Student Development Funding

Student Development Funding

Saint Mary's College Student Research & Professional Development Fund supports and encourages independent academic research and professional development for enrolled students. Funds are limited and will be available each academic year until the fund is exhausted.  

Update, the funds for AY 23-24 have been exhausted and applications are no being reviewed. 

Activities eligible for support must be related to the student's disciplinary or professional/career development. These may include, but are not limited to:

attendance and/or participation at conferences,

  • seminars,
  • workshops, 
  • academic fora,
  • work on research projects,
  • practical application projects, and
  • publications.

Not eligible:

  • club activities,
  • admission exams,
  • tuition for additional courses,
  • group projects (in a course), and 
  • and expenses incurred in fulfilling course requirements.

*This fund is not intended for entire classes or large groups, or to replace lab fees.

All SMC students are eligible to apply.  Please note, you will receive only one grant per academic year.  


You may apply per academic year for a maximum amount of:

  •    $750 for active participation (presentation of a paper or poster, or musical or artistic work, or research).
  •    $300 for passive participation (attendance only).

***Faculty mentors should note that they are limited in sponsoring a total amount of $2,250 of student development per academic year (i.e. three students could apply for the $750 to attend Conference X, or 7 students could apply for $300 for Conference X).

When/how are funds awarded?

First-come, first-served pending availability of funds.


The Student Research & Professional Development Fund is administered by the Office of Faculty Development.

  1. Applications must be submitted through eGrants portal.
  2. You must identify and work with a project/activity mentor who will guide their work. 
  3. To be added to eGrants, send an email to with the following information:
  •    Name (first and last) 
  •    Department or Major 
  •    Faculty Advisor for Project (for students) 
  •    Class Standing

4. You must apply in advance of the event.

5. If you are paying fees in another currency, please calculate the exchange rate.

6. If you are receiving funding from another source for the activity, this information and the amount received must be included in your application. 

Expenses to be included in your application 

  • Airfare; 
  • Ground Transportation (taxi, Uber, Lyft, bus, train, etc)
  • conference registration fees;
  • meals (Allowable per diem is the max allowed)
  • supplies (poster production etc.)
  • lodging (hotel, Airbnb, etc). 

 Supporting documentation required

  • Details about the event from its website and/or official program or, 
  • A copy of the acceptance of your research/scholarship  

* Funds are limited and applications will be approved until funds are exhausted each year.

** The Office of Faculty Development reserves the right to determine the appropriate level of funding.

Can I apply with another student or group of students?  

If several students want to travel together, each student must apply for funding. One person in the group being approved for funding does not guarantee everyone in the group will be funded. There are several reasons another applicant from the group may not be awarded a grant: funds are exhausted, GPA requirements not met, incomplete application, late application, etc. 

Can I use my funds after the semester is over or after I graduate? 

Expense reports and receipts must be submitted prior to graduation. Graduating seniors are eligible to receive funding for conference activities completed before graduation only. 

Will I have to pay tax on this grant? 

No. this is not income per se. It is a legitimate expense associated with your academic journey covered by the College as a grant. 

How will I be reimbursed?  
Once you have submitted all receipts to eGrants (not via email to the director), and the Director of Faculty Development has approved the reimbursement, the business office will disburse funds to you. The Faculty Development Office does not issue the check or facilitate the electronic deposit. We just provide the business office with approvals plus your receipts and expense report and they do the accounting/banking part of it.   

Is my credit card statement a receipt?

No, because while it shows a payment to a vendor, it does not show what was purchased.  

What details need to be included on a receipt?

  • The name of the organization from which you bought the service or product
  • The date of the purchase
  • Some type of description of the item purchased 
  • Total paid, including taxes. 

Do I need to submit paper receipts?

You can scan receipts; the original receipts do not need to be submitted in hard copy.   

What are eligible expenses?

  • Books when they are not available from the College’s library 
  • Food
  • Lodging (if the conference/event is over 50 miles from Moraga)
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Parking
  • Shipping charges 
  • Software only if bought through the College
  • Tolls
  • Travel

What are ineligible expenses?

You will not be reimbursed for: 

  • Accommodation at conferences located less than 50 miles from Moraga during the school year 
  • Alcohol 
  • Applications that were not approved by the director of faculty development 
  • Baggage insurance
  • Cancellation fees for unreasonable changes
  • Expenses for someone else
  • Food expenses that exceed per diem rates approved
  • Gifts/gift cards (unless it is for a host providing free accommodation?)
  • Onboard movies on flights
  • Passport photos or fees 
  • Retroactive requests  
  • Travel insurance
  • Gift cards

What qualifies as an eligible receipt?

All receipts must match the name of the grant recipient. Reimbursement can only be made to the person named on a receipt. 


  • The hotel receipt must be in your name.   
  • The receipt for your airfare must show that you paid for it.   
  • The conference registration receipt must be in your name and it must show that you paid for it. 

Is a receipt proof of payment? 

Not really. But if your receipt shows the last 4 digits of your credit/debit card OR a 0 balance we do not need proof of payment such as via a bank statement or credit card. 

When do I need to submit my receipts?

Students who receive funding will need to submit an expense report along with receipts to eGrants for reimbursement of expenses within 30 days of completion of the activity/purchase. 

What if my faculty mentor pays for something?

If a faculty member pays for any expenses, they also need to submit a signed expense report, along with their receipts, noting the expenses are related to a student award.

What if I shared a room or a car rental with another student?

For all shared expenses, whoever submits the receipt will be reimbursed. The receipt can’t be split. You will need to arrange how you will handle this between you

Why might I run into trouble being reimbursed after I incurred expenses? 


