Online Professional Development & Diversity Training Award

Notice: During this Covid transition 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".

BPA Award for Online Professional Development & Diversity Training

We are happy to offer an adapted version of the BPA Professional Development Award to fund online professional development courses during this time when in-person courses are less frequent/available! In case you’re having trouble finding ways to be productive outside the lab or office, it could be a good time to take advantage of the large amount of online training available out there. Examples include taking online classes ranging from learning coding in python, communication skills, management techniques, entrepreneurship insights, writing, teaching, etc. This award can now be used to fund training related to diversity, equity and inclusion as well!


  • Only valid for UC Postdoctoral Scholars (Job codes 3252, 3253, 3254, 3255, and 3256, which are Postdoc Scholar – Employee, Fellow, Paid Direct, Employee NEX and Interim Employee)

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

  • Applicant can apply multiple times until they get an award

  • Applications and payment processes must be submitted prior to beginning the online training

Award Information

  • This is a one-time award of up to $200 and may be used to cover costs associated with doing an online class related to professional development.

  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

  • The award may be used to cover expenses of registering for the online training.

  • Applications will be reviewed by the BPA board to evaluate the appropriateness of the online training for professional development

Application Procedure

Application form for BPA PDA for Online Training

The completed application form should be submitted to the VSPA Program office and the BPA by email at and with subject line "Online BPA PDA Application." All application materials must be combined into a single PDF file. Applications will be reviewed and applicants will be notified in within 1 week if they received an award.

Award Payment Procedure

It is preferred that registration fees be paid directly by the VSPA. If you are awarded the BPA Professional Development Award for Online Training, you will receive instructions on how to coordinate with the VSPA to enroll in the online training. Therefore, the recommendation is to apply for the award first, and then coordinate the registration process with VSPA if the award is approved. If unique circumstances for your particular course (e.g., first come first served registration for a course) make it difficult to do this, please let us know in the award application and we will consider a reimbursement process. Regardless, it is critical that you apply for the award before the start date of the course.

Some Examples

You can also simply look around online for various types of professional development classes! Below are a few ideas—many are actually free, and others aren’t too expensive.

1. Free campus resources

2. You can also simply look around online for various types of professional development classes! Here are a few examples:

3. Diversity Related Training: