Conference
Christina BerkowitzDevelopment Marketing & CommunicationsAdobe MAX: The Creativity Conference
Malvika ChoudhariOrthopedics-Pediatrics17th Int'l Congress on Early Onset Scoliosis (ICEOS)
Donna James-WhidbeeEmployee & Management RelationsSociety for HR Management Professional Certification & Membership
Liz KellyNC TraCSProject Management Professional Certification and Project Man. Institute
Erika ReddingSocial MedicineAnnual Public Health Association Annual Conference & Expo
Shruti Saxena BeemThurston Arthritis Research CenterAcademy of Clinical Research Professionals Project Management Certificate
Dina SikoraHussman School of Journalism & MediaBRIDGES Academic Leadership Program
Shivani SuratiClinical Trials Office - Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer CenterMCAT Prep - Magoosh
Victoria WatersFrank Porter Graham Child Development Institute2023 UNC TEACCH Autism Program Conference: Diversity in Autism
Hsui-Wen YangFrank Porter Graham Child Development InstituteClustered Randomized Trials Training
Bola YusufSocial MedicineAmerican Evaluation Association
Cat ZacharyMusic2023 HighEdWeb Annual Conference

Winter 2022 Recipients

RecipientDepartmentDevelopment Opportunity
Brianna AndersonSchool of MedicineHRCI HR Certification and Exam
Shayna BakerSchool of Information & Library ScienceProfessional Membership in NACADA
Todd BraswellOHRECIP-Certified IRB Professional Training
Amy CarolusPsychology & NeuroscienceSociety for Research in Child Development Conference
Madison DrushalGeneticsLab Animal Technician Certification
Amanda GentryDept of SurgeryCertification, Association of Clinical Research Professionals
Rhiannon GrovesSchool of MedicineCertification, SPHR Preparation
Amy HolwayEqual Opportunity & ComplianceConference, Association of Student Conduct Administrators
Courtney KellySocial MedicineCertification, Scrum Master (CSM)
Marlena KuhnSocial MedicineOnline Training, Learn SQL Basics for Data Science Specialization
Liz LewisTransforming Health and Resiliance in Veterans' ProgramMcKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy Lumbar Spine (Part A)
Val LucasCenter for Heatlh Equity ResearchFunding for APHA Membership
Sarah MarshburnExercise & Sport ScienceTraining, Certified Brain Injury Specialist
Neal McTigheKenan Flagler Business School SBTDC Regional ServiceCertification, Excel Specialist in Accounting Certificate Program
Vanessa PerrySchool of MedicineCertification: Society for Human Resource Management Professional Certification
Moira RogersOffice of Global Health EducationTraining, Ancestral Healing Course: Revitalizing Roots and Connecting with the Soul of Humanity
Siarra ScottInjury Prevention Research CenterOnline Education: Essential Spanish Intensive Course
Bailey ScribnerCarolina HousingConference: 2023 NASPA Annual
Aislinn SpainNC Botanical GardenCertification: Society for Human Resource Management Professional Certification
Shelly TerryOffice of Trademarks and LicensingSports Business Journal Intercollegiate Athletics Forum
Erin VilleneuveStudy AbroadConference: 2023 NASPA Regional

Spring 2022 Recipients

RecipientDepartmentDevelopment Opportunity
Natalie AntenucciPsychology & NeurosciencePhlebotomy Training
Angela BittnerDiagnostic SciencesNational Society of Histotechnology Enhanced Education Membership
Rhoda CernyEnvironmental Sciences and EngineeringNorth Carolina Writer's Network Fall Conference
Thomas GehrmannLinberger Comprehensive Cancer membership and Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam Certification
Jennifer McBrideGeneral Pediatrics & Adolescent MedicinePath 713: Mechanism of Disease
Andrej MilicSchool of LawFlorida Bar Leadership Academy Class X
Elizabeth PoindexterThe Graduate SchoolPublic Relations Society of America (PRSA) Crisis Communication Certificate Program
Judy PrasadKickStart Venture ServicesThe Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals membership & handbook
Susse ToroITS - Customer ExperienceITIL Foundation Certification
Holly ShepherdBiochemistry and BiophysicsIndependent Educational Consultant Association (IECA) Summer Institute
Alyson WestHighway Safety Research CenterNavigate Difficult Conversations

Winter 2021 Recipients

RecipientDepartmentDevelopment Opportunity
Erin BenderPsychology & NeuroscienceSociety for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Conference
Amy CarolusPsychology & NeuroscienceSociety for Affective Science Conference 2022
Sandra ChandlerMBA Career ServicesCertified Veteran Career Strategist
Lauren DuncanLinberger Comprehensive Cancer CenterTextbooks for Master's in Public Administration
Kathryn GarrisiPsychology & NeuroscienceSociety for Research on Adolescence (SRA) Biennial Meeting
Valerie GlassmanClinical Support Division, School of NursingAssociation for Student Conduct Administration Annual Conference
Tawanda HarveyCWHRCCRP Certification
Devon MinchEmergency MedicineThe 8th Annual Southeastern School Behavioral Health Conference
Steven NiezgodaSchool of Medicine AdministrationRecording of American Immigration Lawyers Association Fall 2021 Conference
Allyse PollyKenan Institute of Private EnterpriseManaging Economic Development Organizations
Victoria SepulvedaMicrobiology & ImmunologyMid-Atlantic Microbial Pathogenesis Meeting (MAMPM)
Jennifer WashingtonEnglish & Comparative LiteratureUNCW Education Leadership Graduate Program
Jessica WilkinsonKenan Institute of Private EnterpriseCommunity Development Academy

