GRIP Genealogy Institute Virtual Information

What will the GRIP Genealogy Institute virtual format be like?

The Virtual format is an interactive classroom using Zoom for class and Dropbox for material distribution. This format allows students and faculty to interact with one another throughout the course. Attendees can see, speak, hear, and share screens with each other and the faculty members.

What will the class schedule be for Virtual Week?

GRIP Virtual Week will be 24-28 June 2024 

The welcome and orientation program is set for Sunday, 23 June 2024 – at 3 PM PT/6 PM ET

Meet your Coordinator and faculty members, your Grip Guide, hear about the schedule for the week, and any news. Stick around for some fun and door prizes opportunities for those who attend.

All times are listed in Eastern Standard Time

*Optional homework review and enhancement sessions are not offered in every course. Please see the specific course schedule for details.

**Optional evening sessions will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7:00 PM EST. These include speakers from the genealogical industry and a variety of topics to enhance your educational week.



updated: 16 April 2024

What technology do I need to attend the GRIP Virtual Institute?

  • We recommend a laptop or desktop computer for the best functionality and participation in the course. Mobile devices (tablets and phones) are acceptable but do not allow the maximum participation and capabilities of the programs.
  • An internet connection – broadband wired or wireless (3g or 4G/LTE minimum)
  • Speakers and a microphone – these can be built into your computer system or external as a USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth. (Microphone is required for classroom participation)
  • A webcam so you can turn on your camera and participate in class discussions.
  • Zoom desktop client or Mobile app.

What if I am unsure how to use Zoom or Dropbox?

We will provide instructions and basic training to the attendees on how to use the Zoom application and how to download materials such as the syllabus from the Dropbox. This training will be scheduled about two weeks prior to the start of the course.

How do I attend and sign on for each day's sessions?

As a registered attendee, you will receive Zoom links and special log-in instructions for the entire week, one week before the course begins. Each day, you will log in to Zoom using the link. The tech host will admit registered students, so be sure your name in Zoom matches the name you registered with.

Will there be recordings of each session in case I am unable to attend or lose connection?

YES! We will have each session available in a recorded view-only version. These recordings will be posted the day after the class session and will be available for 14 days after the end of the course. The recordings will be view only, not downloadable, and are for registered attendees only.

GRIP Genealogy Institute In-person Information

What is the in-person format like?

The in-person courses will be held at LaRoche University, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The sessions will be held in a “traditional classroom” setting and will not be recorded.

What will the class schedule be for In-Person Week?

GRIP Virtual Week will be 14-19 July 2024

Sunday, 14 July 2024 – 3 PM – 5 PM ET Check-in for all registered students and faculty.

Sunday, 14 July 2024 – 6:30 PM ET Welcome program and dinner for all registered students and faculty, hosted by NGS and GRIP Genealogy Institute. (RSVP requests will be sent 3 weeks prior to dinner)

All times are listed in Eastern Standard Time

*Optional homework review and enhancement sessions are not offered in every course. Please see the specific course schedule for details.

**Optional evening sessions will be held Tuesday and Thursday at 7:00 PM EST. These include speakers from the genealogical industry and a variety of topics to enhance your educational week.

** Optional networking sessions will be held on Monday and Wednesday at 7:00 PM EST. Details to follow.


Updated: 16 April 2024 

What technology do I need to attend in-person?

  • Students will want access to the syllabus while they are in class. This can be on a laptop or tablet. Optionally, students may print the syllabus for use in class. GRIP will provide a digital copy of the syllabus to all students with a license to print one copy for use in class.
  • Participants may want a laptop or tablet for participation in the course.
  • The University does have Wi-Fi connections, but students have the option to bring a hotspot in case of bandwidth
  • Dropbox app or account – You do not have to pay for an account.

What if I am unsure how to use Dropbox?

We will provide instructions and basic training to the attendees on how to download, operate, and work in Dropbox throughout the course. This training will be scheduled about two weeks before the start of the course.

How do I get to Pittsburgh?

