Career Development Grants provide funding to women who hold a bachelor’s degree and are preparing to advance or change careers or re-enter the workforce in education; health and medical sciences; science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); or social sciences. Primary consideration is given to women of color and women pursuing their first advanced degree or credentials in nontraditional fields.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents whose last degree was received before June 30, 2016. Funds are available for tuition, fees, books, supplies, local transportation and dependent care.
AAUW originally designed Career Development Grants in 1972 to offer “encouragement” funding to AAUW members seeking to renew or resume academic work for credit toward career or employment advancement.
Today, grants support course work beyond a bachelor’s degree, including a master’s degree, second bachelor’s degree, certification program, or specialized training in technical or professional fields. Course work must be taken at an accredited two- or four-year college or university in the United States or at a technical school that is fully licensed or accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. Funds are not available for doctorate-level work.
AAUW’s mission is advancing gender equity through research, education and advocacy.
In 2018, AAUW adopted its strategic plan, laying the groundwork and vision for promoting gender equity for women and girls. Subsequently, the organization has accomplished significant milestones in pursuit of its objectives. As the year 2021 approaches, AAUW has focused its efforts on key areas where it can take a leading role, refining its strategic objectives to create an improved version, known as the “2.0 version.” This updated strategy aligns with the profound social, political, and organizational transformations witnessed in the past two years, allowing AAUW to continue its mission with even greater impact and relevance.
The history of the American Association of University Women reflects the advancement of women throughout the United States. Over time, as the number of women earning college degrees increased, so did the organization’s membership.
- The grants range from US$2,000–US$20,000
- Career Development Grant funds are available for:
- Educational expenses.
- Living expenses.
- Dependent care.
- Travel to professional meetings, conferences, or seminars that does not exceed 10% of the grant total.
- Except where expressly stated otherwise, Career Development Grants are not available for:
- Purchase of equipment.
- Indirect costs.
- Research assistants.
- Previous expenditures, deficits or repayment of loans.
- Publication costs.
- Institutional (overhead) costs.
- Tuition for dependent’s education
- The following criteria apply to the selection of Career Development Grants:
- Demonstrated commitment to education and equity for women and girls.
- Reason for seeking higher education or technical training.
- Degree to which study plan is consistent with career objectives.
- Potential for success in chosen field.
- Documentation of opportunities in chosen field.
- Feasibility of study plans and proposed time schedule.
- Validity of proposed budget and budget narrative, including sufficient outside support.
- Quality of written proposal.
- Applicant is from an underrepresented racial/ethnic background.
- Applicant will be in an underrepresented area of the country and/or type of university other than a top-level research institution during the award year.
- Applicant is seeking credentials in a nontraditional field.
- Financial need.
- Career Development Grants are open to women, including people who identify as women, who:
- are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
- hold an earned (not honorary) bachelor’s degree.
- received their bachelor’s degree on or before June 30, 2016.
- do not hold an earned (not honorary) graduate or professional degree.
- plan to enroll or are enrolled in courses/activities that are required for professional employment or advancement.
- plan to enroll or are enrolled in one of the following program types:
- Bachelor’s degree program that is different from the field of study of the previously earned bachelor’s degree.
- Master’s degree program.
- Certification program.
- Technical school.
- Plan to enroll or are enrolled in one of the following fields of study:
- Health and Medical Sciences.
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
- Social Sciences.
- All courses of study must occur at a regionally accredited two- or four-year college or university in the United States or at a technical school that is fully licensed and/or accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants must reside within the United States during the grant period.
- Distance or online learning programs will be funded only if they are conducted through an accredited institution appearing on the U.S. Department of Education’s list of approved online/distance learning programs. Final decisions about what constitutes distance learning under these grants will be made by AAUW.
- Applicants are required to indicate their matriculation status within the application. While applicants are not required to already be enrolled or accepted into their preferred institution of study in order to apply, preference is given to those who are able to demonstrate strong commitment or intent in following the proposed plan of study. Awardees must be able to show proof of admission when submitting their acceptance materials.
- Career Development Grant funding is not available for the programs below:
- Prerequisite coursework.
- Professional degree in law (JD), business (MBA) or medicine (MD, DO).
- Doctoral coursework or dissertations.
- AAUW encourages applicants interested in funding for master’s or professional degrees to consider eligibility guidelines for Selected Professions Fellowships as well. Applicants can only apply for one AAUW award per year.
- Career Development Grants are not open to previous recipients of any AAUW national fellowship or grant (not including branch or local awards or Community Action Grants). Members of the AAUW Board of Directors, committees, panels, task forces and staff, including current interns, are not eligible to apply for AAUW’s fellowships and grants. A person holding a current award is eligible for election or appointment to boards, committees, panels and task forces.
- Start the application process by clicking the Apply Now button below to access the application and create an account through the website’s vendor site. Complete all required components in the following tabs.
- Recommendation, Documents, & Review
- The applicant’s recommendation must be submitted by a college counselor or adviser, an instructor or a work supervisor who knows them well. AAUW does not accept references from dossier services, such as Parment or Interfolio.
- Applicants must upload transcript or diploma that shows bachelor’s degree. Document must include the applicant’s full name, the school’s name, the degree name, and the degree date.
- A certified English translation is required for all components provided in a foreign language. Translations must bear a mark of certification or official signature that the translation is true and complete.
- All transcripts provided must include the applicant’s full name, the school’s name, all courses and all grades, as well as any other information requested in in the application instructions.
- The panel meets once a year to review applications for funding. Awards are based on the criteria outlined here. The panel’s recommendations are subject to final approval by AAUW. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis according to funds available in a given fiscal year.
- To ensure a fair review process, AAUW does not comment on the deliberations of the awards panels. AAUW does not provide evaluations of applications. No provisions exist for reconsideration of grant proposals. Applications and supporting documents become the sole property of AAUW and will not be returned or held for another year.
Application Deadline: November 4, 2023Application ClosedOfficial link