Skip to main content

Graduate Student Organization

The Graduate Student Organization (GSO) is committed to representing and supporting the interests of all current and prospective graduate students at Georgia Southern University. The GSO seeks to support scholarly activities and professional development, as well as promote social opportunities for graduate students. All currently enrolled graduate students are members of the GSO.

The GSO council consists of members from the graduate student body representing all colleges on the University’s campus. The council, the main governing body of the GSO, oversees the administration and awarding of research and travel grants and helps organize social events and professional development opportunities for graduate students.

Mailing Address
Graduate Student Organization
Georgia Southern University
Post Office Box 8008
Statesboro, Georgia 30460-8008

Contact Information
Office Phone: (912) 478-0851
Fax Number: (912) 478-0605


RebeccaScott_GSORebecca Scott
College of Science and Mathematics
Kim Iannacone
Vice President
College of Education
Amanda Gross
Secretary & Social Committee
Jiann Ping Sue College of Public Health
Katie Slusher
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Anne Odusanya, MPH, CPH
Social Committee
Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health
Gabrielle L. Lory 
Social Committee
College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
Emily Lewis
Council Member
College of Education
Ann Herrin
Council Member
Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health
Courtney Smith
Council Member
College of Education
Matt Miceli
Council Member
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Morgan Emter
Council Member
College of Health and Human Sciences
Elizabeth Hamilton
Council Member
College of Education
Chase Kinsey
Council Member
College of Science and Mathematics
Hunter Walsh
Council Member
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Kristie Waterfield
Council Member
Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health
Thresa (2)C. Thresa Yancey, Ph.D.
Faculty Advisor
Department of Psychology


 Not Photographed:
Ebony Turner
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Kayla Anderson
College of Science and Mathematics





Fall 2017-Spring 2018

Fall 2016-Spring 2017

                    GSO poster

Due Dates:


Fall 2017 Deadlines – September 18, 2017 by 5pm and November 15, 2017 by 5pm EST
Spring 2018 Deadlines – February 15, 2018 by 5 EST and April 1, 2018 by 5pm EST*

The application portal will be open two weeks prior to the submission deadline.

*This is the final deadline for the academic year. All requests for summer funding must be received by this date.

This is a competitive professional development exercise. Awards are NOT guaranteed. They are based entirely on merit and the applicant’s ability to present, in writing, the requirements for the funding opportunity.

Failure to follow directions and formatting guidelines will result in an automatic rejection of your grant proposal submission.

Summary of Graduate Student Professional Development Fund

The Graduate Student Professional Development Fund (GSPDF) is a competitive funding opportunity for graduate students at Georgia Southern University (GS) managed by the Graduate Student Organization (GSO). This grant is designed to financially support students in travel to program-related events and in thesis or dissertation-related research while attending GS. Funding is awarded first and foremost on merit. Applicants must demonstrate, in writing, how the opportunity will further growth in their chosen discipline and as a professional in their field. Funding for this opportunity comes from the GSO operating budget for the fiscal year (July-June). Limited funds are available and are awarded in two categories: Research and Travel.

There are two funding deadlines per semester in the academic year: September 15th, November 15th, February 15th, and April 1st. All funding submissions end at 5:00 PM EST the day of the deadline. Only one award per student per semester will be made. In an academic year, a student may only be awarded one research and one travel grant. Separate proposals must be submitted for research and travel grants. Submissions may be made by individuals only; no group submissions are accepted. All submitted grants must be novel and entirely separate from any other grants prior or present.

Research Grant Proposals

Items Funded (including but not limited to): Research related materials, supplies, travel (e.g., mileage to and from research site), etc. Maximum award: $850.00 (Masters candidates) or $1000.00 (Doctoral and Specialist candidates). Research grant proposals should be written to highlight the merits of the proposed research with respect to the student, the discipline, the university, and society.

Travel Grant Proposals

Application for travel grants must be submitted no earlier than the semester before or no later than the semester after the travel event. If travel occurs during the summer, applications will be accepted during the spring and fall for the same year that travel occurs. Items Funded (including but not limited to): Travel related expenses to conferences or other program related events (e.g. mileage, airfare, conference fees). Maximum award: $625.00 (Masters candidates) or $850.00 (Doctoral and Specialist candidates). Travel grant proposals should be written to highlight the merits of the proposed travel with respect to the student, the discipline, the university, and society.

Eligibility Information

Eligible GSPDF applicants are:

  1. Currently enrolled as a full-time and degree-seeking student
  2. Program of study must be for a masters, specialist, or doctoral degree.

