Fund for Student Initiatives

Purpose of the Fund

The FSI is intended to encourage the formation of student-led organizations at GSPIA designed to promote professional development, leadership, intellectual stimulation, networking and fun. The range of potential organizations is unlimited, but viable examples would include “career clubs” (e.g., Defense and Intelligence, Diplomacy and Foreign Service, International Organizations, Non-Profit Management), organizations with a policy theme (e.g., Environmental Policy, Human Rights Advocacy, Globalization and Development) and organizations with a national or regional focus (e.g., China, Middle East, EU, Africa). Proposed organizations must be broad enough in scope to assure the involvement of a good number of students. NOTE: organizations funded last year (all of whose budgets expire December 15) are eligible to be refunded, but their organizers must reapply and go through the competitive process.

Examples of Fundable Activities

Organizers may propose to allocate funds for guest speakers, film series, training workshops, luncheon debates, group recreational activities, or group trips to Washington for professional and academic development. This list is not exhaustive; other ideas for activities are welcome. Activities and events are expected to revolve around your group but be open to all interested GSPIA students. Ideal proposals will project a variety of disparate activities.


Organizers will be expected to request budgets between $500 and $2,000; the “fiscal year” for spending from these budgets will be January 10 to December 15. The number of awards given will depend on the number of quality proposals submitted. If two or more similar organizations are proposed, the organizers may be encouraged to merge their efforts. The organizers awarded funding will receive, in their award letters, details regarding the budget management process and reporting procedures.

FIS Awards Committee

The GSPIA Student Cabinet will review the applications, evaluate the proposed activities and budgets, and rank order the proposed organizations. Final decisions on funding will be made jointly by the Student Cabinet and the Dean.

Application Format

All applications must include: 1) the name of the proposed organization; 2) a description of the prospective value of the organization for the GSPIA community; 3) the names, emails and phone numbers of at least two group organizers/leaders; 4) the names and emails of at least 8 other students interested in participating in the organization; 5) a list of proposed activities and an itemized budget. Note: the FIS Awards Committee will give special consideration to those proposals supported by the largest numbers of students. Questions regarding the application process should be directed to the current President of the Student Cabinet.

Application Deadline

The competition will be announced in early October. Proposals must be submitted electronically to and by the end of October. If you have any questions, contact

Reporting Requirements

Funded organizations must submit their activity dates to the Student Cabinet so they can be posted to the Student Cabinet Calendar. A brief report listing activities held, attendance, funds expended, and areas for improvement will be required near the end of each semester.

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
3601 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260