Apply soon!

Please be sure to apply sooner than later, as GRO Grant funding is running low for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Are you currently working on research, scholarship or creative activity and looking for funding to help you take your project to the next level? Are you curious about different aspects of the research process and looking to learn more? Would you value more connection and community with fellow student researchers at USM? The Graduate Research Opportunity Program (GRO) is here to help with all of that and more.

We offer grants of up to $1,000 to students in all research disciplines. New this year, we will host workshops to help you learn more about key aspects of research like publishing, presenting, grant writing and more. 

We are now accepting grant applications on a rolling basis for the 2023-2024 academic year.


Prior to applying for an award, please review all eligibility criteria and qualifications for awards. Incomplete, inaccurate or ineligible applications will not be considered.

  • Any student in good standing who is matriculated in a graduate degree or graduate certificate program at USM, part- or full-time.  
  • Must be conducting research, scholarship, or creative work 
  • Must have a plan or intent to publish or present research, scholarship or creative activity
  • Must have support from a USM faculty member
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis from August 28, 2023 through May 15, 2024 while funds last.  
  • No applications will be accepted after May 15, 2024.
  • Up to $1,000 per student per academic year.

Note: Students are welcome to apply multiple times in one academic year if they have not reached the $1,000 per academic year limit.

Award recipients:

  • Must use the funds by June 1, 2024.
  • Are invited to attend one workshop or program offered by GRO in this academic year. 
  • Are encouraged to present at Thinking Matters and attend the USM Research & Scholarship Symposium in the Spring. 
  • Must complete a GRO grant feedback survey. 
  • Will be recognized on the GRO website and social media, along with past and current award recipients. (Optional)

Applications will be reviewed within 2-4 weeks by a committee of USM faculty and staff. 

Decisions will be made based on:

  • The strengths of the proposal’s project description 
  • The benefit to the student
  • Budget justification
  • Stated outcome goals, including presentation and/or publication plan and the application of your research 
  • Real world impact of the project
  • Faculty endorsement 
  • Overall quality of application
  • Availability of funds

IMPORTANT: Please be advised, per University policy, these funds cannot be used for activities that have already been purchased prior to applying or receiving an award letter. Any reimbursements require pre-authorization.

These policies and guidelines were developed in conjunction with a committee composed of faculty and staff members with input from graduate students.

  • There is no guarantee that a submitted application will be granted an award
  • Prior to applying for an award, please review all policies pertaining to eligibility and qualifications for awards. Incomplete, inaccurate or ineligible applications will not be considered.  
  • Any student currently enrolled in a graduate degree or certificate program, part or full time, who is in good standing and is conducting a research project or scholarly/creative work under the mentorship of a USM faculty member, is eligible to apply for up to $1,000 of grant funding per academic year. 
  • Students will be awarded pending availability of funding. Funding may be exhausted at any time and is not guaranteed to remain available through the set deadline each semester
  • Summer awards will be considered part of the following academic year’s funding
  • Funds may go towards course requirements as they pertain to student research projects, scholarly or creative activity. 
  • Once you graduate you ARE NOT eligible for funding or reimbursement of any kind. Even if you have been awarded funds, if we do not have all necessary documents to process that award by the day you graduate, you will forfeit the funding.
  • All hardware and electronic equipment purchased with GRO funds is considered University property and will need to be returned to the Office of Graduate Studies upon completion of the student’s research project or at the end of the academic year for which funding was received. This includes but is not limited to tape recorders, audio recorders, and other equipment.

For any questions or concerns please contact the GRO Coordinator at:

Application Instructions

Prior to applying for a grant award, please review all policies pertaining to eligibility and qualifications for awards. Incomplete, inaccurate or ineligible applications will not be considered. Please allow up to 8 weeks for the entire application review, financial approvals and purchases to be made before your research project needs. 

  1. Before applying, be sure you have a brief but comprehensive abstract of your project; a plan or intent to publish or present your research; a budget outline with justifications; and a faculty supervisor. 
  2. Fill in the application at the link below. 
  3. Wait up to 4 weeks for your application to be reviewed by our committee and approved by your faculty supervisor. 
  4. Receive your award decision letter. 
  5. Revise your application and reapply, if needed. 
  6. Make a plan with the GRO Coordinator for making your purchases. 

Funding Dos and Don’ts

Funding: What you can and cannot spend GRO Grant money on.

*Please note that these lists are not exhaustive and are subject to change depending on university and GRO policies.

  • Presenting research at a conference
  • Collecting data or conducting research at a conference
  • Travel for collecting data, conducting research or analyzing data for research 
  • Publishing research 
  • Supplies and Materials for research project needs 
  • Research participant incentives (Note: funding this is a time-intensive process)
  • Equipment, hardware and software for research project needs (Note: This all equipment and software will be property of the university and must be returned about project completion or graduation.)

Please note that all purchases must be made through a University approved vendor, in coordination with the GRO Program Coordinator/Graduate Studies office.

  • Memberships or certifications
  • Non research-based activities 
  • Professional development (non-research)
  • Computers, tablets, phones, etc. 
  • Food expenses 
  • Faculty or Staff research needs 
  • University tuition or degree requirements

Check back soon for announcements about workshops and other opportunities! 

Contact Us:


GRO Coordinator: