About GSSA Speaker Funding

The Graduate Student Studies Association (GSSA) Event funding is granted only to departments in good standing with GSSA, through an active representative. You can check the standing of your department and department's active representatives.
If your department is not eligible or you do not have an active representative, please contact the GSSA President.

Your department may request funding for a maximum of one speaker over the course of the academic year. GSSA encourages interdepartmental collaboration; if your department would like to bring in multiple speakers please contact department representatives of other departments who may also be interested in your speaker. All speaker requests will be decided by a majority vote of the GSSA assembly. If approved, all publicity for the event must acknowledge the sponsorship of GSSA

We strongly recommend having your department fund the speaker, and reimbursing your department directly to avoid any delays in processing paperwork. To pay your department by an Interdepartmental Transfer, refer to the instructions in the FAQs

If you have any questions about the process, please contact the GSSA Treasurer directly.

Maximum Funding Allotments:

  • Honorarium: Up to $200. Exceptions can be made at the discretion of the GSSA Assembly.
  • Travel: Up to $500 airfare.
  • Lodging: Up to $85 per diem- maximum of 2 nights.
  • Food: No allotment allowed.

Please note that a 30% tax cut applies to international speakers unless their country has a tax treaty with the USA.

To Prepare for Event Submission & Approval

Representatives are responsible for taking care of any necessary paperwork at least 1 month in advance. Use the guide below to determine what paperwork is necessary.

Please note that once contracts are signed they are binding and money will need to be paid to the speaker. This makes getting funding early very important as the forms need to be turned in 1 month in advance. If the paperwork is not completed in time before the speaker, GSSA cannot issue a reimbursement as the forms will not go through accounting. Likewise, if contracts are signed by all parties and then funding is not approved, someone will be responsible for paying the speaker (either an individual or a department). Again, please be very careful with timing (apply very early and obtain GSSA approval before any contracts are signed by the speaker) and try to have your department pay for speakers rather than individuals in order to avoid these situations dealing with typically large amounts of money.

1. All events must be approved at a GSSA meeting prior to the event. GSSA suggests finding a meeting date at least 6 weeks before your event.

2. Place an Online Speaker Request at least 4 days before the GSSA Meeting Date. Late requests will not be included in the agenda, and will not be brought up for a vote. For example, all event requests for a Thursday meeting would need to be placed before 11:59 p.m. on the preceding Sunday.

3. If the amount requested for any category is greater than the allotments listed above contact the GSSA Treasurer immediately so the online request can accurately display the proper amounts. Please be prepared to give a well-reasoned explanation at the GSSA meeting when requesting an amount greater than the maximum.

4. Please be available for communication via e-mail in the days leading up to the meeting, in case the Treasurer needs to contact you with any last-minute questions regarding your event.

5. You must come to the meeting, and should be prepared to give a brief description of the event, amount and reason for request, as well as answer any questions about the event. If you cannot make the meeting, you should notify the Treasurer, and find a proxy or another Representative to fill in for you at the meeting. Failure to have someone to present the event at the meeting will result in it being pulled from the agenda.

How to Prepare for the Event after Approval

1. Fill out a contract and register your event on Orgysync for the speaker immediately after receiving approval from the GSSA Assembly. Please follow the contract example to avoid an incorrectly-filled or incomplete form. If approved for Honoraria, a Pay-to form must be submitted via Orgsync in order for a check to be available upon speaker's arrival (typically takes 2-3 weeks).


E-mail the following to the speaker immediately (at least 6 weeks prior to the event), so that he/she can return it 5 weeks prior to the date of the event to prevent delays in reimbursement

  • A properly filled out contract so that the speaker can add their information and sign the document
  • A W-9 only if the speaker is being directly paid (reimbursement, honorarium).


E-mail the following to the speaker immediately (at least 6 weeks prior to the event), so that he/she can return it 5 weeks prior to the date of the event to prevent delays in reimbursement

You will also need to get the following from the speaker:

  • A copy of the speaker's passport
  • A copy of the visa stamp in the passport
  • Dates of entry and departure

How to Get Reimbursed for the Event

1. For honorarium, you must submit an online Payment Form on Orgsync after the contract and W-9 have been filled out and signed by the speaker. Note: Both the contract and the W-9 must be filled out before the request for honorarium can be submitted. This process can take up to 4 weeks.

2. To reimburse either travel or lodging for a speaker, you must submit an IT form with proof of travel/lodging (i.e. boarding passes or paid hotel bills).

3. The IT form can be found in Orgsync > Organizations > GSSA > Forms > Request for Interdepartmental Transfer.

  • Submit the form on behalf of “myself”
  • Follow the prompts.
  • Dept. to be Charged: Graduate Studies Student Association (GSSA)
  • Account to be Charged for lodging or travel: 222186 – 7542
  • Dept. to be Credited: [Your Department’s Full Name]
  • Account to be Credited: Your Department’s Financial Manager (who helped with event) will give you the account number.
  • Combine all receipts and any supporting documents (boarding pass, hotel bill, etc) into a single pdf and upload with IT.

4. All materials must be submitted within Two Weeks after the event. No exceptions will be made without approval before the event.