The BGSA wants to help you make your ideas for events a reality. To this end, we have created this guide to help you apply for funding for your student event, how, once approved, you can get paid, and additional resources. Feel free to contact the BGSA Finance Chair with any questions. For the BGSA finance record for Fiscal Year 2013-2014 click here.

1. Applying for BGSA Funding
- Merit Requests
- Discretionary Funding

2. Getting Paid
- Purchase Order (preferred)
- Reimbursements

3. Additional Resources

Applying for BGSA Funding

This section explains the two sources of funding (Merit and Discretionary) and how to apply for those funding. Further details about the two funding mechanisms are described in the BGSA Constitution.

follow the steps to get your event funded!

1. Merit Requests

A. Who it's for: This funding source is appropriate for events that are open to all BGS students and of broad interest to all BGS students. Requests for merit funding are voted on and approved by the BGSA student body during monthly General Assembly (GA) meetings. Details of merit request approval are discussed here.
- Please be sure to consult the Requirements of Merit Requests when forming your request.

B. How to apply: Submit your merit request using only our online system.
- All merit requests must be submitted at least 7 days before the GA meeting, by Monday 5pm. Late requests will not be voted on until the following GA meeting.
- If you would like the Exec Board to give feedback on the request (highly encouraged!), please submit the request 14 days before the GA meeting.
- After your request is approved, proceed to "Getting paid".

2. Discretionary Funding

A. Who it's for: This funding comes from money allocated to each graduate group based on population. This funding source is appropriate for events that are of primary interest to particular graduate groups or students therein (e.g., grad group-specific social events). Student events can also be jointly funded by Merit and Discretionary Funding (e.g., journal clubs). The graduate group representatives (aka Program Reps) allocate this funding at their discretion.

B. How to apply: Directly email your Program Reps with your request. The request should include event description as well as total budget requested.
- Note to Program Reps: Before approving an event for Discretionary funding, Program Reps should contact the BGSA Finance Chair to make sure that there is enough money to fund the event.
- The GA does not have to approve an event funded through Discretionary Funding.
- After your request is approved, proceed to "Getting Paid".

Getting Paid

Now that your event has been approved for BGSA funding, either through the Merit Funding for Discretionary Funding, this section explains what you have to do to get paid.

Get Paid

1. Purchase Order (Preferred)

A. Who it's for: Purchase orders (POs) are the preferred way for you to get paid. This is appropriate if your event uses a Penn-approved vendor or supplier. A purchase order (PO) will be submitted directly to vendor, and no out-of-pocket expense will be incurred by the student.
- Expenses totaling under $50 cannot be paid by purchase order. You must go through reimbursement.

B. How to get paid:
1. At least seven (7) BUSINESS days before your event (no exceptions!), email the BGSA Finance Chair with:
- Quote: Call your Penn-approved vendor or supplier. You should tell them that the quote is for a UPenn student event and is exempt from the sales tax. UPenn is NOT exempt for alcohol tax.
- Funding Request Form: Electronic images of signatures are OK. The vendor ID can be found at these links: caterer or supplier.

2. The BGSA Finance Chair will get back to you with a PO number, which you will give to the vendor.

3. During your event, save all itemized receipts and a sign-in sheet (with names and email addresses) in case charges are disputed.

4. After your event, please email and deliver the sign-in sheet to the Finance Chair at

2. Reimbursment

A. Who it's for: Reimbursements involve more paperwork. You don't have to use a Penn-approved vendor, but you will have to pay out-of-pocket and get reimbursed afterwards.
- You will not be reimbursed for sales tax, but you will be reimbursed for alcohol tax (University Policy).
- Expenses totaling under $50 cannot be paid by purchase order. You must go through reimbursement.
-Students can only be reimbursed for purchases made by himself or herself. The organizer of an event cannot receive reimbursement for someone else, even if the other person had made purchases for the event. That other person will have to fill out a separate reimbursement form.
-University Policy: Reimbursements must be filed within 90-120 days of an event.

B. How to get paid:
1. During your event, save all itemized receipts and a sign-in sheet (with names and email addresses).
2. Within one week of your event, email the Finance Chair with:
- Funding Request Form: Electronic images of signatures are OK. You can leave the vendor ID blank.
3. The Finance Chair will reply by email with a copy of the Funding Request Form containing his signature.
4. Create an expense report in the online reimbursement system Concur. Please email the Finance Chair if you have any questions.

Expense Report

5A. Fill out the Report Header as follows:
- Type of Travel/Reimbursement: "4. Non-Travel Expense"
- Country Code: leave empty
- Report Name: a short description with dates (e.g., "BGSA Symposium 10/30/13")
- Report Date: leave as is - automatically generated
- Policy: "US Expense Policy"
- Business Justification: description of event with dates. Please include the phrase "Please use BGSA funding."
- Report Key: leave as is
- School/Center: use default - "(40) MED"
- CNAC-ORG-BC-FUND -Funding Source: use default.
- Program: use default.
- CREF: use default.
- Lawson AU-UPHS COA: leave empty
- Affiliation: leave as is -automatically generated
- Notes to Approver: "BGSA-approved event. Funding Request form with Finance Chair signature attached as receipt."


5B. Click "Next." You will receive a warning that reads "The student/trainee will include in the Business Justification field full detail..." You can ignore this warning and click "Next" again.


5C. Under New Expenses, scroll down and click on Student Activities to add an expense. Fill in the relevant fields, including attaching images of itemized receipts. (In rare situations, you might want to add other expenses.)

***5D. Before submitting the expense report under Concur, please upload the following documents as "receipts" (You must attach as additional receipts to one of your expense items; do not use the "Receipt store"):
- A copy of Funding Request Form, with Finance Chair signature (see step 2 above).
- Statement of Business Form: write expected date of graduation for the end ate of your term. You MUST sign this form. Electronic signatures are acceptable. You can use the last four digits of your SSN.
- Sign-in sheets: please include a list of all students all attended your event. This is REQUIRED for approval of your reimbursement.

5E. Click "Submit Report." The report will be sent for processing. You should receive an email when it has been approved.

Additional Resources