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Professional Development Fund

Online Form             Deadline: first come, first served pending availability of funds.

Purpose: The professional development fund provides support for project expenses including preparation of classroom teaching, scholarly and creative activity, and academic advising. Examples of projects include individual research, refresher or retraining courses, manuscript preparation, preparation for performances and exhibitions, course development and workshops. FDC wishes to encourage joint projects, especially interdisciplinary ones. Individuals in a joint project will be funded separately according to individual guidelines even though only one project application need be submitted.

Eligibility: see "Faculty Categories and Eligibility for Funding" for eligibility and amount of funding allocated for each category.

Expectations & Rules:

  • Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis provided that funds remain. Applications are to be received by FDC a minimum of two weeks prior to the project start date in order to be considered.

  • For all projects funded in the amount of $1,001 or more, the Faculty Development Committee requires that a written report be submitted upon project completion. This report should define the results or product and the level to which the stated objectives were obtained. If a scholarly or artistic project is proposed, the product can be a publication, conference paper, exhibit or performance. A product related to teaching could be documented through a course syllabus, teaching materials, pedagogical innovations, or a report of curricular designs.

  • If you are requesting funding for multiple projects, you should include a statement with each proposal explaining the relationship between the projects.

  • FDC will fund preparation of a scholarly or artistic project. Under special circumstances this could include student researchers or University employees. In such cases university employment policies must be followed. Please check with Terry Bruner if your project will require this type of support.

  • FDC will fund costs for photocopying, postage, and telephone charges connected with preliminary work on a research or artistic project.

  • The fund may be used for extraordinary publication costs, such as color plates or page charges in refereed journals, but not for the entire publication of a work.

  • FDC will fund the purchase of permanent equipment and software for individuals in those cases in which the equipment is to be used to support professional research, which would not ordinarily be supported with departmental or other university funds. The equipment becomes the property of the University. IMS will catalog the equipment for use by other departments.

  • FDC does not fund the purchase of computers or books.

  • This fund cannot be used for faculty stipends.

  • Faculty members considering projects that involve technology should consult with Faculty Instructional Technology Support (FITS) at least two weeks prior to the application deadline.

Funding Process and Procedure:

Faculty members applying for Professional Development Funds must designate an application category on the application form. The categories are as follows:

  • Scholarly and Creative Activity. FDC wants to enrich faculty members’ training and expertise in their fields. Examples could include expenses for research projects such as travel to libraries, preparation of manuscripts, equipment and supplies for the laboratory; preparing for performances and exhibitions, master classes; refresher or retraining courses.

  • Teaching Innovation. FDC seeks to encourage innovative approaches to teaching that cannot be supported through other means or expansion into other areas of teaching. A case must be made that the approach, if successful, will have significant impact on, and utility in, classroom teaching. Projects that involve team teaching or cross-disciplinary activities are especially encouraged. Items purchased must be for use in the classroom or laboratory and become the property of DePauw University. Examples could include non-routine software, master-class/workshop expenses, and training courses. The final report must include an assessment of how the materials or training affected the courses you teach.

  • Extended Off-Campus Workshops. FDC wishes to support off-campus workshops that extend longer than the usual 4 nights/5 days. For short-term workshops with expenses less than $1000, apply thru the Professional Conference and Workshop Fund. (Cannot use both PDF and Professional Workshop funding together for same workshop.)

  • Language Immersion. Funding for a language immersion visit must involve a stay in the foreign culture of at least three weeks. A faculty member may be funded for a language immersion only once every four years. The faculty member should plan to participate in a structured program of study of the language, or to work with a credentialed tutor, unless he or she already has significant experience and competence with the target language.

  • Professional Society Officer. Up to a maximum of $250 a year can be funded to help defray some costs involved with holding an office in a learned society.  

Reporting Process: Reports are normally due for fall projects - the first Monday of the following spring semester, and for spring projects - the first Monday of the following fall semester.  Please submit your report electronically to Terry Bruner as a WORD or PDF document (  Itemized receipts for expenses and a completed accounting reimbursement voucher worksheet should be submitted to Terry Bruner within four weeks of completing the project.

Your report should be addressed to the Faculty Development Committee Chair and, like your proposal, should be readily understandable by colleagues outside your field. You should refer to the timeline and the product you promised in your original proposal, and show how the funding enabled you to meet your goals and advanced your professional development. Depending on the nature of the project, you may include a narrative or reflective statement (no more than 3 pages). You should attach or provide documentation of the promised product, or in some cases, as for instance with a draft of a manuscript or a syllabus, you should attach the product itself along with a brief cover letter (up to 1 page). A member of the Faculty Development Committee will respond to your report.

If plans or circumstances change, for example during a sabbatical, it is the responsibility of the faculty member to request committee approval of a revised proposal. Any changes should also be explained in the final report.

Faculty members who fail to submit reports on time will be ineligible for Faculty Development funding until the report(s) have been submitted and approved.