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  The Graduate Student Congress (GSC) provides awards to University of Kentucky graduate and professional students to attend conferences, conduct research, engage in professional development, and purchase or rent graduation regalia. We do not place specific restrictions on the types of research, conferences, or professional development that we will fund. Successful applicants should be able to make a strong case for how their proposed research, conference, or professional development will contribute to their personal and professional growth. Due to the competitive nature of the awards, and our desire to fund as many students as possible, applicants are only eligible for funding once for each type of award per academic year. 

     Any questions please contact GSC Awards chairs Faraneh Fathi  or Mounica Talasila

Awards for individuals

Conference Awards: this GSC Award will fund up to $18,000 for expenses related to attending an academic conference that occurs within 90 (+/-) days of the cycle deadline. A total of 45 individual awards up to $400 each will be given throughout the academic year. Successful applications make a strong case for the importance of attending the specific academic conference, demonstrate financial need and efforts to secure additional funding, and clearly describe the work to be presented. Although it is not required that applicants present their work, priority will be given to those that do. Applicants will also be required to provide an itemized budget for the requested funds. 

December 2023 Regalia Rental Application 

Please submit the following questions to apply for the FREE regalia rental program. The application window is open until December 10th; however, we will inform awardees on a rolling basis. Due to limited availability of regalia for each college and degree, regalia will be rented out on a first come- first serve basis.

Please note, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) regalia is unavailable at this time. Rentals are available through the UK Bookstore: If the online rental page is closed, you must talk directly with bookstore staff to purchase a late rental. If you have any questions, please contact

Awards for Graduate and Professional Student Organization (GPSO)

  1. Professional Development Awards- For GPSOs: this GSC Award will fund up to $400 for expenses related to hosting a professional development workshop or event by GPSOs each round. Award winner GPSO will receive up to $200 for the event. Successful applicants make a strong case for the importance of attending the specific professional development workshop and event, demonstrate financial need and efforts to secure additional funding, and clearly describe the skill(s) to be learned. Applicants will also be required to provide an itemized budget for the requested funds. 
  2. GPSO funding

GALA Awards (on hold)

2023 - 2024 Award Deadlines

To provide for timely review of applications, the GSC has set the following award review cycles for the 2022 - 2023 academic year (Note: these deadlines are subject to change at any time.):  


DEADLINE (11:59 P.M.)


October 12th, 2023


November 16th, 2023


February 8th, 2024


March 7th, 2024


April 11th, 2024

 2022 - 2023 Award Winners (updated to round 4) here.  

Application Procedure and Review Process

  The GSC supports the sustainability initiative at the University of Kentucky to eliminate paper applications. Please complete the electronic applications below. Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) on the deadline date to be considered. All subsequent communication with applicants will be conducted via email. No physical copies of any materials will be accepted. 

   Following each cycle’s deadline, the GSC Awards Committee Chair reviews and prepares all applications. S/he then provides them to the GSC Awards Committee for review. The committee reviews the applications and scores each application based on whether they meet specific criteria (mentioned below) *. Each application is scored by at least three members of the committee for an average score. After the committee members submit their evaluation scores, a cutoff score is generated based on the number of applications and the amount of funds available. The GSC Awards Committee Chair then assigns each application meeting the cutoff score a random number and then uses a random number generator to select the allowed number of recipients for that round. Next, the GSC Awards Committee Chair presents the selections to the GSC Awards Committee at the next monthly meeting for their approval. A simple majority of the Awards Committee is needed to confirm the recipients. 

    Funding decisions are then communicated to the applicants by the GSC Awards Committee Chair. Depending on the date of receipt of the application and the total number of applications submitted that cycle, it may take up to six (6) weeks to receive a funding decision. Students that do not receive funding may reapply during a later award cycle.  

*Except for applications for Graduation Regalia Awards, which as previously described, are selected based solely on a random number lottery drawing.