If you are flying in, the closest airport is Pittsburgh International Airport

The airport is about 30 miles from LaRoche University. There is not public transportation to bring you to the university.

The address for LaRoche University is 9000 Babcock Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15237-5808

Where do I stay each night in Pittsburgh?

Students have the option to stay in the dorm rooms at a reasonable rate for all attendees and faculty. Pricing will be provided at registration. Both private and shared rooms are available.

Note: Faculty & Students residing in the dorms during the week must clean up and check out of their dorm room no later than 1:00 PM on Friday.

There are a few local hotels in the area as well. Make your reservations early.

updated: 10 April 2024

What is included in a Dorm Room?

Dorm Rooms may be reserved and paid for at the time of registration.

Private rooms – $525 per person

Shared rooms – $405 per person *

*If you need a roommate assigned, please indicate that at registration.

Each room includes:

  • 2 XL twin-size college beds
  • Essential bedding (sheet set, one pillow, one light blanket)
  • In-room private bath (one towel, one washcloth)
  • In-room mini fridge & microwave
  • Student desk/chair and Wi-Fi
  • Access to the student lounge
  • Includes 14 meals (B/L/D)

All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, and individual controls for heating and cooling are provided within each room.

It is recommended that you bring a personal towel, washcloth, and an extra blanket if needed. 

updated: 10 April 2024

Are meals provided?

All students and faculty are invited to the Welcome dinner on Sunday night, hosted by GRIP and NGS at no charge. (We will email you for RSVP’s) – So plan your travel accordingly.

Students staying in the dorm will also receive a meal package that includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner from Monday to Friday. (Friday includes breakfast and lunch only)

If you are not staying on campus, you have two options for obtaining meals on campus. You can buy a prepaid lunch-only package through GRIP ($69.00 during registration) or purchase individual meals using a credit card directly at the campus cafeteria.

  • Breakfast: 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM   Fee: $11.00
  • Lunch: Noon – 1:30 PM                Fee: $14.00
  • Dinner: 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM         Fee: $16.00

Updated: 10 April 2024

Are special dietary requirements available in the University Cafeteria? (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Kosher)

A selection of gluten- and dairy-free items are provided at the daily meals in the cafeteria.

Kosher meals are not provided.

Course Detail

Are there Prerequisites for any of the courses?

Yes, some courses will have prerequisites. If a course has prerequisites this will be listed on the course detail page for each course.

What is the difference between a prerequisite, requirement, or recommendation?

In the course detail pages your course may list a prerequisite, requirement, or recommendation for the course. These parameters are set by the Course Coordinators and faculty members to assure you the greatest success in the course.

  • A prerequisite is a course, education, or experience that should be completed before enrolling in the course.
  • A requirement is a software, books, research papers, or details from your personal experience that you will need to complete class work.
  • A recommendation is a suggestion from your faculty to enhance your experience in the course: possible experience, reading, or materials to obtain prior to class.

How do I get my Syllabus for the Course?

A link to the Dropbox folder containing your syllabus and other materials will be provided to you via email one week prior to the start of your course.

Can I print or share the syllabus?

You may not share the syllabus as they are protected by copyright. Your enrollment in the course allows you to print one copy of the syllabus for personal use only.

Can I download the recordings?

No; access to recordings is limited to streaming only, due to copyright and contract restrictions. Recordings are only completed for the virtual sessions.

Will I receive a certificate?

Yes! Upon successful completion of the course.

Registration Process and Payments

When is Registration?

Registration for the 2024 courses will be on 20 February 2024.

  • Virtual course registration will begin at 1 PM Eastern Standard Time
  • In-person course registration will begin at 3 PM Eastern Standard Time

“priority registration”: if you received a prize certificate at any of our events in the last year, you will be contacted via email at least one week before open registration with details.


updated: 06 Feb 2024

What should I expect at registration?

