Student Initiative Grant

Student Initiative Grants provide support forevents that bring together students, academically or socially, from various departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). In addition to monetary support, GSAC is also able to waive the rental fee for 301 Philosophy for eligible groups/events. Types of events supported in the past include, but are not limited to: academic conferences, discussion groups, social events, cultural events, and community service initiatives. The 2013-2014 GSAC budget, which outlines the funds allotted to these grants, can be viewed here

Eligibility & Regulations

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

Application Process

Click here to download the funding application file and submit it to the GSAC Finance Chair by email before the deadline.

Funding Approval Process

SIG applications are due by October 1st for events being held prior to spring SIG vote (i.e., Oct. 20th - Feb. 20th) and February 1st for events being held prior to Fall SIG vote (i.e., Feb. 20th - Oct. 20th, excluding summer). Applications will not be accepted during the summer. The procedure for the approval of the SIG grant will be as follows:

301 Philosophy Guidelines

301 Philosophy is closed until further notice for rennovations. Please contact Ann Madigan to make reservations for April and May 2014.


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

  1. The GSAC Student Initiative Grant award letter (email).
  2. A completed Columbia Travel and Business Expense Report.
    • 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, bring a printed copy of the reimbursement packet to Mireille Valbrun in 109 Low Library and email a digital copy of the completed Columbia Travel and Business Expense Report to the GSAC Finance Chairman at within 30 days following the event for which the expenditure was used.

Concluding Report

Following all funded events, a report of the event should be filed with the GSAC Finance Chair. This report should include the following points:

  1. Was the event successful in achieving its goals and the goal of enriching graduate student life at Columbia?
  2. How was the budget actually balanced, compared to projected revenues/expenditures?
  3. How many graduate students attended, compared to the projected attendance? Which departments were represented?
  4. How was GSAC's contribution acknowledged?

Previously Funded Groups and Events

Here are some examples of events that have been funded by GSAC:

GSAC is a non-partisan graduate student organization. GSAC's funding of an event does not imply its endorsement of any views or opinions of the event's organizers or participants.