Professional Development Scholarship Spring 2021



In keeping with the highest ideals of the EGSC, the Professional Development Scholarship Program is awarded to outstanding graduate students in the Columbia University Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) as a means of defraying costs associated with their professional endeavors. Past recipients have used the Scholarship to fund memberships to professional societies, certification exam fees, and the costs of attending academic or professional conferences. Those chosen as EGSC Professional Development Scholars are expected to make a broader impact on the larger Columbia Engineering community by sharing their knowledge and experience.


SPRING APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, February 5th, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT

Fall 2020Spring 2020Fall 2019Summer 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2018


Applicants may request up to $1,000 per application. The final award amount and the number of awards per semester will be decided by the evaluating committee. Any unused funds are non-transferable and may not be used for expenses unrelated to those explicitly stated in the funded application. Please note that original receipts and proof of acceptance/attendance (if applicable) are required in order to be eligible for reimbursement.  


Applications submitted to this scholarship program will be subject to panel review and evaluated holistically for completion of the two major components: accuracy of the application and anticipated benefit of the program. The application form differs for Masters and Doctoral (MS leading to Ph.D., Ph.D., MD/Ph.D., EngScD) students, and applications are evaluated only amongst those of the same final degree type.

The review panel will consist of members representing different governing bodies at SEAS, namely the Office of Graduate Student Affairs and the EGSC Executive Board. Applicants will receive scholarship decisions via email within 10 business days of the submission deadline. In case of questions, read the FAQ below or contact Aimee Moses:


Please note that the Masters' application needs a Faculty Recommendation Form, found here. The recommending faculty member must be affiliated with SEAS. This person may be the applicant's faculty advisor, research PI, a professor in the field of the proposed program, etc. It is the applicant's responsibility to obtain the faculty member's recommendation on time and submit the application before the deadline.  


This award carries no citizenship requirements. Eligible applicants must be current SEAS graduate students (MS, MS leading to PhD, PhD, MD/PhD, EngScD) and in good academic standing, NOT necessarily full time. If a student's program involves more than one school, they must be enrolled in course(s) at SEAS or pay tuition to SEAS during the semester at the time of application.

Current members of the EGSC Executive Board and the University Senator are NOT eligible to receive this funding during their tenure.

Applicants are limited to one scholarship per academic year (an academic year is from September to August of the next calendar year). Applicants found to be submitting expenses in duplicate to other funding programs for reimbursement may be disqualified and no longer eligible for funding in subsequent semesters and years. To safeguard against this, all Doctoral applicants must include their PI's email.

ONLY APPLY FOR PROGRAMS OCCURRING DURING THE SMESTER OF SPRING 2021. Applications can be submitted in anticipation of upcoming expenses or already incurred expenses as the award is distributed through reimbursement. For programs occurring January 1st through May 31st, applications should be submitted by the Spring funding deadline.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please send any questions about the application to the EGSC Treasurer,  Sylvie Qiang:


Q: I am a Masters student. Will my application be compared to those of PhD students?

A: No. The application form differs for Masters and Doctoral (MS leading to PhD, PhD, MD/PhD, EngScD) students, and applications are evaluated amongst applications of the same degree type. Furthermore, there is no set award quota. Applications are evaluated holistically for completion of the two major components: accuracy of the application and anticipated benefit of the program. The scholarship will go to all applications that the review panel believes fulfills these requirements well.

Q: How do I prove that I am in good academic standing?

A: For details, please visit: Note that engineering students who are in their first semester of graduate school may still apply; however, qualifying applicants will be selected for the award on a conditional basis. Reimbursement will only be approved following the release of grades from their first semester, demonstrating good academic standing.

Q: Can I use this scholarship to buy research equipment (i.e. computers, iPads, etc.)?

A: Although we understand that a lack of material resources may place constraints on our students, this scholarship is intended to fund academic and/or professional opportunities beyond those typically pursued in the course of graduate study. Equipment that is necessary for the completion of degree requirements or research experiments should be provided by your department or faculty advisor, regardless of funding status.

Q: Can I use this scholarship for paying my tuition fees?

A: The EGSC professional development scholarship is intended to be used for defraying costs towards endeavors that contribute to the professional development of the applicant that go above and beyond their academic program. As such, we do not award the scholarship as a means of paying tuition or for purchasing personal or research equipment. We typically award scholarships to applicants looking to secure funding to attend conferences and networking events, and for certification/licensing exam fees