Professional Development Endowment

Extension Professional Development Endowed Fund Requirements


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 five member associations of MCEA (includes ESP, CNRDA, MAEA, 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.  

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, Community Nutrition Instructor, or 4-H 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
  • Approval is required from your immediate supervisor via email, then submitted to It is the supervisor's responsibility to identify the following: an understanding that the applicant is a professional appointed staff member with at least a 50% appointment with MSU Extension, and the applicant has approval to submit this application. Obtaining this approval is the responsibility of the applicant.
  • Be a member of a MSU Extension Association that is a member of MCEA (ESP, CNRDA, MAEA, MAE4-HYS, MEAFCS).
  • Applicants must apply for the award in advance of attending the event (and not after attendance).

Award Criteria

  1. 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) or receiving an award at a conference or changing roles within the organization. 
  2. First consideration will be given to applicants who have not previously received grants from this fund.    
  3. The proposed activity shall provide a significant opportunity for improved personal growth and performance as an Extension professional and contribute to the effectiveness of Extension programs. 

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).
  • Application deadlines: Feb. 1, June 1, Sept. 1. Reviews occur appropriately 3-4 weeks after the close of each application deadline.
  • 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.
  • If you are applying to use funding for degreework, please be sure to explore other funding options as well, and include them in your application as well. 
  • 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.
  • Individual awards are expected to vary from $100 to $600.
  • This fund shall be administered according to University policies and procedures governing endowments. Full financial accounting and including original receipts are required.

The following deadlines for MSU Extension Professional Development Endowed Fund Award Application are June 1, Sept 1, and Feb 1. 

Please note that recently we have received more applications for this award, so it has become more competitive due to limited funds.

Apply by June 1


Anne Baker

Anne Baker

Learning and Talent Development Specialist
MSU Extension