Gary E. Smith Summer Professional Development Award


February 15 extended to April 1


This award is designed to support outstanding graduate and law students pursuing academic, professional development or training enrichment opportunities during the summer. The activity would provide unique opportunities not normally available as part of the degree program. Students should be aware of UO travel restrictions outlined at For any applications involving travel, students who are selected will be required to complete a travel waiver request after receiving notification of the award and before booking the travel. 

Award Details

  • Up to 5 students will be awarded $3,000 each
  • Funds will be disbursed to the students' billing accounts during Spring 2021

Eligibility and Criteria

  • Master's, doctoral, and law students

  • Demonstrated financial need for the proposed activity

  • Must be a full-time student during Winter 2021 and Spring 2021, and be continuing in Fall 2021

  • The proposed professional development or training enrichment activities must occur between June 1, 2021 and mid-September 2021

  • Due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions, students who wish use this award for travel will be required to complete a travel waiver request through the UO Travel Office before the travel occurs. Detailed instructions will be provided to students if they are selected for this award. 

  • Proposed activity should be related to the degree program, but not a requirement of it. Previously funded activities include:

    • ​Intensive language training not available at the UO
    • Training or seminars related to the use of specialized lab equipment
    • Unique performance techniques or new research methodologies
    • Field or career-specific instructor/facilitator training or certifications
  • Activities not eligible for funding include:

    • Academic work for UO credit
    • Field research data collection or activities that are part of the regular degree program
    • Travel to professional meetings/conferences to present research
    • Language training that is available at UO
    • Summer living expenses
    • Final writing of the dissertation or thesis


Applicants must apply online. The online application includes:

  • A statement of 1500 words or less summarizing your proposed summer professional development or training enrichment activities in relation to the degree program. The statement should explain why this is a unique opportunity and how it will enrich and complement your academic study.

  • Financial need statement:

    • Up to 250 words
    • No more than 1 page
    • Address your financial need in whatever terms you feel are most informative
  • A budget for the proposed summer activity

  • 2 letters of recommendation:

    • Enter recommenders' contact information on the application. They will receive an email with a link to upload their letters.
    • One letter from your primary faculty advisor
    • One letter from another UO faculty member​
    • The letters should characterize the student’s past academic achievements, evaluate the proposed summer activity, and describe how the activity will contribute to the student’s academic progress

Apply Now

For more information, please contact Jered Nagel.

Graduate Students with Financial Aid
Receiving this award may reduce your financial aid award. Please contact the Financial Aid Office prior to applying for this (and any other type of) support.

You may apply for this award regardless of immigration status or work eligibility.