Got an idea? Get paid.

If you have an idea for an artistic project or need financial assistance to take part in a unique opportunity, we may be able to help. We want to work with you to get aid in making your ideas a reality. Professional Development Grants will give you the resources you need to start your next initiative.

Schedule a meeting with Rachael Smith ›

Schedule a meeting with a Peer Career Advisor›

There are three types of Professional Development Grants, each with a different maximum award amount, and slightly different application procedures. You may only submit an application for ONE of the awards.

NOTE: These are reimbursement grants. You must submit receipts for your expenses to be reimbursed up to the amount you were awarded (Tier 1 and Sky Hi awardees receive 50% up front and the balance once receipts are submitted). Receipts will be accepted up to one year from the date you receive your award notification. Projects up to one year in the past from application date are eligible for an award. 

Tier 1 Reimbursement Form
Tier 2 Reimbursement Form
Sky Hi Reimbursement Form

  TIER ONEAPPLY TIER TWOAPPLY SKY HI AWARDAPPLY
Deadline(s): Meet with Rachael Smith by 10/7, 4pm; Application due 10/21, 4pm; Mandatory presentation on 11/1, 9-12pm—this date and time are not flexible. Please do not apply if you have a conflict.

First-time applicants and returning applicants who did not receive an award: meet with Rachael Smith or a PCA by 10/7, 4pm

Application due 10/21, 4pm

Meet with Rachael Smith by 10/7, 4pm; Application due 10/21, 4pm
Description: Designed to encourage ambitious, creative projects that may or may not include: concert production, an album, outreach, new technologies, staging, multimedia, marketing, etc. For miscellaneous expenses associated with a career in music, including: travel, audition fees, clothing, performance fees, recording costs, headshots, websites, etc. Equipment that is considered to be standard upkeep (e.g., strings, cases, mallets, most software, etc.) is not eligible Supports the collaborative creation of new music for performance works including dance, multimedia, performance art, interactive performance, film/video, and other forms. This award is intended to support both the creation of the music and the collaborative process with choreographer or other artist(s). Projects that utilize digital (computer software) workspaces or tools are preferred. 
Eligibility: Must be a currently enrolled student at SFCM

Not open to previous semester awardees
Must be a currently enrolled student at SFCM

Not open to previous semester awardees
Must be a currently enrolled student at SFCM. Not open to previous semester awardees.
Award amount: $1,000 maximum—50% awarded up-front, 50% as reimbursement if/when project is completed within one year of award date $500 maximum—reimbursement only $1,000—50% awarded up-front, 50% as reimbursement if/when project is completed within one year of award date
Meeting: Meeting with Rachael Smith required by 10/7, 4pm  (book here) Required for first-time applicants BEFORE applying (book here) Meeting with Rachael Smith required by 10/7, 4pm  (book here)
Application: Online, including project details and budget Online, including project details and budget Online, including a letter of support from your collaborator, two representative work samples from within the last five years (in audio or video form), project details, and budget.
Presentation: If you pass the first-round screening process, you will make a proposal presentation to the judging committee on 11/1, 9-12pm—this date and time are not flexible. Please do not apply if you have a conflict. Click here for T1 presentation guide. No presentation required No presentation required
Evaluation Criteria:
  1. Adherence to PDG application instructions and eligibility requirements
  2. Project Quality: Project is necessary and will positively affect the student and/or their target audience as stated. Project is feasible given the resources discussed (assuming funding by PDG)
  3. Presentation Quality: Presenter is calm, confident, and presents themselves professionally. They speak clearly, without rushing or lingering over irrelevant details. They supplement their presentation with materials that are relevant and enhance, rather than distract from, the presentation
  1. Adherence to PDG application instructions and eligibility requirements
  2. Need ranking, as determined by the Financial Aid office
  3. Project relevance: the project’s primary purpose should be to further the applicant’s musical career or professional development
  4. Application quality: the applicant should clearly describe the nature of the project and how it will impact their professional career. Their answers should center on the specific career and project, include only relevant information, and avoid vague terms and arguments. The writing should be professional and polished. The budget should contain exact costs or realistic estimates for the funds requested. The budget surplus/deficit must equal zero
  1. Adherence to PDG application instructions and eligibility requirements
  2. Project relevance: the project should further the applicant's studies, career, or professional development, and/or advance knowledge and practice in the chosen field
  3. The project should include substantial collaboration between musicians/composers and other artists or practitioners
Ineligible requests:
  1. Audition, festival, or performance-related expenses, including travel costs and application fees
  2. Standard equipment needs (i.e., strings, cases, bows, mallets, etc.), including programs or other electronic equipment that is available to students at SFCM (i.e., Sibelius, ProTools, etc.)
  3. New instruments
  4. Expenses not related to a career in music
  1. Auditions for other schools or degree programs
  2. Projects undertaken while not a student of SFCM
  3. Standard equipment needs (i.e., strings, cases, bows, mallets, etc.), including programs or other electronic equipment that is available to students at SFCM (i.e., Sibelius, ProTools, etc.)
  4. New instruments
  5. Expenses not related to a career in music
Anything outside the description above. 
Judging committee: First round screening by PDEC. Second, final round by arts professionals from outside the SFCM community SFCM's Faculty Executive Committee

Mix of arts professionals and SFCM faculty

Examples of Successful PDG Proposals & Budgets:

Tier 1
Tier 2