Common Questions

Updated September 04, 2019

What Types of Grants Are Offered?

Student Research Grant

The Student Research Grant (SRG) offers funding to students who need to present research, conduct research, or purchase research supplies. Funding requests can include airfare, per diem, lodging, conference registration, travel, research equipment, etc. The SRG cannot fund salaries, tuition, bindings, organization fees, conference social functions, or other costs not associated with development or dissemination of research. Applicants can request up to $500.

Professional Development Grant

The Professional Development Grant (PDG) is a grant for students who need funding to cover travel costs to interviews, clinicals, trainings, workshops, job fairs, auditions, mock trials, and other career and professional events where the student is not presenting or conducting research. Travel must be outside of Albuquerque. The PDG cannot fund travel to present research and/or any activity that could be funded by the SRG. Applicants can request up to $500.

New Mexico Research Grant

The NMRG offers funding for larger projects and is designed to incentivize collaborative projects that benefit New Mexico. The NMRG may fund travel, lodging, supplies, and other costs related to field research for larger or longer-term projects than the Student Research Grant. Projects with a New Mexico state agency, non-profit, community-based organization that directly benefits New Mexicans are eligible for up to $5,000 (High Priority). Other research projects that do not involve collaboration with another entity are eligible for up to $3,000 (General Priority). 

What Are the Application Requirements?

All applications must be submitted online at You may submit one application per SRG and PDG each semester. 

Both the SRG and PDG applications require a 750 word proposal, and a detailed line item budget - the template for which can be found at their individual grant webpages. The NMRG requires a 700 word proposal for the General Priority Grant, and a 1100 word proposal for the High Priority Grant. Both require a letter of recommendation from a faculty member who is knowledgeable in the field of the applicant's research and project. To be eligible for the NMRG High Priority, applicants must be collaborating with a New Mexico state agency, non-profit, or non-governmental organization that directly benefits and is based in the state of New Mexico (does not include UNM and it's branches).

Who is Eligible to Apply?

  1. A member of GPSA enrolled at the University of New Mexico at the time of application (for SRG and PDG) and through the completion date of the research project (for NMRG).
  2. A member of GPSA not serving on the GPSA Judiciary Committee or the GPSA Grants Committee.
  3. If you have not already received an SRG or PDG within the academic year. You can only be awarded one SRG and one PDG per academic year. Applicants are limited to (2) two NMRGs during their academic careers.

What Does the Itemized Budget Entail?

Each application for funding must be submitted using the GPSA Budget Template, and include a reasonable itemized budget for the project that includes the following:

  1. Total budget for the activity (SRG and PDG) or for the research project (NMRG).
  2. Items that will be funded with SRG or PDG or NMRG grant money must be clearly indicated.
  3. All sources of funding for the activity (SRG and PDG) or research project (NMRG), including all amounts requested, but not yet awarded, from any other funding source must be mentioned clearly.
  4. Detailed information on all equipment, travel costs, supplies and consumables; including airlines, make and model numbers, hotel and motel names, rates, sizes and weights required.
  5. For NMRG only: The Grant Chair, at his/her discretion, may request the principal applicant to submit a new itemized budget for review. The applicant will be given five (5) days following notification to submit the new itemized budget to the GPSA Office. Failure by the principal applicant to turn in a new itemized budget will be grounds to reject the application.

What Are Reasons for Disqualification?

An application submitted with any of the following errors shall not be considered or awarded funding:

  • Failure to turn in an application by the deadline.
  • Failure to turn in a complete application.
  • Violation of any of the guidelines enumerated within this article of the GPSA Grants Bylaws.
  • Any submission that is plagiarized or not the sole work of the applicant.
  • Applications submitted jointly by more than one applicant.
  • Applications that go over the maximum word limit.

Can I Apply for Retroactive Funding?

For SRG and PDG ONLY: Yes! You can apply retroactively to fund costs incurred one semester previous to the current grants cycle. The retroactive application process is exactly the same as the first (and, if applicable, second) time you apply. If your first (or second) application is not successful, you may request score sheets and reader comments from the Grants Committee. The feedback can be used to improve your proposal and subsequent application. Readers change each semester, so there is no guarantee that your readers’ recommended changes will result in a successful application, but many second-time and third-time applicants have been successful.

For NMRG ONLY: No! The activity for which the funds are requested must occur between July 1 of the current funding cycle and June 30 of the following year. 

Who Will Read My Application?

Your application will be assigned to three readers according to the following criteria:

  • None of the readers will be from your department.
  • One of the readers will be from your perspective.
  • One of the readers will be from outside your perspective.
  • The third reader will be assigned randomly.

What Are the Perspectives that GPSA requires applicants and readers to belong to?

