GPSA COVID-19 Student Support Awards

About the Program

The Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) has redirected $100,000 of its annual budget, which historically funded in-person events and meetings, toward direct student support. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, UCSF student needs will continue to shift towards an adequate home workspace and safe transportation to campus. The awards will be dispersed in the form of electronic gift cards to students who are facing COVID-19-related needs in purchasing work from home supplies or offsetting the unusual costs of commuting to campus in a safer manner.

Program Budget

Awards will be allocated over the course of the 2020-21 academic year and dispersed in thirds in the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters.

  • Fall Quarter (Oct - Dec): ~$40,000
  • Winter Quarter (Jan - Mar): ~$30,000
  • Spring Quarter (Mar - May): ~$30,000

Student Eligibility

UCSF students who meet the criteria below are eligible to apply for a GPSA COVID-19 Student Support Award:

  • Currently enrolled, registered, and paying GPSA fees at the time of application
  • Not employed by UCSF in a position of 0.5 or greater

Allowable Expenses

The GSPA COVID-19 Student Support Awards were established to address critical, temporary, and unforeseen financial hardships that result from the COVID-19 crisis. Funds are designated to assist students in setting up adequate home workspaces, safely traveling to campus, and other unforeseen expenses due to COVID-19.

Examples include:

  • Rideshare
  • Parking fees
  • Gas
  • Office equipment, including furniture, computers, printers, telephone devices, etc.
  • Office supplies, including paper and printer toner
  • Other home office needs, including Wi-Fi upgrades and wiring

Ineligible Expenses

Any expense that is paid for by insurance, another QDR program, or other reimbursements.

Application Process

A GPSA subcommittee will review applications and evaluate each application based on an established rubric. Applications will remain confidential. Awards are not guaranteed to all who apply. Given the limited amount of funds available, requests may be fully funded up to a $150 limit, partially funded, or not funded at all. Awards will be distributed by electronic gift card.  


Application Deadline

Award Notifications

Fall 2020

October 15, 2020

November 1, 2020

Winter 2021

January 15, 2021

February 1, 2021

Spring 2021

April 15, 2021

May 1, 2021


The GPSA COVID-19 Student Support Awards will be available until allocations are exhausted or the federal disaster declaration expires.


Students who receive awards will not need to provide receipts or documentation of the expenses purchased. However, if asked to do so, students must be able to provide receipts or other documentation demonstrating how the funds were used in accordance with the requirements of the program. Failure to do so may make the award taxable income.


Awards do not need to be repaid and are not taxable, since COVID-19 is a “federally declared disaster” issued by the President of the United States, and the payments are therefore considered “qualified disaster relief payments” under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code.


Questions about the program may be directed to GPSA at [email protected].