Registration for 2024 courses begins on 20 FEB 2024

Virtual Courses open registration at 1 PM EST 

In-Person Courses (Pittsburgh, PA) open registration at 3 PM EST


To make your experience as easy as possible – we encourage you to sign in or create a free account with the National Genealogical Society before registration day at

If you already have an NGS account, test your account beforehand to ensure it is current with password, contact information, and details.

If you do not have an NGS account, create one using the below steps.

In creating or updating your account, you will be able to provide important personal information for communications and details to help us ensure you stay in the loop on all things NGS and GRIP. We will use this information to communicate with you about your registration, waitlist, or anything else ordered through the system.

After creating your account, you will be ready for registration for your selected course.

Step 1.  Go to the website:

Step 2: Select “Login” from the top of the page.

Step 3: Sign into your account using your NGS credentials or Create a free account by clicking the link in the image.

Step 4: Go to the GRIP website for course listings at

Step 5: At the time registration opens, a registration button will appear on the course pages (*Note: if you do not see the registration button, please refresh your page or clear your cache and try again)


You will also see the registration button on the course-specific pages –

Step 6: Click the registration button. This will redirect you to the “menu” on your NGS account page – allowing you to move through the steps to register for your course and any add-ons you wish.

Step 7: Complete your registration selection; payment will be requested at the time of reservation. All prices should reflect any discount applied. There is no need for “codes”.

Should you have any questions, please reach out to


updated 15 Feb 2024

I plan on staying in the dorms in July, how are room reservations handled?

You will select your dorm preference at registration (Shared or Private).

If you select Private, nothing else will need to be done.

After registration, we will contact all individuals who have opted for the shared dorm package to verify whether they have selected a roommate. Those who have not chosen a roommate will be assigned one randomly at a later date.



added: 18 Feb 2024

Tuition Expenses – How much is tuition for GRIP?

Tuition for the GRIP Genealogy Institute in 2024 is $585.  NGS Members receive a discount rate of $550.

If you have any questions about your NGS membership, please contact the NGS office at 703-525-0050.

What if the course I want is full?

If a course is full, you may join the waiting list. You will be notified if space becomes available in the course.

What should I do if I need to cancel my enrollment in a course?

If you find it necessary to cancel your registration in a course, please reach out to

The NGS Customer Service team will review and process your request within three business days. If the cancellation is made before the deadline, a refund, less a $75 administrative fee, will be provided. You will be credited to the payment method used during registration.

Cancellation Deadlines:

GRIP Virtual Week 2024 – Deadline May 9, 2024, 11:59 PM EST

GRIP In Person Week 2024 – Deadline May 30, 2024, 11:59 PM EST

Cancellation of a course on the same day your registration was completed does not incur any administrative fees.

Are there scholarships available?

YES! NGS offers the Donn Devine Scholarship, awarded to one applicant each year. See details here

There are other scholarships available in the genealogical community that may be used at the institute of your choice. Due dates vary, please review the provided websites for details.

American Society of Genealogists Scholar Award

Board for Certification of Genealogists® Sluby Scholarship for African American Students

My Society or Library is an NGS member. Can I get a member discount?

At this time Member discounts are for individual or household members of NGS, not organizations.

General Questions

How long is GRIP?

Each course runs for four and a half days, with eighteen 75-minute class sessions.

Some courses will include additional enhancement sessions for 30 minutes before or after the regular instruction that are optional to the attendees. These sessions are for homework review and additional topics as set by the faculty.

Schedules can be viewed on specific course pages. Final specific schedules (including breaks and lunches) will be provided to weeks prior to course beginning via Dropbox.

When will complete course details be posted?

Each year, complete course details will be posted in January. This will include session titles, schedules, instructors, prerequisites (if any), and recommendations or requirements for each course.

Can I purchase GRIP Shirts or other items? NEW LINK

YES! We offer various clothing options, including shirts, sweaters, and sweatshirts, available in multiple sizes. Additionally, we have a small selection of other items for you to enjoy. Visit our online store to browse and make your selection. Your purchased items will be sent directly to your doorstep.

For those planning to wear our merchandise during the GRIP week, we recommend placing your order in advance to ensure timely delivery.

