Study/Work-at-Home Funding
for PhD Students

Due to the widespread disruption to research conferences and workshops worldwide during the COVID-19 outbreak, in spring 2020 the Graduate Division redirected funds from the Graduate Division Travel Award to help UCSF PhD students optimize their work and/or study from home environments. Our goal was to provide reimbursement to as many students as possible within the parameters described below.

Award Update

April 24 — The response to the award was enormous, and the requests made far exceeded the original budget available. However, with generous support from the Associated Students of the Graduate Division, and through an unexpected and welcome gift from an anonymous donor, we are pleased to be able to meet much of the need. 

We received over 300 requests for over 650 items, and we approved $46,207 in awards. Top requests were:

1. headphones
2. desk chair
3. external monitor
4. desk
5. lap desk/riser/laptop stand

 6. mouse
 7. keyboard
 8. white board
 9. wifi extender
10. adapter

How the Selections Were Made

Even with the generosity of our funding partners, we did not have sufficient funds to approve all requests, and some applicants were allocated less than the requested amount for a given item. 

First, only requests related to workstation/home office were considered eligible; therefore, requests for household items were declined. This award was for one-time purchases only, so rental fees or short-term subscriptions for things like internet were also declined. 

Second, there was a great deal of variation in the scope and scale of requests for similar items. For example we received dozens of requests for wifi extenders, and these ranged from $20 to $655. This was true for all of the most commonly requested items. In an effort to stretch the budget equitably among students, and to respect individual preferences/needs, we capped reimbursements for some items based on the median cost of similar items. Students may use the approved amount towards their preferred option, or they may choose to purchase a more affordable item. 


  • Up to $250 for one-time purchases of items to assist with work at home
  • May be applied to new purchases or retroactively to purchases made on or after March 16
  • Approved purchases must be made by April 31, and receipts must be submitted by May 18 (instructions to follow)
  • Multiple items or purchases in a single application may be considered


  • Open to students currently enrolled in a UCSF PhD program, any year. 
  • Previous receipt of a travel award does not affect eligibility, and receipt of the work/study at home award will not affect future travel award eligibility
  • Items eligible for funding include, but are not limited to: a desk; headphones; wifi booster or extender; white board; office chair; ergonomic enhancements
  • Funding CANNOT be used toward the purchase of a computer, phone, or tablet.

How to Apply

The application period has closed.

Other Information

  • In an effort to ensure that as many students benefit from this opportunity as possible, we may only partially fund some requests, and may give special consideration to purchases that will benefit multiple UCSF students sharing a work-from-home space.
  • Note that a receipt will be required for reimbursement of all items, whether it is a future or previous purchase.

Questions? Please contact Associate Dean Elizabeth Silva.