Annual grant competition starts October 15

The Professional Development Grants for Retirees (PDGR) program is an annual competition that makes grants available to University of Minnesota retirees for professional development and research. The program is supported by the offices of the University president, vice presidents, and deans, but budget reductions related to the COVID-19 pandemic will prevent their financial support this year. 

The 2020 competition opens October 15. The deadline for applications is December 11. Approved proposals will be announced in March 2021; grants will start on April 1 and extend to June 30 of the following year. 

All retirees from all five campuses in the University of Minnesota System who are eligible for University retirement benefits and will be fully retired by the time of their award may apply for grants of any amount up to $4,000. The total to be awarded in 2021 will be $20,000. The Application Instructions provide information about funding requirements and how to apply. 

UMRA recently initiated an ambitious campaign with the goal of building a substantial reserve fund for our PDGR program. A generous and long-time supporter of the program offered to match the first $10,000 in contributions to this fund with a $10,000 gift. UMRA Board member Kaimay Terry and her husband, Joseph Terry, MD, have since offered an additional $10,000 for 1:1 matching. One can make a contribution that will be matched at

After the matching program is completed, contributions may be made by credit card at or by check payable to the University of Minnesota Foundation (P.O. Box 860266, Minneapolis MN 55486-0266). Please note “UMRA Fund 4867” on your check. 

One can also support this fund with a future estate gift. For more information, please contact UMF Planned Giving Officer Lynn Praska at [email protected] or 612-624-4158.

See Previous PDGR Awards to review a list of the grants awarded since 2009. PDGR Impact Study offers a summary of some of the things accomplished by these awards.

Anyone with questions or suggestions should contact John Bantle, MD.

—John Bantle, MD, chair, UMRA Grants Committee

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