Endowed Fund Award


To enhance professional development opportunities for Michigan State University Extension employees engaged in program implementation. This Fund is administered by a committee of the Michigan Council of Extension Associates (MCEA). This committee has representation from each of the six member associations of MCEA (includes ESP, CNRDA, MAEA, MESSA, MAE4-HYS, MEAFCS) plus a Convener.

The Extension Professional Development Endowed Fund awards monetary support for continuous growth of Extension staff through meaningful professional improvement plans and activities. The Fund was established with gifts from individuals and organizations. The number and amount of annual awards varies and is determined by the committee based on available income and application eligibility and criteria.  

Individual awards are expected to vary from $100 to $600.


An applicant must:

  • Be currently employed full-time as an Extension professional with the following title: Extension Educator, Senior Extension Educator, Extension Specialist, Senior Extension Specialist, Academic Specialist, Program Instructor, Nutrition Program Instructor, Program Associate, or Program Coordinator
  • Have completed at least one year of continuous employment with MSU Extension
  • Have at least 50% appointment with MSU Extension
  • Not knowingly be in the last year of employment with MSU Extension
  • Have administrative approval granted prior to review by the committee thus assuring the relevant University and Extension policies have been met (i.e., email with approval from supervisor provided in the application process)
  • Be a member of an MSU Extension association that is a member of MCEA (ESP, CNRDA, MAEA, MESSA, MAE4-HYS, MEAFCS).
  • Apply for the award in advance of attending the event (and not after attendance)

Award Criteria

  • A wide range of professional improvement activities will be eligible for consideration. Funds may provide assistance to include, but are not limited to, the following:  fees for workshops, conferences and seminars; tuition for formal classroom experiences; related expenses associated with professional growth and improvement. Greater consideration and higher award amounts are provided to applicants presenting (e.g., speaker, poster) at a conference or changing roles within the organization.
  • First consideration will be given to applicants who have not previously received grants from this fund.
  • The proposed activity shall provide a significant opportunity for improved personal growth and performance as an Extension professional.
  • The proposed activity shall substantially contribute to the effectiveness of Extension programs. 

Application Process

Applicants should prepare the following information for an online application process.

  • Applicant’s name, position, years in Extension, department/institute affiliation, address, phone, email, education, and indicate if previously awarded professional development funds in recent years. 
  • Brief description of the proposed professional development experience (e.g., purpose, locations, people).
  • Brief statement of past experience in Extension work and current job responsibilities.
  • How the experience will (a) improve personal growth and (b) contribute to the effectiveness of MSU Extension.
  • Itemized list of estimated costs, other sources of funds, amount requested, and date of use for funds.

Applicants should submit application information in the events management system. Follow the link at the bottom of this page.

Review Process

  • Application review is completed by the professional fund allocation committee of MCEA which includes representation from each member association, a convener, and no more than seven members.
  • Awarded funds must be expended by award recipients within the fiscal year awarded (July 1 – June 30). Thus, if you anticipate using funds in July, August, or early September, please apply for the June 15th deadline, and the award will not be made until early July. 
  • Application deadlines:  Feb 1, June 15, Sep 1. Reviews occur appropriately 2-3 weeks after the close of each application deadline.

Reporting Requirement

  • Funds are paid on a reimbursement only basis (after the professional improvement activity has been completed). Funds are dispersed through access to an account number in which the recipient charges expenses that align with the application. Funds are not directly deposited into individual or work team accounts.
  • The size of each award will be at discretion of review committee depending upon the availability of funds, the number of applications, and the quality of the professional improvement plans based on the award criteria.
  • Recipients are expected to work for MSUE for at least six months following completion of the activity for which the award was made or reimburse the funds.
  • This fund shall be administered according to University policies and procedures governing endowments. Full financial accounting and including original receipts are required.

To apply for this award, complete the following form: MSU Extension Professional Development Endowed Fund Award Application

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