The Hart School Student Professional Development Grant is open to Hart School students (undergraduate and graduate students) in good standing and supports professional development opportunities. This is a competitive scholarship and is limited to a potential $500 approved reimbursement to support professional development opportunities, such as attending professional conferences (for learning purposes or to present research), earning a professional certification, and/or volunteer service opportunities as part of industry programs and events. As such, this funding can be used for conference registration, travel expenses or other ancillary costs, as determined by the Director or assigned Grant Awards Committee.

Application deadlines:

For use during the Fall Semester, apply on or before September 15th.

For use during the Spring Semester, apply on or before December 1st.

For use during the Summer Semester, apply on or before April 15th.

Applicants will be notified of their application decision within 2 weeks post submission.

Grant recipients agree to share professional photos from their grant-funded experience as well as provide a written summary detailing the experience to the Hart School for future marketing needs. This must be submitted to Dr. Dave Shonk ( within 4 weeks of completing the funded experience.

This grant must be applied for and approved before personal finances are spent. Due to limited funds, not all applicants will be awarded funds.

The director and/or Grant Awards Committee may consider the following when making its decision:

  • The professional development benefit of this experiential learning opportunity.
  • A history of the applicant’s academic performance in our program.
  • The applicant’s past service to the Hart School and James Madison University community.
  • The applicant’s history of participation in student and professional organizations.

Application directions: Copy and paste the following information into a Word Document and email it to the director of the Hart School, Dr. Dave Shonk at

  • Student Applicant’s Name (Last, first):
  • JMU Student ID Number:
  • Major:
  • Name of Conference or Event:
  • Dates of Conference or Event:
  • Location of Conference or Event (if applicable):
  • Organization Sponsoring Conference or Event:
  • Your role in the Conference or Event: Presenter, Attendee, Volunteer Participant (explain)
  • Applicant’s history of service to the JMU and general community and their involvement with Hart School and/or JMU student organizations and national professional organizations:
  • Amount Requested:
  • Budget Details (Amount to be spent on transportation, lodging, registration, other):
  • Essay #1 - Summarize in 250 words or fewer the benefits of this professional development opportunity.
  • Essay #2 – Summarize in 500 words or fewer why you are deserving of this opportunity.

Applicants will be notified of the award decision within 2 weeks post application submission. 

Payment Procedures: Should a student receive this grant, payment could be made directly to the organization operating the program or a transportation service (airline) rather than given to the individual student. With that in mind, students who receive this scholarship should not expend any money expecting reimbursement until they meet with the Hart School’s Office Manager, who will then advise them of reimbursement procedures for the scholarship. In addition, certain rules regarding reimbursement and substantiation of expenses may be required, as stipulated by James Madison University, the Hart School or Commonwealth Policy.

Back to Top