Application Instructions

Who Can Apply to the On To the Future Program

Students must meet the following criteria in order to apply to OTF:

OTF booth at GSA2013
2013 GSA Annual Meeting
  1. Be an undergraduate or graduate student at an accredited North American institution OR be a recent college graduate that currently resides in North America.
  2. GSA defines diverse as a group of students that may be from one or more of the following groups: low-income, ethnic minority, first generation (i.e. the first in their families to attend college), non-traditional, women, veterans, LGBTQ, and/or students with disabilities.
  3. Has not attended a Annual Meeting (attendance to a Section Meeting will not disqualify you)
  4. Be eligible to travel to the Annual Meeting location.

How to Apply to the OTF Program

All applications will be processed online. To view the application in its entirety, see the sample OTF Application.

To begin an application, you must either have your GSA member number or create a non-member ID. This will allow you to save and return to your application at a later time. When you are ready to apply, have the following information ready:

OTF students
OTF students
  1. Tips & Advice. Please read through the Tips for Applying to GSA’s Education and Outreach Programs for advice on how to use the online system.
  2. Letter of Recommendation. The application will ask for the name and email address of one mentor. This mentor will complete a recommendation for you. An automatic request will be sent to the mentor. It is your responsibility to talk with your mentor to let them know that you are applying to this opportunity and to send them reminders of the deadline. Please only request a letter from someone who will provide a positive recommendation. Your application will not be complete until a letter of recommendation is submitted.
  3. Application Questions. The online application contains the following five questions. Please be prepared to answer these questions with a character limit of 1,500 each.
    • Explain how you can enrich GSA’s goal to support a diverse and inclusive geoscience community (300 characters)? Read through GSA's Position Statement on Diversity if you do not know how to answer this question.
    • Explain your academic and professional goals and how your attendance to the Annual Meeting will help you reach these goals.
    • Describe your financial need and indicate how much you are requesting including how these funds will be used. Use this budget template and associated tips to help you answer this question. 
    • Explain why you are requesting these funds and any hardships you may have encountered that would make you a deserving awardee. Use examples when necessary. 
    • OTF is a partial travel award program. This means that you may have to seek funds outside of OTF to cover your full cost of travel. Explain your plan to find additional funds to support your travel to the Annual Meeting. Read through the Funding Guide for suggestions. 
  4. Grades and Relevant Coursework. The application contains an optional section to list relevant courses and grades – you do not need to upload a transcript but have a list of courses and grades that are relevant to the geosciences.
  5. Submit Your Application. Your application will not be complete and submitted until your recommendation has been received. You can log into your account and check the status of your materials up until the deadline. Your application will be complete when all your materials have been received and will be automatically submitted on the deadline. The system will not send you a confirmation that your application was submitted. If you would like a confirmation that your application was received, please email the Program Officer.

Next Steps

The application for the 2020 Annual Meeting in Montréal, Québec, Canada will open on 1 March.

Visit the OTF Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more. If you still have questions, please contact Tahlia Bear, +1-303-357-1066, .

OTF Contact:

Tahlia Bear
Career and Diversity Officer
Geological Society of America
3300 Penrose Place
Boulder, CO 80301

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