The Professional Development Fund is an annual award open to all Tufts Alumni to support their career growth and professional development. The application process is very competitive, and support through the fund is not guaranteed with your application. The Fund sponsored by the Tufts University Alumni Association and is jointly managed by the Office of Alumni Engagement, Alumni Career Services, and the Alumni Career Services Committee.
Check out the 2020 and 2021 Fund Recipients!
2020 & 2021 Recipients
See how the Professional Development Fund has supported Tufts alumni with their career growth and professional development.
To be considered, you must submit the completed online application form before the posted deadline.
Complete applications must include a Word file of your resume with the following restrictions: Maximum 2 pages in length, and no Personal Identification information (aside from your name) - Remove information such as license numbers, social security number, etc.
You will also have to answer four open response written questions. Each question has a strict 1,200 character limit! We recommend typing your answers elsewhere and pasting them into your application, double checking they fit the character limit.
- Please provide a brief but detailed description of the activity for which funds are being requested. If your activity is sponsored by an organization, please provide relevant supporting information about the sponsor (for example, is the sponsor accredited, etc.)
- How will this funding change the trajectory of your career? Why is this particular opportunity important for you to break into or advance in your chosen field?
- What steps in your career and/or education have led you to this particular opportunity? This can include course work, activities, jobs, volunteer work, etc. Demonstrate your commitment to this opportunity.
Why have you turned to Tufts for help in funding this activity? Are there additional resources (such as employer funds or scholarships) that are available to you? What other alternatives have you explored?
Activities that Qualify for Funding:
Alumni are encouraged to apply for financial support for their professional development needs. We fund a range of activities, including:
- Professional organization involvement: membership dues, registration (including travel, lodging, meals) for conferences, workshops or trainings.
- Education & training: coursework and/or requirements for certifications and licensures, and continuing education.
Activities that Do Not Qualify for Funding:
- Tuition and administrative fees as part of degree program.
- Research activities such as compensating subjects.
Average awards are approximately $750; we will consider requests for larger amounts, but individual awards will not exceed $2,000.
Timeline for the Fund
Below is the timeline for the application cycle.
October 2020 - Professional Development Fund begins accepting applications for 2021.
DEADLINE EXTENDED: November 30, 2020
November 2020-January 2021 - Committee reviews applications. Recipients of awards from the Professional Development Fund are selected.
January 29, 2021 - All applicants to the Professional Development Fund are contacted. Those who were granted funds for 2021 will have five (5) business days to formally accept their funds. Recipients work with Alumni Engagement to file necessary documents with Tufts.
Within one year of receiving funds - All recipients will correspond with the Office of Alumni Engagement with their proof of purchase and testimonial statement regarding their professional activity.
Tufts reserves the right to use any testimonial statements in future promotional and informational materials.
Strengthening Your Career
With the help of the TUAA's Professional Development Fund, alumna Caitlin Quinn, A11 was able to present her research to her industry at the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam. Caitlin was able to use the conference to not only present her research, but bring visibility to her area of study at this critical point in time. At the conference she gathered insights into the AIDS and HIV work of her research peers, as well as the cutting edge advances in her field.
Of the opportunity the Professional Development Fund gave her, Caitlin had this to say: "Thanks to Tufts, my passion for global health began - and now, seven years after graduating, TUAA has invested in my development as a global health professional. I feel so privileged to be a lifelong member of the Tufts community, which continues to nurture and invest in the success of its alumni. This conference represents a point of growth in my career, which I could not have achieved without support from Tufts."