The Doctoral Students’ Council is pleased to announce a new initiative to fund student-led projects and promote budgetary transparency within CUNY. Please see the information below regarding the Participatory Budget process and eligibility for submitting a proposal. The deadline to submit was November 30.
Why Participatory Budgeting?
The Doctoral Students’ Council aims for Participatory Budgeting to have the following impacts:
  1. Open up Spending of Student Activity Fee: Allow students a greater role in spending decisions, and inspire increased transparency throughout CUNY.
  2. Expand Civic Engagement: Engage more students in activities within the GC community.
  3. Develop New Community Leaders and Infrastructures: Build the skills, knowledge, and capacity of students.
  4. Build Community Infrastructure: Inspire students to more deeply engage and invest in the GC community, while also developing a sustainable project to improve the community.
  5. Make Spending More Equitable: Generate spending decisions that are fairer, so resources go where they are needed most.


Submitted for Proposals Projects

Proposals were to have been submitted online and no later than November 30, 2017 at 11:59 PM. At this time, the proposal deadline for the 2017-18 academic year has passed.
Submission Guidelines
The purpose of Participatory Budgeting is to invest in some long-term aspect of the infrastructure at the GC. We are especially looking for projects that could improve the quality of student life for members of under-served communities.
Applicant Eligibility
Applicants must meet all of the following criteria in order to submit a proposal that will be considered eligible for consideration:
  1. Individuals must be matriculated students in the fall 2017 and spring 2018 semesters at the Graduate Center in order to submit a proposal. All DSO members are eligible to submit.
  2. Submissions may be made on behalf of an individual or a group of individuals. If made on behalf of a group, all decision-making individuals must be listed on the proposal.
  3. Applicants may only submit or be listed on one proposal and no more.
Project Eligibility
While only those statements where eligibility is expressly stated will be considered by the review committee, strong project proposals should take into consideration each of the following points:
  1. Eligible projects should not be redundant with already existing services. For example, “unlimited paper for printing” is already something students have access to.
  2. The timelines of eligible projects should be feasible and adhere to the budget restrictions. Projects involving changes to the building infrastructure may not be practical given that they will need the approval of administrative entities such as the Office of Facilities. Funds will likely not be made available until early January 2018 and will require spending before May 15, 2018. Please bear this in mind when developing your project timeline.
  3. Competitive proposals will outline realistic projects with foreseeable outcomes that will significantly improve the quality of student life of the Graduate Center CUNY.
  4. Desirable projects should have the potential to be sustained effects outside of the spending period.
  5. Projects that are interdisciplinary (i.e., involving students and resources across multiple programs) will be given special consideration.
Depending on the number of proposals, partial awards may be granted in lieu of a full award. If it is feasible for your project to receive a partial award, please indicate the amount of both the full and partial amount of funds requested for the project. In general, the following will be considered approximate amounts for full vs. partial awards:
  • Full award amount: up to $3000
  • Partial award amount: up to $ 1500
All students registered during the fall 2017 semester will be eligible to vote. Before the voting period ends, there will be a Town Hall meeting where eligible applicants will interface with students to explain and answer questions about their project proposals. Voting is expected to open December 15 so please stay tuned!
  • October 20: Participatory Budgeting cycle was announced.
  • November 17: Participatory Budgeting proposal reminder during DSC plenary.
  • November 30: Deadline for Participatory Budgeting proposals at 11:59 PM
  • December 1-December 8: Ad-hoc Committee will review final submissions for eligibility.
  • December 15-20: Voting opens
  • December 14: Town Hall meeting where eligible applicants present their projects (2-3 PM, Room 5414)
  • December 31: Voting closes at 11:59 PM
  • January 2: Winner(s) announced
  • January 2-May 15: Project planning and implementation
How to Apply?

The deadline to submit for the 2017-18 academic year passed as of November 30. If you would like to remain in-the-know about upcoming Participatory Budget cycles, please email