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FGCU Faculty Senate

Professional Development Fund Grant


Professional Development Fund Grant Guidelines 2014-2015


Professional Development Fund Grants (PDFGs) support faculty development and institutional excellence. Through the use of PDFGs, teaching effectiveness may be enhanced, scholarly endeavors enriched, and academic programs developed and strengthened. PDFGs provide faculty with opportunities for continued professional growth and new, or renewed, intellectual achievement through study, research, writing, and travel. Grants of up to $2,000 per person per academic year (for reimbursable expenses) will be awarded for professional development activities that involve teaching, research, service, and/or creative endeavors. The Professional Development Fund grants are competitive and awards are based upon the merit of individual proposals. Only proposals that follow the guidelines as described below will be considered for funding. These awards are not entitlements and there is no guarantee a particular applicant will earn an award for his or her proposal. Applicants are reminded not to make financial commitments based upon the expectation of earning a PDFG award.


Funding cycle: the annual or extended academic period of July 1 through August 31 of the following year within which grant monies are available (for example, July 1, 2013 through August 31, 2014).

Review period: period within which grant applications are reviewed; fall term and spring term deadlines for submission of applications begin each review period; the processing of applications takes approximately one month after the submission deadline.


Only full time in-unit faculty are eligible for the PDFGs. These grants are for attendance at workshops, conferences, seminars, and for other scholarly, pedagogical, and other professionally-related activities. Examples of appropriate expenditures include participation at national or international professional meetings and pedagogical programs, supplies for creative activities, books or journals not readily available in the FGCU library, research equipment, and travel required to access resources of other institutions, but not including memberships in professional/academic societies. Funds may be used for reimbursement of appropriate expenditures made or to be made within the funding cycle of July 1 through August 31 of the following year. Professional development funding priority will be for activities that contribute to progress toward promotion, or activities that directly support the mission of FGCU, the applicant’s College, and/or the applicant’s respective Division/Program, or Department. Applicants are eligible to earn the equivalent of one full dollar amount or a percentage thereof award (the exact amount is set each year based on the total funding available) in each funding cycle currently set from July 1 through August 31 of the subsequent calendar year. For example, an applicant could hypothetically earn an award equal to 50% of a full award in the fall term review period, and would therefore be eligible to apply for 50% of a full award in the spring term review period, all within the same funding cycle; for the same or for a different professional development activity. If the funding request is for an activity that has already been funded in the previous cycle then the application will be reviewed for further funding only if there are funds remaining after applications for new activities are reviewed. Funding cycles are an extended academic year to ensure coverage for any eligible faculty expenditures made during summer or vacation periods.

An applicant may only apply for a single professional development activity (or other professional development grant use, such as for a piece of equipment, etc.) per application period in the funding cycle (i.e., once in the fall and once in the spring). Any application submitting proposals for multiple activities (such as multiple conferences) in a single application will be disqualified.

Criteria and Process

Determination of the extent to which the award will enhance the future performance of the individual's duties as a faculty member and/or benefit the department, college, and institution will be used as criteria to evaluate each Professional Development Fund Grant application. The committee members who are charged with processing applications represent each of the Units and therefore possess a degree of familiarity with the unique work within each discipline. Administration of the process is part of the service component of faculty duties, and thus administrative costs are minimal.

There are three criteria used to evaluate applications. They are as follows:

  1. Significance and/or University, Department or Unit Benefit
  2. Scholarly benefit
  3. Teaching benefit

All complete applications are reviewed by each of the committee members and scored on a scale of 0 to 4 for each of the criteria, with

4 = Evidence exceeds expectations

3 = Evidence provided is clear and compelling.

2 = Evidence provided is moderately convincing.

1 = Evidence provided is minimally credible.

0 = Evidence provided is not credible or no evidence is provided.

Applications are ranked from highest to lowest score, and based on the budget, a cutoff is applied to determine the total number of applicants funded in the given cycle. The committee may assign multiple cutoff scores, the first cutoff score for full funding and the additional cutoff scores for different levels of partial funding in order to fund additional applicants.


Applicants may only submit one application per review period (fall or spring) but may submit an application in each review period in the funding cycle. Applicants are limited to a maximum dollar amount of one full grant per funding cycle ($2000.00 in this year’s cycle). Should an applicant receive funds for a specific professional development activity, but be unable to use the funds for the approved activity, it is the responsibility of the applicant to notify the Committee as soon as possible and submit an amended application for further review. The funds cannot be automatically transferred to a different activity than approved. Applicants are accountable for their activities while using Professional Development Funds.

