Professional Development Support Funds


 We recognize that some training experiences and research projects do not require travel and do not risk violating public health guidelines on social distancing. Therefore, LGS is resuming the PDS application portal for non-competitive training and research proposals. Emory continues to prohibit all university-sponsored international and domestic travel, and therefore conference applications will not resume at this time. 

 The following are examples of eligible training and research applications: 

  • Language translation services  
  • Remote access to online archives or electronic databases 
  • Interview transcription 
  • Online pilot studies/experiments (like M-Turk) 
  • Online language courses not taught at Emory 
  • Cloud computing time or cloud storage  
  • Training programs offered in a remote format 

Complete the non-competitive Training or Research form and submit the PDS application as you normally would online by April 27. Applications submitted in the prior cycles (February 24 and March 20 deadlines) do not need to be resubmitted. Approved Training and Research applications will count toward students’ PDS limits.

Deadline: April 27 

Notification Date: May 18 

COVID-19 Update: PDS Reimbursement for Conferences that are canceled due to Coronavirus

We understand that many organizers are canceling meetings due to COVID-19. Students who have applied to use the Laney Graduate School’s Professional Development Support funds to attend these meetings will be reimbursed through the normal PDS process. As usual, please submit a PDS Report to your program administrator so that they may update the CollegeNET Admit system with the accurate reimbursement amount. Keep all documentation related to meeting/travel expenses.

We ask students to make a good-faith effort to work with meeting organizers and travel agencies to try to recover any fees before submitting for PDS reimbursement. Most meeting organizers are working cooperatively to ensure that participants can recover expenses that are lost due to cancelations. Fees that are not recovered in this manner will be repaid through the normal PDS reimbursement process. We are committed to resolving these circumstances and are working to ensure that such expenses that are paid out through PDS for canceled conferences do not affect students’ PDS limits.

We ask that students affected by this situation are patient. If you have any questions, please contact



At the Laney Graduate School, we support and encourage students who need to acquire specialized research skills by traveling to other locations, and who seek to present their research at significant professional conferences.  One way we do this is through the Professional Development Support Funds program, or PDS.

PDS Handbook

The PDS Handbook is your essential guide to pds procedures and policies.

PDS Handbook

PDS funds are designated for LGS doctoral students and are allocated in three separate categories: Training, Research, and Conferences.

Broadly speaking, PDS funds are important on two fronts:

  1. Helping students prepare to apply for funding from external agencies; and
  2. Helping students acquire training pertinent to their degree not offered at Emory, conduct research for their dissertations and research projects, and network and present at conferences.

Students are eligible for $2,500 in the three categories of training, research, and conferences. Funds are not guaranteed, but are subject to application and review. Additionally, for training and research, students may also apply for more than the $2,500 through a competitive process that, like many grants and fellowships, involves committee review.