Career Development Grants Application Instructions
AAUW’s Career Development Grants provide assistance to women who, through additional higher education, technical training, or participation in professional development institutes, are making career changes, seeking to advance in current careers, or reentering the workforce. Primary consideration is given to women of color and women pursuing credentials in nontraditional fields.
Grants provide support for coursework toward degree programs other than a doctorate or for specialized training in technical or professional fields.
Applications for AAUW Career Development Grants are open August 1–November 15
November 15, 2019, by 11:59 p.m. Central Time
Deadline for online submission of application and supporting documents.
April 15, 2020
Notification of decisions emailed to applicants. AAUW is not able to honor requests for earlier notification.
July 1, 2020–June 30, 2021
When a deadline or notification date falls on a weekend, the date will be observed on the following business day.
Career Development Grants are open to women who
- are U.S. citizens or permanent residents;
- hold an earned (not honorary) bachelor’s degree;
- received their bachelor’s degree on or before June 30, 2015;
- do not hold an earned (not honorary) graduate or professional degree;
- plan to enroll or are enrolled in courses/activities that are required for professional employment or advancement; and
- plan to enroll or are enrolled in one of the following:
- Bachelor’s or associate degree program that is different from the field of study of the previously earned bachelor’s degree
- Master’s degree program
- Certification program
- Technical school
- Professional degree (e.g., law or medicine)
All courses of study must occur at a regionally accredited two- or four-year college or university in the United States or at a technical school that is fully licensed and/or accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants must reside within the United States during the grant period.
Distance or online learning programs will be funded only if they are conducted through an accredited institution appearing on the U.S. Department of Education’s list of approved online/distance learning programs. Final decisions about what constitutes distance learning under these grants will be made by AAUW.
Applicants are required to indicate their matriculation status within the application. While applicants are not required to already be enrolled or accepted into their preferred institution of study in order to apply, preference is given to those who are able to demonstrate strong commitment or intent in following the proposed plan of study. Awardees must be able to show proof of admission when submitting their acceptance materials.
Career Development Grant funding is not available for
- Prerequisite coursework
- Doctoral coursework or dissertations
Career Development Grants are not open to previous recipients of any AAUW national fellowship or grant (not including branch or local awards or Community Action Grants). Members and officers of the AAUW Board of Directors are not eligible to apply for fellowships and grant awards. AAUW staff or volunteers with decision-making authority who wish to apply for an award must recuse themselves from the decision-making process.
Criteria for Selection and Application Review
The Career Development Grants Panel meets once a year to review applications for funding. Awards are based on the selection criteria outlined here. The panel’s recommendations are subject to final approval by the AAUW Board of Directors. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis according to funds available in a given fiscal year. To ensure a fair and objective review process, AAUW does not comment on the deliberations of the awards panels. Thus, AAUW is unable to provide written or oral evaluations of applications. No provisions exist for reconsideration of grant proposals after the board has acted on the panel’s recommendations.
The following criteria apply to the selection of Career Development Grants:
- Demonstrated commitment to education and equity for women and girls
- Reason for seeking higher education or technical training
- Degree to which study plan is consistent with career objectives
- Potential for success in chosen field
- Documentation of opportunities in chosen field
- Feasibility of study plans and proposed time schedule
- Validity of proposed budget and budget narrative, including sufficient outside support
- Quality of written proposal
- Applicant is from an underrepresented racial/ethnic background
- Applicant is from an underrepresented area of the country and/or type of university other than a top-level research institution
- Applicant is seeking credentials in a nontraditional field
- Financial Need
Career Development Grant funds are available for
- Educational expenses
- Living expenses
- Dependent child care
- Travel to professional meetings, conferences, or seminars, as long as it does not exceed 10 percent of the fellowship
Except where expressly stated otherwise, Career Development Grants are NOT available for
- Purchase of equipment
- Indirect costs
- Research assistants
- Previous expenditures, deficits, or repayment of loans
- Publication costs
- Institutional (overhead) costs
- Tuition for dependent’s education
AAUW regards the acceptance of a grant as a contract requiring fulfillment of the following terms:
- Career Development Grants are one-time-only awards.
- Career Development Grants are direct financial assistance to the applicant and cannot be administered by an academic institution or organization at which the applicant is employed.
- Funding may not be used for activities that will benefit, supplement, or aid academic institutions with which applicants are affiliated.
- Career Development Grants do not provide funding for partial year coursework, prerequisite coursework, or coursework that begins before July 1, 2020, or ends after June 30, 2021. Grants may not be deferred.
- All Career Development Grant recipients are required to sign a contract as acceptance of the award. Retain these instructions, as they will become part of the grant contract if the applicant is awarded a grant.
- Grants are awarded in two equal payments at the beginning and the midpoint of the fiscal year (pending receipt of a satisfactory midyear progress report).
- Any tax liability associated with the receipt of a Career Development Grant is the sole responsibility of the applicant. Specific questions regarding income tax matters should be addressed with the Internal Revenue Service, the applicant’s financial aid office, or a personal tax adviser. (AAUW is a nonprofit, tax- exempt 501(c)(3) public charity founded for educational purposes.)
Start the application process by clicking on the link to access the application and create an account through our vendor site. Complete all required components in the following tabs.
Applicants must pass the eligibility quiz to be reviewed by the selection panel.
Your recommendation must be submitted by a college counselor or adviser, an instructor, or a work supervisor who knows you well. AAUW does not accept references from dossier services.
Tips for Proposal Preparation
- Read and follow all guidelines.
Many proposals are disqualified each year because applicants omit a key step in the guidelines or ignore instructions. If you are unsure whether you qualify to apply, email email@example.com for assistance.
- Proofread all work thoroughly.
Proposals that are unclear or contain numerous mistakes distract the reviewer from focusing on the content and reflect poorly on your ability to produce a high-quality product. Check to be sure that your sentences are complete, clear, and grammatically correct.
- Have someone else read the completed proposal.
An objective reader can often identify areas that need more explanation and may find errors that you have overlooked.
- Be concise.
Reviewers must read dozens of proposals. Proposals that are clear and concise are more compelling.