If the application for a given activity has also been submitted in a prior cycle, then it should be indicated as such on the cover sheet (whether funded or not). Further, the amount of funding received for that activity must also be indicated on the application cover sheet.

If an applicant has received a specific funding award, such as $1000, but uses a lesser amount, for example $800, then the applicant will be eligible to apply for the balance of the amount for a different activity, up to the maximum. If the maximum for the year is $2000, then the applicant is eligible up to the balance of $1200.

If an applicant has received or will receive funding from an external source (example, keynote address honoraria, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (OSRP) grants) then the amount already received for the activity must be indicated in the budget page.

Applications should be assembled in the order detailed below. The application must be submitted in PDF format only to the Professional Development Committee via the online application form. Applicants will receive an automatic confirmation by e-mail upon submission of their applications. This confirmation verifies receipt but not completeness of the application submitted. Applicants are responsible for submitting completed applications. Submissions may be received one month before the respective deadline date (12:00 midnight of the last day). Submissions received after the deadline date and time will not be processed. A copy of the application should be submitted to the applicant’s supervisor, and a copy should be retained by the applicant. Only applications that are submitted via the web based application form will be accepted by the committee. All documents are to be combined into a SINGLE pdf file .The committee will not access web sites from links provided; it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide all the details in attachments. Following is the order in which the one application should be submitted:

  1. Proposal Cover Page (submitted online via the form located here
    Your supporting documentation (SINGLE pdf file, named PDFG.pdf) should include the following:
  2. Body of Proposal
    1. Name, title, department unit
    2. Detailed description of the professional development activity including dates and location (if attending a conference, please include pages of the brochure relevant to your application in attachment section – See section 5).
    3. Specific evidence showing how the activity meets the three review criteria.
    4. For a paper presentation at a meeting, a copy of the proposal submitted and the acceptance letter if available. If full paper accepted, show the paper under Section 5 (Attachments).
  3. Detailed Budget Page (applicants must follow university travel reimbursement guidelines in estimating these expenses, including the correct per diem amounts, and estimates for travel. Do not submit a copy of the TAR). If travel or activity has occurred, all receipts, if available, are to be scanned into the application file.
  4. Current résumé or vita in abbreviated form. Please limit the vita to three pages.
  5. Attachments (brochures, etc.) to include evidence of participation in the proposed activity. The documentation should be specific in the details of the applicant’s involvement. Do not include links to an event website. Do not include the entire program, just the relevant sections.

Failure to include ALL items will result in rejection of the Professional Development Fund Grant proposal.

Professional Development Fund Grant Selection Process

The Professional Development Fund committee is comprised of one full-time ranked faculty member elected from each College and the Library. The Provost's office will appoint a representative from Academic Affairs to the committee.

Timeline for Applications

There are two application deadlines. Funding for Professional Development Grants will be equally divided and made available for the two (2) funding review periods (fall and spring) described below. Applicants whose proposals are not funded due to lack of funds are encouraged to resubmit for the next review period. An award of a grant in the fall review period will not disqualify applications for the spring review period. Awards for both review periods are limited only by the maximum dollar amount of one full grant ($2000.00). Applicants may submit their proposals any time on or before the due date, once the submission system opens. The due date is a strict deadline regardless of when it falls on the calendar as the submission system is electronic. Dates for application acceptance and due dates are as follows:


  • Fall application submission system opens October 1, 2014
  • Fall application submission system closes at 11:59 p.m., October 31, 2014
  • Applicant receives notification by approximately the first week of December, 2014


  • Spring application submission system opens February 1, 2015
  • Spring application submission system closes at 11:59 p.m. on February 28, 2015
  • Applicant receives notification approximately the first week of April, 2015

Rating Scale

4 = Evidence exceeds expectations

3 = Evidence provided is clear and compelling.

2 = Evidence provided is moderately convincing.

1 = Evidence provided is minimally credible.

0 = Evidence provided is not credible or no evidence is provided.


Criterion Description


1. Significance and/or University, Department or Unit Benefit

Activity has significance in terms of the prominence of the meeting or activity, the role of the applicant, and/or the number of faculty or students involved and/or will be of benefit to the university and/or department/unit.

4 3 2 1 0

2. Scholarly Benefit

Activity is likely to enhance the applicant’s scholarship.

4 3 2 1 0

3. Teaching Benefit

Activity is likely to enhance the applicant’s teaching/mentoring.

4 3 2 1 0