Professional Development Support Funds (PDS)

Frequently Asked Questions

Due to the conditions surrounding responses to COVID-19, including concerns related to travel and social distancing, we are temporarily suspending the LGS Professional Development Support Funds (PDS) application portal, and we are not accepting PDS applications until further notice. 

Emory has now indefinitely suspended all official and previously authorized international travel and is strongly urging our campus community to postpone all university-sponsored domestic travel. Please view Emory’s latest travel restrictions here.

We are continuing to monitor the situation and observe all guidance from Emory related to the Coronavirus. We will reopen the program when University directives advise that it is safe to do so. We do not know when that will be. Please continue to collect the necessary materials to apply for PDS funds once the program reopens. We intend to provide enhanced access to PDS funds at that time.

We recognize that students utilize the PDS program in numerous ways, not all involving travel. That said, at this time, we have suspended the PDS program during the COVID-19 outbreak in a way that is consistent and fair for all students. This is only a temporary suspension.

For the time being, we are asking students to weigh two options: 1) Wait until the program opens up again and in the meantime work on other parts of their projects, or 2) in cases where the research is time-sensitive, continue as they had planned and submit for reimbursement when the program opens up again. We plan to be flexible so that students may apply retroactively. This situation is only temporary, and as soon as we find a resolution, we will be sure to share it with the LGS community.

During the PDS program suspension period, we will adjust the window for submitting follow-up documentation and reports. For trips/projects that have occurred during February and March 2020, you will now have up to 60 days from the end date to submit these items.

Like many other disruptions related to the Coronavirus, this guidance may interfere with your professional plans in the coming months. We are very grateful for your patience and understanding.

If you have any specific questions, please direct them to

Students who applied to use the Laney Graduate School’s Professional Development Support funds to attend canceled meetings will receive reimbursement through the normal PDS process. 

We ask students to make a good-faith effort to work with meeting organizers and travel agencies to try to recover any fees before submitting for PDS reimbursement. Most meeting organizers are working cooperatively to ensure that participants can recover lost expenses due to cancelations. Travel agencies and airlines generally offer refunds in the form of credit for future travel. We will pay unrecovered expenses through the normal PDS reimbursement process. We are committed to resolving these circumstances and are working to ensure that canceled conferences do not affect students’

If you are affected by a conference cancelation, please take note of the following: 

  • Keep all documentation related to meetings, travel expenses, and efforts to recover expenses and fees.
  • Submit a PDS Report to your program administrator, who will need to update the CollegeNET Admit system with an updated reimbursement amount.