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Merlin W. Schultz Professional Development Grant


The deadline for receiving grant requests is August 15.

(Grantees will be notified of their application's status in late November.)


Grants will NOT be awarded retroactively for training or conferences previously attended prior to the application's submission.  Proposals should be for conferences and training-related activities that are dated after NOVEMBER 15.  Grant funds are for professional development-related activities and NOT graduate classes. 

The Merlin W. Schultz Professional Development can award a maximum of $1,000 for individual applicants, and a maximum of $1,500 for groups.  Applicants may be a counseling graduate student, a practicing mental health professional (minimum of Master's Degree), or a counseling or mental health organization in Illinois.  

Particular areas to be focused on include, but are not limited to: 


  • School Counseling

  • Therapeutic Skills

  • Addictions

  • Diversity Issues

  • Career Concerns

  • Children and Adolescents

  • Veterans and Families of Veterans

  • Couples Issues

  • Professional Identity and Promotion (conference registrations and participation)

  • Underserved Populations – for example; rural areas

  • Immigrants and Immigration

  • Coping with the effects of traumatic events (i.e., natural disasters, gun violence, sexual assault, grief, emotional trauma, terrorism, human/sex trafficking)

  • Special consideration will be given to applications regarding the use of innovation and technology in meeting the needs of populations impacted or impaired by COVID-19.  This includes social workers, counselors, and mental health professionals utilizing technology in an effort to assist clients and agencies in need. 

  • Collective Fatigue



The purpose of this grant is to support the professional development of counselors/mental health professionals. This may involve an individual’s attendance at a professional counseling/mental health conference and/or in a professional counseling/mental health enrichment program or may support the funding of a specialized workshop to train counselors/mental health professionals in a group setting. Conference/workshop/training may be conducted online or in person to advance counseling. This activity must be completed within one year.

The Foundation requires that the individual or group representative applying for a grant belong to a professional mental health organization, such as the Illinois Counseling Association, in order to ensure grants are awarded to those who are adhering to a professional Code of Ethics.

Recipients are expected to submit a proposal that describes and shares their learning experience for presentation at a local, state, regional, or national Professional Conference either in person or virtually. The recipient is to notify the Foundation of his or her plans and where the proposal has been submitted in the final report. Failure to submit a final report by the requested deadline may result in forfeiture of the grant and/or future funding.


Grant applications from ICA Divisions and Chapters or from any mental health or counseling group or agency, versus an individual applicant, must be signed by at least two officers of the applying organization or an officer and a staff member. 

Only one Schultz Foundation for Advancing Counseling application may be submitted per grant cycle.  Duplication of any application will result in the forfeiture of grant funds.


Proceed to Submit an Application for the Merlin W. Schultz Research Grant



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