Summer 2021 Recipients

RecipientDepartmentDevelopment Opportunity
Logan BrackettBiologyeCornell Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion
Chelsea CochraneAcademic AdvisingNACE Conference Registration
Amy ColeInformation Technology, School of MedicineSummer School Book Purchases
Carolyn FrybergerKenan Institute of Private EnterpriseEconomic Development Finance Programs
Maureen FurlongTraCS InstituteInternational Association of Clinical Research Nurses
Matthew GlassmanResearch Information SystemsAWS Cloud Practitioner Learning Path, Exam & MS
Lisa LuoSchool of Social WorkTalking with Pictures: Photovoice - June 2021
Amber MeadsMedicine Administration - FinanceNCURA Annual Meeting
Kate ThiedaAdams School of Dentistry Academic AffairsStudent Affairs in Higher Education Certificate (books & application fee)
Ruben WatsonUniversity DevelopmentNational College Attainment Network

Winter 2020 Recipients

RecipientDepartmentDevelopment Opportunity
Allie BartonAcademic AdvisingProfessional Master of Science in Digital Curation and Management
Joshua BorfitzAthletics, Business OfficeBecker CPA CPE Membership
Savannah BowersLineberger Comprehensive Cancer CenterCRC Certification Exam Fee (Association of Clinical Research Professionals)
Michael ClamannHighway Safety ResearchBoard of Certification in Professional Ergonomics
Victoria DoyleLineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center-Computational MedicineService Management Foundation ITIL
Leslie deRossetFrank Porter Graham Child Development InstituteProfessional Grant Proposal Writing Workshop
Alicia FreemanStudent Affairs - Student WellnessNASPA Conference
Amy HolwayStudent Affairs, Student ConductAssociation of Student Conduct Administrators (ASCA) annual conference and membership
Akib KhanIEED - Innovate CarolinaSalesforce Training - Administrator and App Builder
Nadia KorobovaKenan-Flagler Business SchoolConducting Cross Cultural Surveys Course and North Carolina Career Development Association (NCCDA) annual conference "New Beginnings: Going Boldly Forward"
Laura Pinto-CoelhoExecutive Director's Office, ArtsCertificate in Nonprofit Management
Judy PrasadIEED - Kickstartbiotech Primer Online Training
Janna StarrNC Botanical GardenISSP Sustainability Associate certification
Kristen SimpsonAthletics - Women's GolfTPI Golf Level 2 Certification
Melissa WalterNutritionCulinary Genomics Certificate Program

Summer 2020 Recipients

Christy BaldridgePurchasing ServicesProject Management Professional certification exam and PMI membership
Catherine BarnesNC TraCSTextbooks for Clinical Research and Product Development Graduate Program
Betsy BusaldCarolina Performing ArtsLilly School of Philanthropy Course Principles and Techniques of Fundraising
Liz CrowleyOffice of Sponsored Research2020 Data Matters - Data Science Short Course Series
Jay EasonCollege of Arts & SciencesDoctor of Education: Organizational Leadership Higher Education: Dissertation Continuation Course
Donna James-WhidbeeEmployee & Management RelationsSHRM Membership
Sandra Lazo del la VegaCity & Regional PlanningLeadership Fundamentals - Center for Creative Leadership
Brianna MariniMed Admin---Human ResourcesSenior Professional in Human Resources Certification
Adam ShirleyAllied Health ServicesStrategic Planning Management 5750-850
Jessica WilkinsonFrank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private EnterpriseBasic Economic Development

Winter 2019 Recipients

Katie BeckerSchool of Law, Clinical ProgramsWeek-long Border Immersion, Douglas AZ
Stephan IannottaAthletic Event ManagementNational Intercollegiate Athletics Safety and Security Summit, Columbus OH
Cherrelle LawrenceKenan-Flagler Undergraduate Business Program2019 Annual SoACE Conference, Memphis TN
Amber Lennon-HarmonKenan-Flagler Undergraduate Business Program2019 Annual SoACE Conference, Memphis TN
Rachel ManorCampus Health Sports Medicine36th Annual Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN) Symposium, Revolutionizing Performance Nutrition, Boston MA
Theresa McKireHousingSoutheastern Association of Housing Officers, Louisville KY
Laura MindlinNC Botanical GardenCommunity Food Systems Conference, Savannah GA
Tania OsbornApplied Physical SciencesSRA: A Walk-Through of NIH Awards with Workshops on Export Controls and NIH Training Grants, Chapel Hill NC
Kristen PolzienLineberger Comprehensive Cancer CenterKoru Mindfulness Teacher Certification
Elizabeth PugliesePsychiatryMasters of Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Roopali ShrivastavaBiomedical EngineeringNICHD Contraceptive Development Meeting, Houston TX
Ruben WatsonUniversity Development OfficeCASE District III Conference, Orlando FL

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