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Professional Development Award

The Berkeley Postdoctoral Association (BPA) is pleased to offer the BPA Professional Development Award for postdocs at UC Berkeley. This is a one-time award of up to $500 and may be used to cover costs associated with presenting at a scientific or professional meeting. The Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs (VSPA) Program will administer funds, and the total number of awards per year is based on the availability of funds. 


  • Only valid for UC Postdoctoral Scholars (Job codes 3252, 3253, 3254, 3255, N3255, and 3256)
  •  Applicant must have spent at least 6 months at UC Berkeley as a postdoc at time of application
  •  A postdoc may receive only one award during their postdoc tenure at UC Berkeley
  •  Applicant can apply multiple times until they get an award 

Application Information


  • Applications are accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis within the four quarters of each calendar year: January 1 – March 31, April 1 – June 31, July 1 – September 30, October 1 – December 31 (Exception: for 2017 only, the fourth quarter will be considered to be from September 1 – December 31)
  • Within each quarter, qualifying applicants will be given the award until the funds allocated for that quarter have been fully utilized
  • Applications may be submitted as soon as the postdoc can provide documentation indicating acceptance of the abstract at the meeting or conference
  • The award money will be reimbursed to the awardee after submission of receipts to the VSPA office, up to a maximum of $500
  • Processing of the award may take 1-2 months after submission of receipts
  • Preference will be given to:
    • Postdocs who have served on the executive board of any VSPA sponsored program (e.g. BPA, BPEP, PIEP, BSPP, HSSA, PTOP, Thriving in Science, etc)
    • Postdocs who have contributed to the postdoc community of UC Berkeley, such as organizing department-specific events, activity with the union, etc.
    • Postdocs who have an abstract accepted for presentation at the National Postdoctoral Association Annual Meeting.

The completed application form should be submitted to the VSPA Program office by email at and with subject line “BPA Professional Development Award Application”. All application materials must be combined into a single PDF file. Photographs of application materials will not be accepted. Applicants will be notified in within 3-4 weeks if they received an award.

Award Payment Procedure

Recipients will be expected to comply with all applicable University policies involving the use of their Travel Award funds. Funds may be used only for the specific conference approved. Funds will be awarded upon completion of the postdoc’s travel, after receipts have been submitted.  Receipts for expenditures must be original and itemized. Purchases made that are not allowable under the terms of the travel award will not be reimbursed.


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