Faculty Engaging in Discussion

Professional Development Grants

Sept. 26 2014 Update: Final decisions about how the Faculty Development Grant program for 2014-2015 will be administered are still being decided.  There will be a new grant application form and new procedures beginning this year.  Updated information on the availability of faculty travel grants for the 2014-2015 academic year will be announced on this website, the ATL listserv, emails to chairs and deans, and the university EPA listserv when the process is completed.

ATL Professional Development Grants support the ongoing professional development of faculty and staff by funding participation in workshops, conferences, short courses, seminars, and other professional experiences that promote increased teaching/learning effectiveness (for faculty) and "best management practices" (for staff). ATL Professional Development Grants are funded from a U.S. Dept. of Education Title III HBCU grant activity specifically targeting improvement in student learning outcomes and operational effectiveness.

ATL Professional Development Grants directly support PREEMINENCE 2020, the university's 2011-2020 strategic plan, in particular Goal 1: Excellence in Teaching and Goal 2: Excellence in Operational Effectiveness.

Applying for a Professional Development Grant

1. Professional Development Grant Application and Instructions. Submit a completed Professional Development Grant Application (2014-15 form will be available by late August, 2014, pending continued funding) and documentation supporting estimated expenses to the Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL), 313 Dowdy Building, at least 30 days prior to travel date. Note: Submission of a Professional Development Grant Application does not guarantee funding.

2. Travel Authorization Form (TVL-1). Award recipients must submit a completed and signed Travel Authorization Form (TVL-1) along with the Professional Development Grant Application. The TVL-1 form is included in the "Travel Form Workbook" available from the Business and Finance Forms Page.

Important Note: Submit the signed and completed Professional Development Grant Application, along with the signed and completed Travel Authorization Form (TVL-1), before making any travel-related payments. The ATL will notify applicants about the status of their application according to the schedule listed below. Only after receiving an award letter from the ATL should you begin making travel arrangments or you may end up being personally liable for your travel expenses.

Reimbursement of Travel Expenses

Award recipients will need to submit a completed and signed Travel Expense/Reimbursement Form (TVL-2) and required documentation to the ATL office within 10 days of trip completion. Information regarding travel expense reimbursement policies and procedures will be included with your award letter.

Application Due Dates

Professional Development Grant applications are due by the 15th of each month. Decisions on Professional Development Grant requests will be made by the 1st of the following month All applicants will be notified via email of the decision about their application. Please take the decision dates into consideration when planning your travel. Note in particular that conference/workshop registration often needs to be confirmed well in advance of the conference/workshop date. Plan early!

Award Decisions

Awards are based on a variety of factors, including the activity's direct connection to ATL Professional Development Grant program goals, institutional priorities, and program development. While awards are generally made on a first-come, first-served basis, new and recently appointed permanent faculty members, as well as faculty members involved in curricular changes, near tenure/promotion decisions, or undergoing post-tenure review will be given higher priority in the selection process. In addition, some consideration is given to funding equity across departments/schools/colleges when making faculty development awards.

Co-payment Rule

Professional Development Grant awards are intended to partially fund travel requests; departments and colleges/schools (or the faculty member) should expect to cover a minimum of 10% of expected travel costs. This will allow more faculty members to benefit from the limited funds that are available to fund faculty development activities. The ATL believes that each academic unit must be the primary source for faculty development funding; ATL faculty development funds are to be used to complement the funds of academic units, not replace them.

Important Note: The Professional Development Grant co-payment is typically 30%, but in consideration of the current budgetary situation, the co-payment amount is reduced to 10%.


  • Professional Development Grants are limited to one award per faculty member per academic year. Faculty members must be tenured/tenure-track or permanent non-tenure-track to be eligible for these grants.  Preference is given to tenured/tenure-track faculty members.
  • Professional Development Grants may NOT be used primarily to support presentations at conferences. However, you may still apply for funds to attend the conference as a professional development activity. You will need to describe how participating in the conference will improve teaching and learning in your courses.
  • Professional Development Grants CANNOT be used to pay for conferences/workshops/seminars primarily related to research, funding, program accreditation, etc. You must be able to demonstrate a direct link between participation in the conference/workshop/seminar and ATL Professional Development Grant program goals.
  • The ATL will not fund more than two Professional Development Grants from the same department for a particular conference/workshop/course (in order to maximize the benefits of the Professional Development Grant program across all units on campus).
  • No travel arrangements should be made until you hear from the Academy for Teaching and Learning that your Professional Development Grant request has been funded. Requests for reimbursement of costs related to travel that has already been completed will be denied.

Additional Information

  • U.S. government funds (Title III HBCU funding) become available at the earliest October 1, but may be delayed beyond this date.
  • Professional Development Grant funds are typically depleted prior to the end of the academic year; a notice will be posted on this web site when funds are fully committed for the year. To increase your chances of funding, submit travel requests as early as possible in the academic year.