Application Package Guidelines

The GSO must receive the completed online application package by the posted submission deadline. Each submission should be written and edited at a graduate level. Students should work closely with their advisor or major professor to devise a project budget and prepare materials for submission. Students must submit independent and unique proposals even if attending the same conference or doing the same research as another student or colleague. Any proposal containing plagiarized material, including submissions of previous proposals, will be automatically rejected and will result in the student’s inability to be considered for any future GSPDF grants.

For more details on the guidelines listed below, view this presentation here.

Proposal Components

  1. Online GSPDF Application
  2. Narrative
  3. Budget Worksheet
  4. Budget Request Form
  5. Supplies, Minor Equipment, Instrumentation, and Facilities (if applicable)
  6. Student Request for Authority to Travel Form (if applicable)
  7. Human Subjects and Animal Use Form (if applicable)
  8. References


Marking Proprietary Information

To the extent permitted by law, the University will not release properly identified and marked technical or proprietary data. If the proposal contains proprietary information, clearly mark this information within the proposal with an asterisk at the beginning and end of the proprietary paragraph. Utilize a legend if necessary. An entire proposal should not be marked proprietary. 

Item 1. Online GSPDF Application

Students should use their username and password to gain access. The proposal, budget justification, and references should be copied and pasted into the corresponding sections of the GSPDF application. This form will contain all of your required materials and will be submitted electronically to finalize the process.

Item 2. Narrative

Failure to follow directions and formatting guidelines will result in an automatic rejection of your grant proposal submission.

1.Applicants should NOT include personal identifying information in their application (this includes references to your program director, faculty advisor, program faculty, etc.). All submissions are subject to blind review by the council.

2. Narrative may not exceed 800 words.

3. 12-point readable font.

4. Include the following sections, as applicable, with the appropriate content within each section. Include the headings (listed below) for each section.

      Provide a summary of your research project or travel. Include all pertinent background information to properly introduce the travel event or research topic. Reminder: Your audience comes from a diverse group of graduate students, please write accordingly.
      Provide the goal(s) of the proposed research or travel, hypotheses (if presenting or conducting research), and your expectations of the research or travel when applicable. If you are presenting during your travel, please give a brief description of your presentation.
      State why this research or travel is important to the greater community and how it contributes a deeper understanding of the proposed subject matter.
    • PROCEDURES/METHODS (Research Proposals ONLY)
      Briefly outline the methodology and/or techniques that will be used to successfully conduct your research.
      Include a schedule in table format outlining key components of your research or travel.

Research: Include expected landmark dates, time frames, and goals.
Travel: Include a link to the entire conference itinerary and a provisional personal schedule of events to be attended. If no schedule is presently available, state that one is not available and include your departure and return dates.

Item 3. Budget Justification

Provide rationale in paragraph form for all items outlined within the budget. Explain in detail the need for each item in order to attain the project or travel objective(s) and reflect the current cost of each item (these costs should match your budget worksheet). If traveling to a conference, reference the conference website for associated costs. If requesting per diem (e.g. meals, lodging, mileage) reference the official per diem reimbursement rates from the U.S. General Services Administration website.

Budgets must be contained within a single fiscal year and expenditures must be made within the fiscal year (July-June). Research funds can be used over the course of the fiscal year awarded. Original travel expense receipts and final travel report must be received within 14 business days after the requested travel dates (see below). All budgets and transactions must comply with Georgia Southern University expenditure policies. Reimbursement will be limited to the items on the original accepted budget. Any modifications to the original budget must be submitted to and approved by the GSPDF Committee. Please keep in mind that the Maximum Research award is $850.00 (Masters candidates) or $1000.00 (Doctoral and Specialist candidates); and the Maximum Travel award is $625.00 (Masters candidates) or $850.00 (Doctoral and Specialist candidates).  

For help understanding how to calculate the correct GSA per diem rates, use this “Per Diem Tool.”

Allowable Costs (including but not limited to):

  • Meals and Lodging – Original meal receipts and a hotel receipt with grant recipient’s name on it must be included. These costs will be determined by the national per diem rate found U.S. General Services Administration website (GSA).
  • Airfare – Only coach class will be reimbursed. A receipt copy will be sufficient.
  • Mileage – This will be reimbursed based on the current, state-approved mileage reimbursement rate. Only the person owning the vehicle will be awarded funds. The appropriate GSA per diem travel rates can be found here. Please note that travel costs are different if you are driving a personally owned vehicle or a government owned vehicle. DO NOT submit the cost of gas, only submit the GSA per diem mileage rates.
  • Parking and Tolls – Original receipts are required for reimbursement. Use only low-cost long-term parking.
  • Car Rental –This will only be approved if commercial transportation is not available or is more expensive.
  • Conference Registration Fees
  • Stationary, Supplies, and Duplicating Services

Unallowable Costs (including but not limited to):

  • Hotel services – Such as laundry, valet services, safes, etc.
  • Association Membership fees
  • Personal telephone calls
  • Entertainment
  • Alcohol
  • Electronics
  • Gasoline reimbursement

Item 4. Budget Worksheet

Complete the itemized budget request form located here. Do not include any identifying information in your worksheet. Do not save your the budget worksheet file with your name on it.  

