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Application Instructions


Who Can Apply to the On To the Future Program

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

  1. Be a diverse undergraduate or graduate student from a two or four year college that is currently studying at a U.S. or Canadian institution OR be a recent college graduate that currently resides in the U.S or Canada.  Please note multiple applications from one university will be ranked and selections made based on the strongest applicants.   

  2. GSA defines diverse as a student that comes from a low income, minority background including students who are the first generation in their families to attend college, ethnic minorities, women, veterans, and students with disabilities.

  3. Has not attended a GSA Annual Meeting (attendance to a GSA Section Meeting will not disqualify you)

  4. Be eligible to travel to the Annual Meeting location in Baltimore, MD.

If you do not meet all of the criteria mentioned above, you are not eligible to apply. 

                         2013 GSA Annual Meeting
How to Apply to the OTF Program

All applications to the OTF Program will be processed online. To view the application in its entirety, see the 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:

  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. In the application you will be asked to type in 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 you indicate once you apply. Remember that 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 to submit a recommendation for you. Please only enter in a mentor name and email address of someone who will provide a positive recommendation. Remember that your application is not complete until a letter of recommendation is submitted.

  3. Application Questions.  The online application contains the following four questions. Please be prepared to answer these questions with a character limit of 1,500 each.

    Please explain how you can enrich GSA’s goal to support a diverse and inclusive geoscience community (answer limited to 300 characters)? 

    Explain your professional goals and how your attendance to the GSA 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. 

    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. What is your plan to find additional funds to support your travel to the Annual Meeting?

  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 to see whether your recommendation has been received.  If you have questions about whether your completed application was received, please email the Program Manager. 


Next Steps

The application to attend the 2015 GSA Annual Meeting is currently open. The deadline to apply is May 29, 2015 by 5 pm EST. OTF will notify award recipients in July. 

Don’t forget to visit the OTF Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more. If you still have questions, please contact Tahlia Bear at or by phone at 303-357-1066