Professional Development Grant Instructions



Purpose: The purpose of the Epsilon Sigma Phi Professional Development Grant is to stimulate development of Extension professionals. Grants will be awarded to interdisciplinary teams to plan and conduct a project with an appeal to a broad audience of Extension professionals. Through the ESP Development Fund, funding for at least four $1,000 grants is available annually and will be awarded through a competitive process.

 Deadlines: Complete online application by December 1.  (Additional March 1 or May 1 call for applications may be made pending funding and board approval.)

Professional Development Grant Expectations:

  • The project must be submitted by an interdisciplinary team (Fifty percent of persons on the project planning teams must be ESP members with dues paid for current year, if applicable).
  • The project should address professional development of Extension personnel
  • The project should be such that it can be replicated by other ESP Chapters.
  • Budget should be a total budget including all funds for the project. The budget should specifically address how ESP funds would be used.
  • The completed Professional Development Grant Application must include statements of support from the Chapter President and the Extension Director or their designees. (These links are currently not working. Please click Home at the top of the page and then follow the Professional Development menu to the application and support forms.)
  • The projects are to be completed one year from the date funding is announced.
  • Funds must be requested no later than six months following notification of funding and if not used, returned to the National ESP Office by the end of the following six months.
  • A summary of the project with outcomes/results (for possible inclusion in the ESP Connection newsletter) and a financial report must be submitted to the National ESP Office by February 1 following the year in which the project was completed.
  • Failure to submit this report will necessitate reimbursement to ESP by the chapter. In addition, the chapter will not be eligible for another grant until the report and/or funds are returned.
  • A concurrent session presentation or poster exhibit at the National ESP Conference is encouraged.

Application Requirements: A completed Application includes the following:

  • Complete the Professional Development Grant Application Form which includes the following:
    • Chapter
    • Region
    • Name and contact information for project leader
    • List of project team members, titles, and program areas/areas of expertise
    • Begin and end date of project
    • Has chapter previously received a grant? If yes, when?
    • Project title
    • Project description (250 words)
    • Justification for project (150 words)
    • Project objectives (250 words)
    • Expected results and outcomes (250Words)
    • Implementation Plans
    • How project could be replicated by other chapters
    • Evaluation plans
    • Budget and total dollars requested
  • Provide Statements of Support from:
    * Chapter President or executive committee member
    Extension Director or designee

Professional Development Grant Scorecard: (to be used by SGR Committee in evaluation)

(Items 1,2 and 3 must be yes to be funded)

Criteria Score
1. Interdisciplinary team and 50% of team are ESP members (yes or no)  
2. Does the project have potential for replication in other states (yes or no)  
3. Project addressing professional development needs of a broad audience of Extension Employees? (yes or no)  
4. Project justification, issues, description and objectives clearly outlined - (0-5pts)  
5. Implementation plan clearly described - (0-5pts)  
6. Evaluation plan and anticipated outcomes are well outlined - (0-5pts)  
7. Budget request is justified and appropriate - (0-5pts)  
8. Innovative Project - (0-5pts)  

 Selection Process:

  • The Scholarship, Grants and Recognition Committee provides recommendations to the National ESP Board for consideration.
  • Grants are awarded regardless of regions.
  • Decisions will be announced by the ESP National Office. 

Resources available:


Contact the National ESP Scholarships, Grants and Recognition Committee Chair.