Student Initiative Grant

Student Initiative Grants provide support for events that bring together students, academically or socially, from various departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). Types of events supported by the Student Initiative Grant funding include, but are not limited to: academic conferences, discussion groups, social events, cultural events, and community service initiatives.


Deadlines: October 9th, 2020 (applications for Fall 2020) and February 19th, 2021 (applications for Spring 2021). 

The following criteria must be met to obtain a Student Initiative Grant:

  • Groups must either be officially recognized by us OR officially representing a GSAS department, institute, or student council/ government to receive funding.
  • Events must occur in the future and cannot be funded retroactively.
  • Applications are due October 9th for the fall (Oct 9th – Feb 19th) and February 19th for the spring/summer (Feb 19th – Oct 9th).
  • Groups may apply for events in the Spring (or a full year of continuous events) during the Fall application cycle, however they will be given lower priority. If groups do not receive their full requested funds in the Fall, they may reapply for more in the Spring.
  • Individual student groups or departments are limited to $1000 in each academic year.
  • The grant may not be used for speakers’ honorarium, airfare, lodging or any travel fees.
  • The event should not be political or religious in nature.
  • Reimbursements must be requested within 30 days following the event for which the expenditure was used (please see below for more details).
  • A concluding report must be submitted to the Budget and Finance Chair using the Student Initiative Concluding Report Form upon completion of the grant project. Reports are due February 28th for Fall grants and October 31st for Spring/Year grants. Failing to submit a report will hinder future ASGC funding.
  • Sponsorship by the Arts and Sciences Graduate Council must be acknowledged at the event and in all publicity.
  • All sponsored events must be open to all constituents of the Arts and Sciences Graduate Council.


Application is simple: fill out the Student Initiative Grant Application Form. Please note that many of the questions have a character limit; we suggest that you write your response in a word processing program that keeps track of the character count and then paste it into the form.


Funding is on a reimbursement basis, i.e., you must submit receipts for expenses up to the amount awarded by ASGC. This must be done by preparing a reimbursement packet, affixed with a paper clip, of the following (in this order):

  1. The ASGC Student Initiative Grant award letter (email).
  2. A completed Columbia Travel and Business Expense Report (opens in a new tab).
    • The person to be reimbursed is the Payee.
    • Complete the box labeled “overall business purpose.” The description should be comprehensible to an Accounts Payable auditor. For example: “Food for monthly X group meeting on DATE; 15 attendees.” If there were 10 or fewer attendees, list each by name.
    • Do not forget to sign and date the report
  3. An advertisement for the event (preferably a flyer).
  4. Original receipts documenting all of the expenditures approved for the grant.
    • Tape (not staple) each receipt to a separate piece of 8.5″ by 11″ paper; more than one receipt per page is allowed as long as it is clearly marked and legible.
    • Arrange the receipts in chronological order

To receive a reimbursement, deliver a printed copy of the reimbursement packet to Harold Ansah in 109 Low Library or email the packet to and fill out the reimbursement request form within 30 days following the event for which the expenditure was used.