In order to ensure a fair and balanced reading, readers and applicants are required to choose their perspectives. Applicants select one perspective based on the department they are from. During the reading process, all applications will include one reader with the same perspective as the applicant, one reader with a different perspective, and one random reader. The perspectives are:

  1. Fine Arts & Design (FAD): Applies to any creative arts whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their artistic, aesthetic or intellectual content. Examples: Studio Art, Music, Theatre, Dance, Film, Creative Production
  2. Humanities (HUM): Applies to academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture, or process and document the human experience. Examples: Ancient and Modern Languages, Literature, Philosophy, Geography, History, Religion
  3. Social Sciences (SOS): Applies to disciplines dealing with the institutions and functioning of human society, or with a particular phase or aspect of human society. Examples: Economics, Business, Management, Public Administration, Public Policy, Law, Political Science
  4. Behavioral Sciences (BES): Applies to disciplines dealing primarily with human action, and often seeks to generalize about human behavior in society. Examples: Psychology, Sociology, Education, Anthropology, Women Studies, Communication.
  5. Natural Sciences (NAS): Applies to sciences that deal with matter, energy, or the physical world, and their interrelations and transformations or with objectively measurable phenomena. Examples: Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Astronomy, Physics.
  6. Formal Sciences (FOS): Applies to disciplines concerned with theoretical formal systems, and the theoretical branches of computer science. Examples: Computer Science, Math, Geometry, Statistics, Logic, Information Theory, Systems Theory, Linguistics.
  7. Applied Sciences (APS): Applies to disciplines that apply scientific knowledge to practical problems. Examples: Medicine and Health Sciences, Engineering.

How Will My Application Be Scored?

Each of the three readers will evaluate your application according to the scoresheet. Each of your scores from your three readers will be normalized. The raw scores will be multiplied by the group application average and then divided by the reader average. This prevents an application from being harmed by being assigned a particularly tough reader. The difference between your high and low normalized score will be calculated. If the difference exceeds 25% of the total points available, your application will be re-read by an additional two readers. Of the five normalized scores, the high and low will be dropped. Your final score will be the average of the remaining normalized scores.

How Long Does it Take for Grants To Be Reviewed?

We have six weeks after the submission deadline to assign grants to readers, have readers score applications, and calculate final normalized scores. If you have not heard anything by this time, please contact us. It is also worth checking your spam folder on your email account, as sometimes our messages are flagged as spam by Google and other email providers. 

How Many Grants Are Typically Funded?

The amount of grants that are awarded varies depends on that year's budget and the number of applications we receive. For an overview of grants we have given out since Fall 2014, please visit the grants overview page.

How Much Money is Available for Grants?

We generally have a $40,000 budget each year to fund grants, plus any money that is received through the Graduate Allocation Fund (GAF) and endowment interest. This amount usually totals close to $100,000 minus any operating expenses (paying grant readers and chairs). Additionally, the NMRG has its own budget and sources of funding, which totals approximately $85,000 per year. This money is distributed to the top 50% of applicants or until funding is exhausted (whichever comes first).

What About Projects with Humans, Animals or Hazardous Materials?

  1. Our grants will not fund any research project that involves, or may involve, excessive or unreasonable harm to humans or animals.
  2. All research projects that involve human or animal subjects or participants must, prior to the distribution of funding, be reviewed and approved by the Human Research Review Committee (HRRC); an Institutional Review Board (IRB); the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC); or by another entity empowered by the University of New Mexico for such purposes.
  3. All research projects that involve the use of biohazardous materials or chemicals, must be reviewed and approved, prior to the distribution of funding, by the Biosafety Committee or by another entity empowered by the University of New Mexico for such purposes.
  4. Approval of a research project by any of the entities described in subsections 2 or 3 above, shall not be determinative of whether or not a research project involves excessive or unreasonable harm to humans or animals.

I Have Been Awarded the Grant... How Do I Get Paid?

The Grants Committee will send successful applicants an award acceptance form that must be signed and submitted to the GPSA office, either physically or via email (scanned image). About two weeks after decisions are announced, the Grants Committee will give the Student Government Accounting Office (SGAO) a list of everyone who submitted an award form. SGAO will take a few weeks to process the grants. 

You will receive your award in the form of direct deposit into your Bursar's account if you already receive payroll that way. The money will be deposited in each awardee’s Bursar’s account as a scholarship. This may affect financial aid eligibility. Otherwise a check will be mailed to your address. Please allow four weeks for your form to be processed.

How Do I Appeal the Grant Scoring Decision?

To appeal a funding decision, please review the appeal guidelines. All appeals must be submitted within 14 days after award notifications are sent to applicants.

You Haven't Answered My Question! Who Can I Talk To?

Please contact the Grants Chairs at Alternatively, you can call the GPSA office at (505) 277-3803 with your questions.