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Rackham Professional Development Grants

A Rackham Professional Development Grant is intended to support Rackham doctoral students seeking careers both within and outside academia. This funding is to support short-term experiences that promote the development of professional skills which will further a student’s career goals.

The Rackham Professional Development Grant cannot be combined with the Rackham Conference Travel Grant or Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant.

Areas May Include

  • Presentation skills
  • Developing, organizing, or managing a business
  • Management skills
  • Leadership
  • Translating academic skills into non-academic careers.

For questions regarding activities that may qualify for support by a Rackham Professional Grant, contact the Rackham Office of Financial Aid and Fellowships.


Doctoral students enrolled in a Rackham graduate program and in good academic standing are eligible to apply. Rackham Professional Development Grants may not be used for licensure or membership fees for professional societies, for travel to a professional meeting (see Rackham Conference Travel Grant), or for specific technical training associated with a student’s research. A student may receive only one Rackham Professional Development Grant during his or her graduate program.

Requests to reimburse prior professional development activities will not be considered.


Ongoing. Complete applications, including the faculty advisor’s letter of support, must be received prior to the professional development activity.

Applications must be received at least four (4) weeks prior to when the funding is required. Please allow two (2) weeks of processing time.

Award Description

Students may request up to $400 for each Professional Development Grant. These grants may be used to, for example, pay the registration fee for a workshop or defray the cost of travel to a professional development workshop.

Please contact the Rackham Office of Finance and Fellowships if you have any questions regarding allowable expenses.

For students who qualify for need-based financial aid (including the child care subsidy), receipt of this Rackham award may reduce the original loan amount or subsidy. Please contact the U-M Office of Financial Aid for help evaluating your individual circumstances.

Application Process

Visit the Rackham Professional Development Grant application site and submit the following:

  • A brief description of the professional development activity.
  • A narrative, no less than half a page, which describes the rationale for attending the professional development activity and the importance to one’s career goals.
  • A list of the specific expenses covered by the award.

Apply for a Rackham Professional Development Grant