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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 is relevant to 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 typical 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 Education and Career Development Committee will review and score applications based on applicant answers to the questions in the application.

Due to university restrictions related to COVID-19, international travel is restricted and will not be awarded during the fall 2021 application cycle. Applications for domestic travel will be considered.

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 alternative: 
  • 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 (November 1-14, 2021).
  • Applications will be reviewed by the Education and Career Development Committee during the review period (November 15-24, 2021).
  • Applicants will be notified several days after the close of the review period (November 26-December 1, 2021)
  • All funds granted during this submission period must be spent between November 1, 2021 and May 10, 2022 must be reimbursed by May 10, 2022.
  • Applicants who are not selected during this submission period may reapply for funds in the next submission period.

SUBMISSION PERIOD: November 1-14, 2021

REVIEW PERIOD: November 15-24, 2021

EXPECTED NOTIFICATION: November 26-December 1st, 2021


***If your professional development opportunity will occur after May 10, 2022, 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:

  • Reimbursement and/or travel arrangements will occur using the University’s Concur travel system. Details about how to use this system will be provided to grant recipients.
  • Receipts must be emailed to within five (5) business days after the event. Receipts must be turned in no later than May 10, 2022.  If reimbursement materials are not submitted by May 10, 2022, Professional Development Grant funds are forfeited.

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

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
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