Please Note: all items are customized with the GRIP logo at the time of your order and are non-refundable.



Updated: 12 April 2024

Become Part of the GRIP Team

Propose a GRIP Course.

NGS is inviting proposals for innovative and unique courses to be included in the GRIP Genealogy Institute (GRIP) curriculum. GRIP conducts two sessions annually, one virtually in June and the other in person in July at LaRoche University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Courses will take place in 2025:

  • GRIP Virtual week will be held 23-27 June 2025 via Zoom.
  • GRIP In-person week will be held 13-18 July 2025 at LaRoche University

We are specifically seeking creative proposals on various topics such as advanced methodology, genealogical records, ethnic groups, geographic areas, DNA, writing, and more. These courses should aim to enhance students’ skills and knowledge through comprehensive learning experiences, catering to individuals across all skill levels, from beginner to advanced.

We encourage course proposals that offer unique perspectives or incorporate elements exclusive to the GRIP learning environment. Hands-on learning approaches or modules resembling workshop experiences are encouraged, provided they can be completed using student laptops or within the classroom model.

Each course should consist of eighteen 75-minute class sessions. This includes four sessions daily (Monday – Thursday) and two sessions on Friday, including any labs and consultations. Additionally, 30-minute enhancement or homework sessions can be used each day.

Please access the detailed information and requirements for the call for proposals by downloading the following PDF document: 2025 – GRIP Call for Proposals

Are you new to coordinating, or do you have questions about the process, content, or expectations? Gena Philibert-Ortega and Kristi L. Sexton, the co-managers of GRIP, are happy to help you! Please reach out to us with your questions!


updated: 04 June 2024

Can I get involved with GRIP as a volunteer? - CURRENTLY BEING ACCEPTED

Join us in shaping the future of our Institute! We thrive on the dedication and passion of volunteers like you, who help us reach our highest potential. Whether you prefer virtual or in-person opportunities, there’s a role suited just for you. Be a part of our vibrant community as we work together to make a difference. We eagerly anticipate welcoming you aboard!

If you are interested in joining the team, please apply here: GRIP Volunteer Form

(GRIP Guides for tech support are a separate application)

We are looking to fill various positions :

  • Social Media and Marketing
  • Registrar
  • Communications
  • Dorm Room Advisors (In-Person Only)
  • Registration Committee
  • On-Site Registration (In-Person Only)
  • On-Site Hospitality (In-Person Only)
  • Outreach

updated: 30 Mar 2024 –

Want to be a GRIP Guide for virtual week?

Join us in shaping the future of our Institute! We thrive on the dedication and passion of volunteers like you, who help us achieve our highest potential. Our virtual week is an incredible experience, and we’re seeking seasoned “techies” to join our team. Below is a brief overview of the duties, responsibilities, and schedule. We can’t wait to welcome you aboard!

2024 Virtual Week Schedule:

  • Welcome session: June 23, 2024, at 6 PM ET
  • Class sessions (18 sessions): June 24 – 28, 2024, from 10 AM to 5 PM ET. Please sign on as a GRIP Guide 30 minutes prior to the beginning of each class.

Note: Times may vary depending on faculty homework sessions for students.

GRIP Guide Responsibilities:

  • Starting Zoom for each weekly class session
  • Managing the needs of faculty, including breakout rooms and polls
  • Managing closed captioning and session recordings (excluding chat logs)
  • Providing light tech assistance to faculty and students
  • Making daily announcements (for GRIP and Faculty)
  • Take attendance each day using the provided form
  • Keeping GRIP leaders informed of any classroom, student, or faculty issues or concerns

Benefits for GRIP Guides:

  • Tuition waiver for the course they are assisting with
  • Training to become a GRIP Guide
  • Assistance and support from GRIP’s Virtual Coordinator

The deadline for GRIP Guides has closed for the 2024 courses.

Save the dates for GRIP Virtual Week to be held 23-27 June 2025 via Zoom

Applications for the 2025 year will open in November 2024. Stay tuned!

added: 17 May 2024