BPA Professional Development Award

Notice: During the shelter in place time period, we are offering funding for online professional development classes. Please see the section "BPA Award for Online Professional Development & Diversity Training" for application instructions. If you are applying for a normal, in-person conference or workshop, please follow the instructions for the normal "BPA Professional Development Award" below.

BPA 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 $1250 and may be used to cover costs associated with attending a meeting related to professional development or research. 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, and 3256)

  • A postdoc may receive only one award during their postdoc tenure at UC Berkeley

  • Applicant can apply multiple times until they get an award

  • Applications must be submitted prior to the date of the meeting

Application Information

New PDA Application Form

  • Applications are accepted within the following quarterly application windows (deadlines for each quarter indicated in bold), and are evaluated at the end of each application window:

    • Jan 1 – Mar 31; Apr 1 – Jun 31; Jul 1 – Sept 30; Oct 1 – Dec 31

  • Applications may be submitted as soon as the postdoc can provide documentation indicating acceptance of the abstract at the meeting or conference, but will not be considered until the end of the application window.

  • The number of awards granted each quarter may vary based on the total amount requested and the funds allocated for that quarter.

  • The award may be used to cover expenses of attending a meeting, including but not limited to registration fees, travel, room & board.

  • The award money will be reimbursed to the awardee after submission of receipts to the VSPA office, up to a maximum of $1,250.00

  • Processing of the award may take 1-2 months after submission of receipts.

  • Preference will be given to:

  • Application for professional development meetings beyond research conferences in the postdoc's field (however, research conferences may be accepted).

  • Postdocs who have contributed to the postdoc community of UC Berkeley, such as serving on the board of any of the VSPA sponsored programs (e.g. BPA, BPEP, PIEP, BSPP, HSSA, PTOP, Thriving in Science, etc), organizing department-specific events, activity with the union, etc.

  • Postdocs who have an abstract accepted for presentation at the National Postdoctoral Association Annual Meeting.

Application Procedure

The completed application form should be submitted to the VSPA Program office and the BPA by email at vspa@berkeley.edu and bpa-vspa@berkeley.edu 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. Applications will be reviewed and applicants will be notified in within 2-4 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 and will be awarded 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. Per UC policy, expense reports must be submitted within 45 days after the end of the trip. When a trip lasts more than 90 days, a quarterly report is required. Payments of reimbursement requests submitted after 45 days may be reported as taxable income or may not be paid at all, considering the circumstances and funding sources. A trip expense report must be submitted even if no reimbursement is due to the traveler (i.e., when the only expense is direct billed airfare).