GPSA held an appeal review meeting Tuesday to determine several applicants’ futures for summer 2010 grant applications that were denied.
Three graduate students who applied for the Student Research Allocation Committee grants and Specialized Training grants presented their cases in front of a four-member graduate panel.

Megan McRobert, who serves as the GPSA council chair and a specialized travel grant reader, said one appeal was approved but others were denied.

“We fund 30 percent of applications, so it’s a very competitive process, and I think that’s a good thing, not a bad thing,” she said. “I would really encourage people not to get discouraged, but to take it as a learning opportunity because that’s really the spirit in which it is meant.”

In the next two weeks, trained graduate students will be re-read the accepted appeal.

Katie Richardson, grant chair and SRAC reader, said readers are required to attend an hour-and-a-half seminar where they practice application scores, go over the score sheet and focus on issues that may come up during the review process.
“New for the fall, our Equity and Inclusion director here at GPSA will sit down with the readers and talk about issues surrounding the applications,” she said.

If all options are exhausted, students can forward their requests to the GPSA Council, the legislative branch of the GPSA, and it will take the concerns into consideration.

“No one is cut off from applying,” McRobert said. “Even if an appeal is denied, people can apply the next
cycle for retroactive funding. There is a lot of support in place, and, ultimately, it is about making the application the best that it can be.”

The appeal review committee is also developing a granted requests archive, which can aid students in building an appeal argument should they be denied. “It helps you for the next time you apply for money to write a better application,” said Sue Taylor, a Ph.D. candidate and SRAC reader.

To apply for the SRAC, grant applicants must use the funds for research, research-associated travel or for applicants to attend conferences at which to present research. In contrast, the ST grants can only be used if funds go directly to further a student’s professional career.