PhD Student Community Building Funds

Budget: $25,000/annually

Purpose & Criteria

This is an annual budget to support activities and programs which bring students together. Activities utilizing these funds, must meet the following criteria:

  • Open to all Allen School PhD students

  • Advertised on cs-grads at least 2-3 days in advance of the event (at a minimum, also ok/encourage to advertise on slack etc)

  • Add the event to the Grad Student Calendar

  • Research labs are also permitted to request funds, though the event should still be open to the general grad student community per the criteria above.

  • Research areas/labs are limited to one hosted lunch per month (e.g., "Research area and friends!")

  • Shared student offices may submit requests.


Allen School students who wish to lead an event can request funds via the PhD Student Community Building Funds Request form. Individual students can request funds for one-off activities or for approval of an ongoing program. Research groups may also request funding in small amounts, up to $200, to put towards a one-time internal event. Students should receive approval first before advertising the event. This funding may help supplement existing faculty or student funding. Once approved for funding, the event organizer will receive a confirmation email from the Director of Graduate Student Services (Elise Dorough, elised@cs) and/or the Ph.D. Program Adviser (Joe Eckert, jeckert1@cs).

For all requests, the following information is required:

  • Organizational lead/contact

  • Activity name/description

  • Expected attendance

  • Approximate budget per attendee

Ongoing programs which are pre-approved to use these funds for their events (list maintained and updated by the Grad Advising Team):

  • Meet-and-Eat. Lead Contact: Dan Petrisko (petrisko@cs)

  • Dominion Online. Lead Contact: Brian Hou (bhou1@cs)

Reimbursement & Budget Tracking

In order to be reimbursed for your expenditure, please do the following:

  • Create a new Google Drive folder and share it with jeckert1@cs and cheund@cs

  • Save each receipt separately as a PDF in the folder, following this naming convention:
    <First & last name of person who paid> - <vendor> - <date of event as MM-DD-YY>.pdf
    e.g, "Joe Eckert - Guanaco’s Tacos - 01-04-22.pdf"

    • Reminder: Only the person who paid for the item(s) can be reimbursed.

  • Send an email to Joe Eckert (jeckert1@cs) and include the following information:

    • Name & CSEID of person who paid

    • A link to the folder with the itemized receipt(s), showing payment details

    • List of all event attendees

    • Date of event

When food is included, the following government per diem rates (inclusive of tax, tips, fees; updated each fiscal year) apply:

  • Breakfast: $19 /per person

  • Lunch: $22 /per person

  • Dinner: $38 /per person

Activity Ideas (not meant to be an exhaustive list!)

  • Outdoor campfire (s’mores?)

  • Picnic in the park

  • Zoo visit

  • Buy a game and play together virtually

  • Snow activities (skiing?)

  • Group bike ride

  • Group volunteer activities

    • Breast cancer knitting circle

    • Other volunteering outdoors

Some places on campus are beginning to open in accordance with public health and safety guidelines and may also have activities: