Biomedical Graduate Student Association (BGSA)

Merit Request Guide

What is a merit request?

A Merit Request is a funding request for an event, activity, or project that will be open to members of BGSA. Broadly speaking, a merit request can be for anything that will help to foster the interaction of BGSA members either socially or academically. Some examples of prior approved requests:

  • Sponsoring members to run in a 5K race
  • Supporting a monthly journal club
  • Funding of a meditation session
  • Subsidizing the cost of a hiking trip to the Delaware River Water Gap

Eligibility/Requirements 

Application for funding is not restricted to BGSA members, but the event, activity, or project being proposed must be open to all members of the BGSA community.

  • The event, activity or project must be publicly advertised through the BGSA listserv to ensure that all members are made aware of the event

  • Requests must be submitted at least 7 days before the next General Assembly meeting (14 days if you desire feedback from the Executive Board)
  • The request must include a detailed budget, including a description of where the money shall be spent
  • There are no requirements on how many people must be included in the event, but any limitation on the number of BGSA members allowed to participate in the event must be clearly articulated at the time of submission
  • The event does not have to be large enough to accommodate all members of BGSA, but the event must have an open enrollment period available to all members of BGSA
  • All events must comply with university policy, including the University Alcohol Policy, and funds must be used in the most appropriate and economical manner possible. It is the responsibility of the requesting party to ensure this compliance.

How to request funding

To request funding for your event, a merit request funding form must be clearly completed and submitted to the BGSA Executive Board through our online submission system by the deadlines described below.

All requests are voted upon by the General Assembly, and must be submitted 7 days before the General Assembly meeting in which they will be reviewed. The 7-day advanced notice requirement must be met so that the request can be included in the upcoming General Assembly announcement email. After submitting a request, you (or a representative) must appear at the next General Assembly meeting and present the request to the General Assembly. A 2/3 majority of the General Assembly is required to pass a merit request.

Funding Approval

Upon receiving a merit request, the Executive Board will:
  • Read over the proposal and make suggestions if deemed appropriate

  • Alert the General Assembly of the request at least 7 days before the next General Assembly meeting
Requests heard by the General Assembly will be decided in the following way:
  • The person(s) requesting the funding shall give a brief description of the funding request, including:

    • why the activity is relevant to BGSA

    • the total amount of funding requested

    • what the money will be spent on

  • The General Assembly will then have the option to accept the request as is, revise, or set conditions for the request before going to a vote

    • Accept: no further action necessary

    • Revisions/Conditions:

      • The General Assembly may choose to only fund certain provision of the request

      • The General Assembly may choose to fund certain provisions at either a greater or lesser extent

      • Total funding may be contingent upon certain conditions

      • All revisions/conditions must be amenable to the requestor, and they may counter with alternative/additional revisions, or refuse them entirely.

  • The General Assembly will vote on the proposed funding request. Funding requests must obtain a 2/3 majority to be approved. In addition, all events must meet the requirements set forth below:

Funding Disbursement

Funds will be disbursed after completion of the appropriate forms (funding request form, sign-in sheet, statement of business [if using Concur for reimbursement]). The Vice Chairs of Administration and Finance will aid you in this process. 

Methods of Recourse

Requests rejected by the General Assembly will be tabled for the duration of the meeting, but may be resubmitted for consideration at a future General Assembly meeting.

Accountability

  • The requesting party(s) who signs the Funding Proposal Form is/are responsible for ensuring that the approved funds are used exactly as indicated in the approved proposal.
  • If approved BGSA funds are not used as originally proposed and approved, BGSA is under no obligation to reimburse the student for funds used in an unapproved manner. BGSA also reserves the right to censure the responsible student if he or she applies for future funding.
  • If approved BGSA funds are used in a manner that is directly opposed to BGSA Funding policy or University Alcohol Policy, BGSA reserves the right to deny the responsible student(s) future funding.
  • The student(s) who sign(s) the Funding Proposal Form accept full responsibility for repercussions that may arise from the inappropriate utilization of BGSA Funds.

More Questions?

Please contact the Vice Chair of Administration: bgsa.vc@gmail.com

Please click here to download a printer-friendly pdf of the information contained on this page.


© The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania | Site best viewed in a supported browser. | Site Design: PMACS Web Team.