  • If a friend or family covered your expenses. Receipts must match the name of the student being reimbursed. 
  • If you provide a travel itinerary with no proof of payment for hotels, airfare etc
  • You submit a car rental booking with no proof of payment.

Do I need to give a shout-out to Saint Mary's?

If the project or activity results in a publication you must acknowledge "the support of the Student Development Fund at Saint Mary’s College of California." 

Student Application Tutorial

Enabling Pop-Ups

EGrant FAQs

Getting to eGrants

Log in to MySMC, go to “All Apps,  and click on the eGrants / eProtocol button. If you are not able to log in to eGrants after logging in to MySMC, please contact Faculty Development at We will set up an eGrant account for you.

A screen shot of a computer screenDescription automatically generated with low confidence

In order to use eGrants, you must enable pop-ups for the Key Solutions site (the eGrants site). Click here for instructions on Enabling Pop-ups.

Completing the Application Form

Detailed instructions are available HERE.  Less detailed instructions are provided to follow. 

A. Click “Create Proposal” in top right corner when you are in your "Applicant Home" dashboard.

B. Choose the Student Development Fund form.

C. Enter your Project Title,  and start & end Date by clicking on the calendar icon.

D. Upload necessary attachments such as conference invitation:

1. Click Add.
2. Select the attachment item (type) from drop-down menu. 
3. Click Choose File and select desired attachment.
4. Press Save and repeat for other attachments.

5. Then press Next which will take you to the signature page. ( NB.  A lot of people don't take this step and their applications do not get routed for a review as a result.)

E. You can also sign by clicking on the "Routing Signatories" page to submit your proposal for review. 

1. Under Applicant, click the box next to Sign.
2. Click Submit in the top right corner.
3. Your submitted proposal is then sent to the Faculty Development Office for review and follow-up.
4. See the following slide for what happens next.


Submission confirmation    
You will receive a message on your screen and an automated email will be sent to your SMC email when you submit your application. 

For additional help with student development grant applications in eGrants, contact Faculty Development at

Instructions for submitting receipts and Expense Report form through E-Grants

After logging in to E-Grants from MySMC, click on your application in the left-hand menu, then the sub-menu called "Attachments" should show:

and that's where you should click “add” and upload:

1) your Expense Report form (leave middle section that asks for GL codes blank)
2) receipts as reflected in your Expense Report form
3) submit receipts and expense report as one attachment
4) Expenses need to be broken out by day/date. 

If the “add” button is absent, it maybe the case that we have not yet “returned” your case back to you – so shoot a quick email for us to send your proposal back to you.

Once you have uploaded receipts for this particular project, don't forget to "sign" by click on the "signed" tick box, which will indicate your attachments are ready for the FD director to review and submit for reimbursement if approved. 

If you have additional receipts and expense reports to upload to the same proposal later, we can “request additional materials” to send back to you, and you can repeat the same process described in these instructions.

Fillable Expense Report Form Available Here


  • Per diem AY 23-24: breakfast $17, lunch $18, dinner $34
  • Mileage AY 23-24: 0.655 per mile



Once you submit your proposal, you should see a blue message starting with “Proposal has been submitted.” This indicates that your application has been routed to the queue for review by the FD director. Thereafter, the Faculty Development office will communicate with you using the eGrants “Comments” functionality and by changing the status of your proposal triggering update email notifications to you. 

Status Definitions used by eGrants  


When you initially submit your proposal, the status automatically becomes "Submitted.” This does not, however, mean your proposal has been accepted as eligible for funding, but rather it is in the queue for review. The Faculty Development Office communicates on the 30th of every month, from August to May, the approval, or otherwise, of all applications made prior to the 20th of that month.   

If you do not receive this initial email showing “Submitted” go back to eGrants to determine if you have signed the application. The signature page is the very last page of the application form. 

Accepted and Waiting for Funding

When status is at any time "Accepted and Waiting for Funding,” that means your project has been approved. Congratulations! Complete your project and upload your receipts and expense report once your project is complete. Please note before you can submit additional attachments, such as receipts, eGrants needs to be set up to receive new attachments in your proposal. This happens by setting your status to “request for additional material,” which also results in an automated email from eGrants letting you know there has been a change of status to “Request for Additional Materials.”  

Request for Additional Materials

The primary (though not the only) reason eGrants will change your proposal status to “Request for Additional Materials” is to indicate that your file is now open to accept your expense report and receipts. You need to check the “Comment” section in eGrants. If the comment indicates you must submit your receipts and expense report, we know that this may not happen immediately but your file is ready for attachments when you are reading. 


When status is "Funded" that means we sent your expense report and receipts for reimbursement to the Business Office and eGrants has sent you this automated email to let you know. Log back into your proposal via eGrants and click the Application Status tab to see how much you were reimbursed.

Note that if your "Funded" amount is less than your "Accepted and Waiting for Funding" amount, we assume you have additional receipts you wish to reimburse at a later date and we will return this proposal back to you with the status "Returned for Additional Materials," so that you may upload the rest of your receipts and a new expense report form. If you have completed your project, we can release the rest of your funding for other faculty projects, so please email us ASAP.

Make sure your reimbursement has been posted to your bank account (or check mailed) after two weeks from the "Funded" date. Direct related inquiries to the Business Office (not Faculty Development) if you do not receive the reimbursement. 


When status is "Declined” your proposal was not approved.  This may be because:

  • A duplicate proposal that was already submitted or funded, 
  • Your application did not meet the eligibility for funding
  • You have already received your allowable award for the year,
  • The College funds have been exhausted

The reason will be provided in the “Comments” section of eGrants. 


When status is "Closed” all transactions associated with your application have been completed. The Business Office has reimbursed you and your proposal is no longer active.