Item 5. Supplies, Minor Equipment, Instrumentation, and Facilities (if applicable)

Funding to support research costs may be requested when costs are not already budgeted and accounted for within other funding sources, such as departmental budget or external grants/contracts of the faculty advisor. In most cases, limited funding precludes the purchase of computers or basic computer equipment or software. For requests involving instrumentation and equipment, provide a description that specifies the availability and location of existing equipment, instrumentation, and physical facilities necessary to complete the research and provide a justification for why current University facilities are inadequate.

Requests must justify the need for equipment and instrumentation in reaching the objective/goals of the student’s project and how it is essential in meeting the student’s research agenda. If research equipment is requested, please provide an instrument manufacture quote, as well as estimates for the continuing costs to operate and maintain the equipment and how these costs are to be covered. All equipment will remain property of Georgia Southern.

Item 6. Human Subjects and Animal Use Form (if applicable)

If you need human subject approval, via the Institutional Review Board (IRB), or animal use approval, via the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), you must include documentation. If IRB approval has not been received at the time of submission, there must be a plan for such approval described within the proposal. If the proposal is funded, approval must be secured before funds are disbursed to the awardee.

Forms are located here.

Item 7. References

Provide a comprehensive listing of relevant references for research and travel grant proposals. All borrowed material included in the proposal should contain a citation to the source. Please ensure all content in your proposal is cited in text and within the Reference section of the application. Plagiarized material will be automatically rejected and will result in the student’s inability to be considered for any future GSPDF grants.

Submission Instructions

All submissions are electronic. The applicant should ensure that they have completed, to the specifications laid out above, their application package. Once the application is complete the student must log on to the GSO website in order to submit a GSPDF proposal. Students should use their mygsu username and password to gain access. The completion of the online form will require the input of all application materials. Finalize your submission by selecting the submit button.

Review Criteria

Proposals are forwarded to the GSPDF Committee for review if they meet proposal preparation requirements as described above. Failure to adhere to the formatting outlined in the guidelines will result in a rejected proposal. Each proposal meeting all guideline criteria is reviewed by the committee and scored according to a grading rubric. The GSPDF Committee may recommend full funding or no funding. All submitted grant proposals must be novel and entirely separate from any other proposal. Reviewer comments will be provided for applicants following the determination of award. We encourage those with rejected proposals to resubmit to future funding rounds.

Award Administration

Awards are given in two formats: lump sum and reimbursements. Travel awards are given as a lump sum. Research awards may be given as a reimbursement for purchases or students may elect to work with the Director of Graduate Student Services to make purchases. In either case, all purchases must be vetted and approved by the Director of Graduate Student Services prior to purchases being made and all funds must be spent by May 1st so that they are allocated in the current fiscal year. Failure to spend requested funds will result in a loss of those funds. All receipts must be scanned and submitted to the College of Graduate Studies as well as a one-page narrative of the experience no later than 14 business days after the travel or research has been completed (based on the submitted timeline).

Notification of the Award

Applicants will be notified of an award or denial via a formal letter via email from the GSO. Every effort is made to notify applicants of award decisions within 10 business days of the submission deadline.

Award Conditions

Students awarded a GSPDF award must submit a comprehensive final report (minimum of 1 page) within 14 business days of the conclusion of the travel or research. The final report should provide information on activities and findings and the effects on the student’s educational and professional life. Failure to submit this report will result in the inability to receive reimbursements or future funding.

Only budgeted and allowable costs may be incurred. Requests to alter the scope of work or to re-budget costs are strongly discouraged and must be presented in writing to the GSPDF committee. There is no guarantee that awardee requests for alterations in scope of work or budgets will be allowed.

For students traveling with GSPDF funding, receipts of travel and final travel report are due no later than 14 business days after the conclusion of travel.

For students conducting research with GSPDF funding, all receipts are due on or before the 1st Friday of June. Any funding not used in the fiscal year in which it was awarded will be forfeited. Any and all supplies, consumables, equipment or other goods purchased under the GSPDF remain the property of Georgia Southern University to be retained and inventoried by the student’s home department.

GSPDF awarded presentations and publications should have the funding source acknowledged.

If you receive a grant related to international travel, you must complete the request for Authority to Travel form located here. No awarded funds will be dispersed until this form is received by the College of Graduate Studies. Research proposals that are requesting funds to travel should submit this form as well. Please secure all signatures and submit the Authority to Travel form to COGS.

Last updated: 10/11/2017